• Evangelical Christians Want More ‘Civility’ in Politics — But Need to Live It Out, Too

    Surge Summary: A new survey indicates Evangelical Christians want civility to prevail in today’s political squabbles — but some claim not everyone in that camp is bothering to walk out that ideal.

    A new survey provides some encouraging news for those who take their Christianity seriously – but also some puzzlement for same.  The analysis finds a majority of evangelicals hope for civility and unity when it comes to political discourse. Unfortunately, those values seem to be lacking — including within the very 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. [Steve Jordahl/OneNewsNow.com]

    ERLC’s lightning-rod president Russell Moore commented:

    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.”

    Christian apologist and author Dr. Alex McFarland isn’t cutting Moore any slack and has his own explanation about the sources of the church’s dramatic divisions.

    “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 goes after Moore whom he claims has been less than civil in his past political discourse — especially toward President Donald Trump supporters. He cites this Moore statement in the run up to 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.”

    Mind you, it could be argued that accusation, and McFarland’s retort, for that matter, don’t really address the survey’s focus: Are Russell Moore’s detractors seriously contending there isn’t a metastasizing “incivility” problem on both – on all – sides of today’s political debate? Are they seriously claiming Trump enthusiasts, Trump critics, Liberals, Leftists, Conservatives, Republicans, Democrats and Independents too often are not escalatingly indulging in nastiness and personal attacks in lieu of respectful and serious communication? Have these people been snoozing through the last few years?

    Moreover, whatever one thinks about Russell Moore, is his language in the quotation referenced above genuinely “uncivil”?  Indeed, his knock could be classified as blunt, even harsh. I suppose it could be argued it was unnecessarily cutting and over-the-top. That said, it might also be an example of a Christian leader’s speaking frankly over a matter he considers crucial. Note: he doesn’t name names; but neither does he mince words.

    Moore’s tone, at least in that statement, is a far cry from the gratuitous, insulting, deeply personal attacks that have become par-for-the-course in so many other sectors in 2019’s political scene.

    All that aside, no matter the year or political season, the follower of Jesus Christ is supposed to be led not primarily by party loyalty or partisan priorities, but by the exhortations of Jesus and the Bible writers concerning how to deal with those with whom we differ.  Godly people ought to be taking our cues from passages like Matthew 5, Romans 12, 1 Peter 3 and so many other throughout the Scriptures.

    No matter who is president, those principles remain for those who want to please God.

    H/T: Steve Jordahl/OneNewsNow.com

    Image: Adapted from: mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

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