I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life when I have been more embarrassed for my Evangelical brothers and sisters. I’m referring specifically to those who refuse to get vaccinated or wear masks, believe conspiracy theories about the CDC, Anthony Fauci, and Bill Gates, and that the last presidential election was stolen. I’ve addressed some of these incredulous beliefs in other posts.
I’m no stranger to Evangelical naïveté and gullibility. I was an elder in a church where many in the congregation had been convinced the key to their health could be found in an examination of their excrement by a naturopath, who was a member of the church. People were securing their scat in ziplocks for him to examine…seriously. I remember asking the pastor, “So tell me this again. They did what?”
Then there was Y2K. Five years before 1-1-2000, there was some credibility in the alarm. Fortunately, by the time the problem became public, companies had already begun the necessary remediation. However, people in my church became convinced Y2K would be the end of society as we knew it. They bought generators and stock piles of food and water. Recognizing there was indeed a problem, but rejecting the incredible and conspiratorial, I bought stock in Cisco, a leader in Y2K remediation. My doomsday brothers and sisters who believed the crazy prognosticators, got stuck with generators they never used and food they never ate. My wife and I got stuck with a nice profit from the sale of our stock.
The Wife and I watched the movie, Red Notice, tonight. It’s not going to win any Academy Awards, but within the genre of brain candy, it was entertaining enough. What inspired this post was not the movie per se but a scene that is representative of a trend becoming more apparent in movies today. It’s a trend too silly to take seriously but not too insignificant to ignore.
The movie stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot as . . . (spoiler alert) . . . three art thieves in search of a 2,000 year-old decorative egg that Marc Antony (the Roman not the singer) gave Cleopatra and was later was lost to history. I long ago grew bored with thinly veiled plots designed to support two-hour chase scenes. But this movie’s action scenes, twists, and turns, succeeded in holding my interest, even if it didn’t engage my intellect.
What I found most interesting though was one scene in which Gadot physically defeats the 6′ 5″ 260 lb Johnson and 6′ 2″ 190 lb Reynolds in a knock-down drag-out. Now, of course, Hollywood tried to made it all look realistic enough so viewers don’t call “B—S—“. But I am more interested in the message than the creative sleight-of-hand.
I get that most of the chase scenes and stunts portrayed in movies aren’t really possible. They stretch the possible while trying not to break it, knowing that excitement camps out on the border between reality and our imagination. Got it. But there was an obvious message in this scene, and it’s the effort to eradicate gender inequality by suggesting this woman could physically overpower these two men.
As I said, it’s silly. And when it’s exposed for what it is, even the most progressive, gender sensitive, post-modern will admit it’s silly. It is significant though because it shows where the gender-confusion of our generation is headed. In short, if we fail to recognize gender differences, we will be led into the land of make-believe, and we will all become fools.
The church has made some terrible choices throughout history for which it has paid dearly. American Christians choosing economics (slavery) over human rights, and the German Lutheran church choosing to elevate nationalism (Hitler) over the Word of God are two examples.
To us, in retrospect, it borders on the ridiculous. How could anyone who calls themselves a Christian support enslaving human beings on the basis of their race? How could anyone who claimed to be a follower of Jesus agree to adopt the Aryan Paragraph, prohibiting anyone of Jewish descent from serving as a pastor of a church?
These choices were not without cost historically, even apart from the obvious and immediate suffering of the victims of such policies. In Germany the church is still paying the price for its poor choice with its loss of credibility, and in America, we are still grappling with the curse of racism 150 years after the end of slavery. A curse does not alight without a cause (Proverbs 26:2), and when the group that is supposed to be the moral light for a nation and in communion with God endorses the systematic dehumanization and enslavement of an entire race of people, there is no shortage of cause for curse.
Well it’s over. We lost in Afghanistan. The Afghanis decided to continue to cling to their guns and Korans rather than apple pie, democracy, and the American Way.
Our record is now 10-2, which is not bad as far as war records go. Even the Romans lost a few. If there was a playoff for the militaries of the world, we would probably make it in.
But I feel horrible for those who sacrificed so much to see it given away in a little more than week. They thought they were fighting for an ideal, and the last images we now have are people fighting to get on planes to get out of a place we put so much in.
Of course it is not a total loss. Even if we didn’t change a nation, we did get Bin Laden. And that is the positive spin you will hear from the talking heads and politicians. Unfortunately it cost us twenty years and a trillion dollars, not to mention the lives of thousands of men, women, and children. This was no doubt the most expensive manhunt in history.
So what should we think of this defeat? We should be sad, but we shouldn’t be surprised. We thought if we hung around long enough and the Afghanis got a taste of freedom and the American Way, they would almost certainly come around to our way of thinking. After all, who would choose Muslim tyranny over American freedom?
Let me get some things out on the table right from the start. I am an Evangelical. I am conservative. I believe in small government, low taxes, and liberty. I am a one-exception (life of the mother) pro-lifer.
I think Ronald Reagan was one of greatest presidents we have ever had, and I supported Pat Robertson in the 1988 presidential primary. Except Nos. 7 and 8, I previously held all the views I criticize below.
What changed my mind was (1) deciding I was no longer going to get my political opinions from a political party or television network and (2) attempting to carry out Biblical and kingdom presuppositions to their logical conclusions. So, you can call me wrong, but don’t call me a liberal. What I hope I am is a Christian whose politics are rooted not in Fox News or MSNBC, the Republicans or the Democrats, but the Bible.
With that in mind, here are 10 things American Evangelicals are wrong about: