Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"An intellectual inferiority complex with a moral superiority complex"

This pastor can think of many reasons not to be an Evangelical (although he still is):
.... For one, Evangelicals like to put on a show. Literally. Worship in Evangelical churches often deteriorates into an entertainment hour, with people choosing their church by the genre of music that’s used. The unchallenged authority of personal preference in worship, or in any other matter of faith and practice, is a very troubling development.

Something else about Evangelicals I don’t like: we too quickly borrow the latest methods used by secular businesses to achieve our goals. If the medium is the message, as Marshall McLuhan taught us, the Evangelical message is sometimes “We’re the cool kids on the block.”

Then there’s the fact that Evangelicals are eager to get people into heaven but unskilled at helping them live on earth. We tend to focus all our energy in getting people “saved” – helping them make a decision for Christ – but do little to help them remain spiritually solvent thereafter.

I have also seen Evangelicals employ means that are inappropriate to their chosen end. Too often Evangelical preachers manipulate people’s emotions and play on their fears, in an attempt to get them to choose heaven. But when the sermon is over and the emotion fades, the new convert finds he has nothing to stand on and is all too likely to fall.

And then there’s David Brooks stinging assessment of Evangelicals. He says that “Intellectual standards in the evangelical community are not as high as they could be,” and explains “that what drives people away the most [from Evangelicalism] is a mixture of an intellectual inferiority complex with a moral superiority complex.” Ouch!

I don’t deny these things. In fact, I could list more. So why am I still an Evangelical? .... [his reasons]