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Evangelical Movement at ‘Head-Snapping’ Moment, Says Scholar

local-marketing-strategyI am certainly not an advocate for the new evangelical/emerging church movement, but the following article causes me to ask some serious questions that no one seems to be addressing. The question is WHY? Why is the Church crumbling and in the position that it’s in today? Why are the young embracing a new form of Christianity?

If we look to the Institutional Church for answers to these questions we are unlikely to find the solution. The institutional Church is the problem, and it is in denial. If they are the problem, then looking for an answer from them will be fruitless. The fact that our country and world are failing, points, not to the worldliness of the world, or to the Religious Right’s inability to get their man into political office, but to a failure of the Organized Church as the Body of Christ, and their failure to please God. God always points to the failure of His people, when the nation is afflicted, and His requirement for healing has always been the same; He demands deep repentance.

What we see in the new emerging movement is not all-that-much different than what we have seen from the religious right and the organized Church in times past. What we see is their grasping for a lifeline, really anything that floats, that will give purpose, meaning, and sense, to what is happening in the natural world and the spiritual world. The young are not oblivious to the failures going on around them in organized Christianity, so the organizers offer a different program, something that has a new taste, a new feel, a new texture, a new marketing strategy that targets them (a new niche market), but it is the same old worldly building material and approach, only with new packaging.

The religious right has prostituted the Church, and their children have become prostitutes, what else would you expect. All the make-up that is worn can not hide the decaying body of the old organization. The  youth with their energy, and brand new ideas are following in their mother’s footsteps, and are bent on showing the old woman how to run the outfit. The old organization simply will not acknowledge the fact that its body is failing and that it can’t work the streets like it used to, it only sees how much more worldly, its own children have become. They insist that the problem rest on the youth, but like I said they are in denial.

A new program and a youthful presentation is not the answer; as a matter of fact no program or presentation is the answer. The answer is the same as it has always been, their failure to please God, and deep repentance. For the corporate Church to acknowledge this failure (that the whole body of their approach to God has been built with earthly materials and that the emerging church is just an extension of that) and to publicly repent, and cast all their worthless efforts into the dust, and then lead great multitudes of sheep to likewise repent of their own dead works, lack of faith, and trust in God to complete His own work (as He said He would), is incomprehensible to imagine, at this point in time. Only more and better programs are on the horizon, more sincere sounding prayers, more involvement and commitment to the institution, a face lift to hide the decay,  intellectual justification for its existence, and better marketing are all that are offered. They do not realize that the body is decayed from the top of its head all the way to its toes; a body waiting to fall over.

Many institutional Church people will look at the following article, and shake their heads, and maybe sense an urgency and alarm, or possibly see and acknowledge a need for a face-lift, but few will see the problem as a heart problem of the whole body, not just the new movement, and follow through with true repentance.

Jer 3:3-5
“Therefore the showers have been withheld,
and no spring rains have fallen.
Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute;
you refuse to blush with shame.
Have you not just called to me:
‘My Father, my friend from my youth,
will you always be angry?
Will your wrath continue forever?’
This is how you talk,
but you do all the evil you can.”

Steve Blackwell


Evangelical Movement at ‘Head-Snapping’ Moment, Says Scholar

The evangelical movement is at a “head-snapping” generational change with younger evangelicals “revolting” against the tone of the Christian Right, says a prominent religious scholar.

Sun, Oct. 11, 2009 Posted: 12:14 PM EDT

LANDOVER, Md. – The evangelical movement is at a “head-snapping” generational change with younger evangelicals “revolting” against the tone of the Christian Right, says a prominent religious scholar.

Across the nation, young evangelicals are naming Rick Warren or Bono as their role model for social engagement, rather than a Christian Right leader, says Michael Gerson, senior research fellow in the Center on Faith & International Affairs at the Institute for Global Engagement.

Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forrest, Calif., is known for mobilizing evangelical churches in the battle against HIV/AID in Africa, while U2 frontman Bono is one of the world’s leading anti-poverty activists.

“We are seeing a head-snapping generational change,” contends Gerson, who was a top aide and former speech writer to President George W. Bush. “The model of social engagement of the religious right is increasingly exhausted.”

At the recent biennial Evangelical Leaders Forum, Gerson offered three reasons for the change: a recovery of scriptural emphasis, a revolt against the tone and style of the Religious Right, and the effects of short-term mission trips on young Christians. (Read rest of article here).

2 replies on “Evangelical Movement at ‘Head-Snapping’ Moment, Says Scholar”

Steve F.,

Your comments are refreshing to say the least. You are seeing things that few others can comprehend. This is not to pat you on the back or to boost your pride and ego, but to confirm that vision, sight, and hearing have been gifted to you.

His righteousness is our cloak, and it is He Himself that we pursue, and it is His face that I am dying to see, and to gaze upon His beauty, and to share, with the weakness of mere human words, the wonder of His glory.

We can express these things with brothers and sisters and urge them toward Godliness, but with the unbelievers, whether Christian or non-Christian, we preach a message of God’s displeasure and His wrath to come. How wonderful it would be if we could preach only the effects of God’s great satisfaction with His creation. Our greatest act of love, at this point, is to blow the trumpet, and to sound the warning, and to lay our life on the line.

Those in both the organized evangelical Church, and the dis-organized emerging mess, need this message of love that stings like a whip, and makes the messenger a lighting rod of the Devil’s disgust. What a real missionary that preacher is who has no regard for his own life to save those who will hate him or her.

Praise the Lord, it is a calling to all of God’s elect, and how the message needs to go out, but the laborers are still few.

Good to hear from you Steve,

Blessings from Indiana,

Steve B.


I agree wholeheartedly that the “Christian Right” has prostituted itself to the idea of political change vs. spiritual growth and repentance. Truth be told, the vast majority are not even “Christian”. I was a Moral Majortity person; a boycotter of things I considered a threat to my sacred Americanism.

When I was born again, George Bush came down from my wall (he was only up there to irritate people anyway) and I resigned all political affiliations. I was initaially attracted to the Emergent church movement, but more for their seemingly close involvement a ground Zero with the disaffected and forgotten. I evetually discovered that resepect for true scriptural authority is no more theirs than it is the Christian Right’s. The Emergents have, for the most part, bought into a relativistic social gospel, which is intended to solve societal and justice issues, not to preach the gospel of liberty and changed lives in a spiritual sense.

Almost all institutional religion is bankrupt. What is most telling is that 60%, or more, of Americans claim a “born again” experience, yet most show no true evidence of knowing, or being known by, Jesus the Christ. There are still quite a few God fearing and righteous people out there, but they are nowhere near a majority. Also, most unfortunately, most of the people I try to discuss faith and hope with push away with the claim, “I am a Christian, too!”.

I long for a fellowship with people who really and fervently walk the walk and not just talk the talk. I am inclined to include myself with the latter, but I am not satisfied with the talking. I want to change people, but only God can do that. I missed services (actually a songfest and teaching class) because I really needed “alone time” with my Lord. I am not happy with where I am at, spiritually. But, I also know that Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” That is my quest.

Thanks for this article, Steve.

Steve Foltz

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