“The Death of Evangelical Ethics and Political Theology”
The moral compass of the American politics and ethical worldview of America’s geopolitical hegemony in the world is the antithesis of the Gospel culture and challenges the liberating ethics of Jesus that accentuates human flourishing and God’s salvation for humanity, especially the oppressed, the weak, and the vulnerable in our culture and in the world.
The contemporary Evangelical community has placed too much faith in American politics and politicians to make moral choices and ethical decisions for the church and the nation at large. Christian identity is christocentric, and not Americancentric, and the governing rules and values that shape both identities and their end contradict each other.
The political values of American Evangelicalism cannot be said, at the moment, to be a discourse of contrast, in view of the political ideals of contemporary American culture. In the same line of thought, contemporary American Evangelicalism has not fostered a clear and specific theo-ethical system, grounded on a political theology of care for the poor and the marginalized, that interrogates the socio-political habitus of the dominant class and powerful American elite group.
It seems to me American politics is regulating the norms and contours of Evangelical ethics and moral framework. (In fact, this has been an Evangelical tradition, which has crippled the public witness of Christianity in culture.)
This trend is happening/has been occuring in the Evangelical world because American Evangelicalism has never articulated a robust political theology of social justice and divine sovereignty that prioritizes the Kingdom of God above the Kingdom of America.
Perhaps, this is a new era for Evangelical thinkers and leaders to look for guidance and wisdom from the Word of God, not from the realm of partisan and ideological politics, and to reread with fresh insights and new lenses the political theology and theocentric kingdom-message of the book of Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Revelation.
As long as Christians in America and American Evangelicals continue to prize the American kingdom and sovereignty, the kingdom of God will be subservient to American politics and cultural ideologies, and the public witness of the Christian Church in America will be just a footnote in the American experience and future.