What's Good About White Evangelicalism?
The most surprising question of my book tour has me reconsidering history
CNN just published an essay I wrote about white evangelicalism — “White Evangelicals After Trump: What Now?” — about how history is more complex than we know. In it, I argue that scapegoating any one group is a dangerous enterprise. We need a richer story in a time of division and fraught political and religious discourse.
I wanted to make sure everyone here at The Cottage sees it! I’m proud of this piece and hope it will foster greater generosity of spirit and understanding in public discourse. The essay is based in my experience of evangelicalism in the 1970s (I write extensively about this in Freeing Jesus), a time when many millions of Americans got “born again.” We became evangelicals because it was counter-cultural movement, energetic, spiritually-alive, and cared about big issues of justice. I call it “liberationist evangelicalism.” And frankly, I’m wishing for its rebirth.
Anyway, read on….(click HERE)….and reflect on the meaning of what was lost.
Let me know what you think. And share this with your friends!
God's Word teaches a very hard, disturbing truth. Those who neglect the poor and the oppressed are really not God's people at all—no matter how frequently they practice their religious rituals nor how orthodox are their creeds and confessions.
― Ronald J. Sider (1977)
Perhaps the strongest indictment against us as the Church is that we have settled for an Americanized version of the Church that mirrors whatever culture says, and there is no collective sense of loss, no sense of remorse. We have sinned deeply. The problem is that we haven’t got a taste of the sinfulness of racism... We don’t see the wickedness of profiling God’s people that He has created to be one and that He has created in His image.
― John M. Perkins
It concerns me deeply that attitudes, traditions, and biblical interpretations by many Christians have conveyed to the world that Christianity doesn’t liberate women at all. That idea has come through, not only in women’s lib literature, but also through the mass media—such as on TV’s “All in the Family.” Thus, many modern people have been given the impression that Christianity holds women down, and may even turn away from the gospel because of it.
— Letha Scanzoni (1973)
Our lives are lived, for the most part, in physical, psychological, and spiritual insulation from suffering inflicted by the gross barbarities of humanity. Amidst all the decadence of contemporary North American life, there is a decency, a civility. Especially if we are white and privileged we may well have never encountered unbridled human brutality in our own experience, or that of anyone we know. And, as is so often the case, what lies not within our experience fails to touch our hearts. Such suffering, if we know of it at all, is remote -- not our concern. We allow the environment of a privileged existence to set the boundaries of our compassion.
— Wes Granberg-Michaelson (1976)