Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Coming Apocalypse

...of Evangelical Christianity is predicted. It can't happen too fast, in my not-so-humble unpastorly opinion.

Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can't articulate the Gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.

...We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billions of dollars we've spent on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.

They tried to recreate a counter culture of shallow instant gratification in Jesus in order to attract young people into the movement, not realizing that they were targeting young people most attracted to messages of shallow instant gratification. They built their house upon the sand of Stryper!

I have long been disturbed by those commercials for Christian rock band compilation CDs, where you see thousands of kids with their hands in the air and their eyes closed singing along to bad music by crappy bands who couldn't cut it in the real music industry. "My God is an Awesome God"? Teh! Like, totally, d00d. My mom won't let me go to a concert unless its a Christian band.

And do these kids have any idea why they lift their hands when they pray? Or why were they taught to pray "in Jesus name"? Because God won't answer your prayer unless you assume teh correct magical pose and recite teh correct magical phrase.

This, dear children, is paganism wrapped in WWJD shoestrings. I'd rather be an honest pagan than pretend I'm a monotheist who prays to one God in the name of another God for the blessings of a third God. But I suppose you can't build a vibrant cultural movement on a bunch of boring history and theology, especially when a good three-quarters of it contradicts or undermines your political message.

Evangelical Christianity fails not because it attached itself to conservative politics, but because it has only ever been about conservative politics. The main goal of Evangelical Christianity, often stated in various forms by its leaders, has always been to assume absolute temporal political power, to replace the Constitution with the Ten Commandments. Jesus has only ever been a message vehicle for the movement, and that's why the writer above says that they have raised a generation of useful idiots. Evangelical Christianity didn't exactly fail. It succeeded in what it set out to do.

The problem is, now they've got an army that only knows how to fight one battle. They thought they were Patton. Turns out they're McClellan.

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