Missing in action: Civility in evangelicals' political discourse
Monday, September 30, 2019
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)
A survey finds that a majority of evangelicals want civility and unity when it comes to political discourse – but that seems to be in short supply, even within the group that sponsored the survey.
The study – sponsored by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and published recently by LifeWay Research – found that two thirds of evangelicals (66%) think being civil in political conversations is "productive." More than eight in ten (82%) say their faith influences how they engage with others politically.
ERLC president Russell Moore said the "polling clearly shows … that there are forces driving the church apart from one another. That shouldn't surprise us. But it should convict us."
Dr. Alex McFarland, a Christian apologist and author, has his own theory about forces that are driving the church apart.
"Highly paid Christian leaders who don't at all reflect the constituency of the people who fund their salary contribute to division within the church," McFarland argues.
Specifically, he says Moore has often been less than civil in his political discourse, especially toward those who support President Donald Trump. In fact, Moore made this statement before the 2016 elections:
Moore: "Add to it the often buffoonish and cartoonish behavior of some so-called evangelical leaders over the past six months in ways that have actually subverted the meaning of the gospel."
He contends that Moore and other "never-Trumpers" in the evangelical community have been left behind by an America with a thriving economy, an embassy in Jerusalem, and two new constitutionalist, pro-life justices on the Supreme Court.
"People like Russell Moore are trying to, in some way, legitimize themselves because when the 'ship of democracy' began to come in they were at the train station," McFarland tells OneNewsNow.
Earlier this year, OneNewsNow reported on a ministry leader who said he didn't feel the ERLC is being "led well" and is being used by Satan to make a "massive play on many evangelicals … under the Trojan horse of social justice."
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