Evangelicals appear to be headed for some kind of marginalization, and this will hurt. Nevertheless, evangelical Christianity began on the margins of society and only in fairly recent decades moved into the mainstream. As it turns out, our cultural influence may wane and our options for recovering that influence may be both few and ineffectual.
When I look at this piece, I see a mirror image of Paul Krugman’s admission of death panels: I told you so, but now someone of note breaks down and admits it. The big difference is that I think the left’s leadership has known their end game of universal poverty all along, while the leadership on the right has believed pretty much what they said.
Since Mohler is finally facing reality, I’ve got a few comments to perhaps push others (and maybe him, who knows) forward:
- Evangelicals have never been the “mainstream” they’ve thought themselves to be except in the South. The “Main Line” churches are aptly named, but their decline is more precipitous even with their apparent (to Mohler) triumph vis-a-vis the culture. And evangelicalism has always been a non-starter in the upper reaches of the society with a few exceptions.
- The form of Christianity which has always trashed “cultural Christianity” needs to quit fixating on changing the culture. You can’t have a Christian culture without cultural Christianity.
- Following that, we need to realise that we are on our own; our country doesn’t want us any more and we should find ways to stop “feeding the beast” at every opportunity. That means we should reconsider our attitude towards military service, civil marriage, immigration, etc.
- We must decouple our religion with upward social mobility. That should be easy in a society where secular forces have made the latter difficult.
- We should recognise the fact that some of our children may be better off emigrating. Many of our ancestors came here for religious freedom; it’s no dishonour if their descendants leave for the same reason. We’ve implicitly bought into the idea that the “American Dream” is primarily economic; it is not.
- The clock is running faster on this “system of things” than our opponents care to admit. Their financial profligacy, on par with their sexual, combined with regulation strangulation and the slow economy that results, cannot be sustained. Their “cred” is largely dependent upon their ability to “deliver the goodies”; that running out is the best opportunity to level the playing field once again, if we are ready to take advantage of that, which at this point we are not.
What is coming will not be fun. But, as my Computational Fluid Dynamics professor said, we’ve been dealt certain cards; we need to play them.