Are Evangelicals Bothered When They Are Called “Hypocritical?”

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They should be.

Recently I typed the word “hypocrite” and “evangelicals” into a search engine.  Here are just some of the articles I found.  Nearly all of them are written by non-evangelicals:

Focus on hypocrisy: Evangelicals hush on the Trump’s porn star

Is ‘Evangelical’ Synonymous With Hypocrite”

“Billy Graham’s granddaughter smack down modern evangelicals for ‘hypocritical’ Trump support

Exposing America’s Biggest Hypocrites: Evangelical Christians

Why don’t Christians insist on Christ-like values in their leaders?

“Christian Support for Roy Moore ‘Looks Like Hypocrisy to the Outside World”

Roy Moore and the hypocrisy of America’s evangelicals

Trump’s Evangelical Fans Preach the Gospel of Greed, Not Grace

Yeah, Mike Pence is a raging hypocritical–but not because of his puritanical private life

Are evangelicals bothered by this?  Has anyone stopped to consider that our political choices are hurting our Gospel witness in the world?  Some conservative evangelicals will be quick to say that the kind of articles I listed above represent a form of persecution.  The “world,” they will say, does not understand the foolishness of the Gospel.  They will say that we should expect this kind of criticism from the unbelieving world.  This view must be rejected.  Why?  Because the criticisms in the articles above are mostly accurate and fair.  They should force all evangelicals to look in the mirror.

I usually don’t dabble in the kind of providentialism that leads one to claim that Donald Trump is a new King Cyrus, but perhaps, just perhaps, God is using the unbelieving world to rebuke American evangelicals for their hypocrisy.  (Providentialism can take us in a lot of different directions.  Once we open the door to it, the possibilities are endless.  This is why it is not a very useful tool for making sense of our world–past and present.  Right now we see through a glass darkly).

Recently, in a class I am teaching at my church on Christianity and politics, we were discussing the core tenets of American evangelicalism.  One of those tenets is evangelism. If evangelicals are indeed committed to sharing our faith in this world, and being “salt and light” in the culture, then shouldn’t this somehow factor into our political choices?  Should we be casting our lot with political candidates who will make it more difficult to bear witness to our faith?  When opportunities arise to testify to the “reason for the hope that is in you” must we always begin with a caveat explaining why we did or did not vote for Donald Trump?  Don’t laugh– I have already heard multiple stories from folks who are finding it much more difficult to talk about their faith with non-Christians.

When did tax cuts and Supreme Court justices become central to the proclamation of the “good news” in the world?

6 thoughts on “Are Evangelicals Bothered When They Are Called “Hypocritical?”

  1. Progressives would not have been able to write the sexual revolution into the Constitution and laws of this country without the support of the evangelical left. By providing critical votes to progressive candidates in election after election, the evangelical left has facilitated the sexual revolution. You on the evangelical left should acknowledge your culpability before criticizing others.

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    • I have to ask, does criticizing and expressing problems with policies and actions of a leader playing almost entirely to the the far right makes one ipso facto a partisan of the far left? Is that mindset not a primary reason we have the hyper-polarized political climate we have today? Is there no room for a reasoned approach that is beholden to neither extreme?

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