Since he likes to put his name in ALL CAPS, we will put their name in ALL CAPS too. TRUMP EVANGELICALS are destroying the “evangel” — the “good news” of Jesus Christ.
“Evangelical” is a word that now needs to be defined carefully, given how much it has been distorted and corrupted by both the media and the behavior of white evangelicals. The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is now at stake — as is the integrity of Christian faith for at least a generation to come.
The word “evangelical” has its origin in the word “evangel” from Luke 4:16, in which Jesus first announced his mission at Nazareth by saying: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor [the word here for “good news” in the original Aramaic language is evangel]. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.”
That is the word from which we get the words “evangelism” and “evangelical.” But there is hardly a text in Scripture that would be less associated with the word “evangelical” in the United States today. Or as the president of an evangelical seminary said to me recently, “Evangelicalism (and he meant white evangelicalism) is destroying the evangel.”
If we take that text seriously, as evangelicals are supposed to do with biblical texts, and if we believe that Jesus is Lord, we see clearly that the contrast between the evangel and white evangelicals — with their message to the poor, immigrants and refugees, women, and other vulnerable people — is very stark.
TRUMP EVANGELICALS have so completely and uncritically offered their faithful allegiance to the man in the White House that they have compromised the gospel of Jesus Christ — whose values the president’s life has stood antithetically against. The result in the way the country now views evangelicals, and white Christians in general, has been devastating to the integrity of faith in America and caused great confusion around the world. Another direct result of this election and the response of white evangelicals to it has been the mass exodus of African-American Christians from white and multi-racial churches and creating the biggest racial divide in the churches since the civil rights movement.
Read the rest here.
Wallis is writing in support of the “Reclaiming Jesus Declaration.”