Wednesday, August 2, 2017

'Lazy evangelism'

Recently a photo of a Bible study with numerous members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet has been making the rounds of the internet. It’s being called “the most evangelical cabinet in history.”

The Bible study, led by the Rev. Ralph Drollinger — the founder of Capital Ministries, dedicated to “[m]aking disciples of Jesus Christ in the political arena in the United States of America, and in foreign [capitals] around the world” and also known to sports fans as a basketball center for UCLA in the 1970s — would likely give hope to the uninformed that God is moving in the halls of power to bring righteousness.

Don’t hold your breath. Rather, it’s what I call “lazy evangelism,” the idea that political leadership can stem what might be considered a slide in biblical witness simply by proclaiming “truth” from their lofty perches. Reason: You don’t see what a difference biblical faith makes in their lives. In other words, they haven’t earned the authority to be heard, and it does need to be earned.

As Rod Dreher wrote recently in The New York Times, “Conservative Christians helped elect Republican politicians, but that did not stop the slide toward secularism. True, the church gained some access to power, but it failed to effectively counter popular culture’s catechetical force.” In other words, simply putting up “stop signs,” as many Christians were wont to do especially in the 1980s, wouldn’t suffice to transform society because their goal was to live in it comfortably — something the LORD Himself will never allow.

I wouldn’t argue that people in power don’t need ministry — they do — but if they're studying the Bible to justify their focus on political power and ignoring “the last, the least and the lost” in the process, they’re wasting their time. Awakening can begin only when Christians examine themselves and recognize the ways in which they’ve compromised the truth, not to mention the LORD they supposedly love, and then take steps to rectify their faithlessness. But if these things do take place, evangelism and service will become natural and the churches might not able to hold the folks coming through their doors.

And having political power will have nothing to do with it.

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