Thursday, March 3, 2016

The evangelical pulpit deserves much blame for this - by Dr. Joel McDurmon

Last year, I republished Alice Baldwin’s great work, The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution. I did this for the main reason that it shows how the American Revolution probably would not have happened were it not for the brave men in the pulpits preaching biblical law. They pointed out the tyrannies they were suffering, called out the tyrants by name, and used biblical law to show the better way.
Those preachers understood the issues, understood the times, and took risks that make modern pulpits shudder. Baldwin’s book is a renewed clarion call to the vapid, uninformed, dualistic, pietistic, and spineless pulpits of today.
A section from yesterday deserves its own place for the same emphasis:
The final façade of decency has now fallen, and Evangelical titans are startled. Leaders like Max Lucado have now taken the unheard-of step of writing about political candidates in the public square. And after all these decades of silence on politics, government, and politicians, what was the final straw that moved Lucado? His title tells all: “Trump doesn’t pass the decency test.”
Decency. That is all. Any candidate can hold any position on any issue and Lucado stays silent. But let a candidate call someone a “bimbo,” and the Lucados of the world speak out.
That’s sad enough, but the ultimate commentary on Lucado’s article is one of utter shame. He literally says that the policies are of secondary concern, if at all: “Could concerns be raised about other Christian candidates? Absolutely. But the concern of this article is not policy but tone and decorum.”
Folks, this is the confession of the great evangelical capitulation in this nation. The most murderous and thieving policies will pass silently under the radar as long as the candidate smiles and shows some restraint of tongue. And this is no hypothetical. This is what has happened. This is what the American pulpit has produced in the American public square.
When Evangelical leaders criticize Trump’s moral failures, they are doing nothing but confessing their own worse failure. They’ve had the chance to build decorum and tone on substance for a hundred years now, and have refused. Now the crumbling foundations are bringing down the edifice of decorum along with them, and the Evangelicals are exposed to the elements.