Modern Evangelicalism is at Odds with Historic Christianity

This article was originally posted on October 4 of 2018, awaiting the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Christianity has always stood against the venomous rhetoric and bigotry of dangerous demagogues, even if their politics seemed favorable to Christian leaders. Simply put, the Christian faith doesn’t endorse unrepentant reprobates; Christ ate with sinners but never encouraged them in their sins. But current White American evangelicalism doesn’t seem to understand this, pointing to the increasingly attractive conclusion that evangelicalism, the largest Christian tradition in the United States, is at odds with historic Christianity. 

Take, for example, St. Ambrose, one of the great church fathers. Ambrose barred Emperor Theodosius from attending mass because he ordered a massacre of over 7,000 Thessalonians. It would have been easier, and even politically rewarding, for Ambrose to perform mass in the presence of Theodosius. After all, who denies an emperor? 

Ambrose, a pillar of Western theology, rejected the murderous politics of an unethical emperor. He was unwilling to let politics dictate his faith. American evangelicals exchange this conviction for favorable politics. To put this conversation into perspective: there is a chance America will put a sexual offender on the Supreme Court — well, a second if anyone is counting — and many evangelicals don’t seem to care.

Continue reading at Calvin

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