Later this month I am scheduled to give a lecture to the board of trustees of a Christian college. The college asked me to speak on the following topic: “How Has Evangelical Christianity Made a Positive Difference in the World?” I am still working on the talk, and I will probably post is somewhere at some point.
I thought about my assignment this morning as I read this editorial in The Register-Guard of Eugene, Oregon. It is titled “Evangelical heart, finally.” Here is a taste:
When more than 100 Christian leaders took a stand last week for the right of “Dreamers” to stay in America, it shouldn’t have surprised anybody. Shouldn’t Christians, above all, be concerned with the “least of these” — as Jesus was?
And yet evangelicals’ track record since the rise of Donald Trump has more passion for Trump’s “Make American Great Again” campaign than for Jesus’ “Love One Another” campaign. During a two-year binge in which Trump has sloughed off sexual assault, disparaged Third World countries and refused to disavow the KKK, evangelicals have offered only scattered objections — notably students and alums of Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Liberty University, who have taken a public stand to say Trump should be a source of “shame and anger” for Christians.
Meanwhile, well-known evangelical leaders such as Franklin Graham, James Dobson and Tony Perkins have, at least publicly, emerged less as disciples of Christ than idolizers of, and apologists for, Trump.
Which is why last week’s ad in The Washington Post by the evangelicals was refreshing.
“As Christian leaders, we have a commitment to caring for the vulnerable in our churches while also supporting just, compassionate and welcoming policies toward refugees and other immigrants,” the letter begins. It on to request legal protection for Dreamers who entered the U.S. as children, an increase in admissions of refugees and persecuted Christians, and higher priority for immigrants seeking to reunite with their families.
Read the rest here.