This is a losing strategy.
As noted in my previous post, this objective is predicated on the misconception that liberal unfavorable attitudes toward evangelicals are factually based. In the last post we saw that nothing could be further from the truth. Their analysis of us has nothing to do with facts and everything to do with their hostility toward the God of the Bible. They are hostile toward us because we represent the God of the Bible in our society.
Therefore, if our starting point is, “Liberals think we are not nice so it must be true,” this erroneous intelligence will lead to a losing strategy. We will be trying to fix something that isn’t broken, or at least not broken the way they say it is broken.
For example, one evangelical writer stated: “Instead of offering hope, many evangelicals have claimed the role of moral gatekeeper, judge and jury. If we continue in that posture, we will continue to invite opposition and obscure the “good news” we are called to proclaim.”
These types of statements don’t seem to reflecting a factual analysis of the evangelical community but instead the fraudulent evaluation of liberals. Yes, maybe you can find here and there an evangelical with an attitude, but for the most part evangelicals bend over backwards to convey humility, presenting themselves as “just one beggar telling another where to find the bread.” The overwhelming orientation of contemporary evangelicals consists of assuring the world that “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.”
Unfortunately, this sort of evangelical self-flagellation in response to liberal condemnation is rather widespread. It seems to portray a desire for humility, a willingness to be honest about ourselves, a magnanimous spirit that refuses to live in denial.
However, this willingness of evangelicals to take secular evaluation of us at face value overlooks the aggressive and continuous program of the left to take every opportunity to malign us. Of course the secular world believes that we are nothing but a bunch of legalistic, judgmental gatekeepers. How could it be otherwise? That is how we are portrayed in the news and entertainment media. That’s what college students get crammed down their throats on an almost daily basis by blatantly biased and hostile professors. Liberals may accuse us of acting as gatekeepers, but they function as actual gatekeepers of the major conduits of communication in our society, and they use that power to condemn evangelical Christians every chance they get by aggressively misrepresenting us. The negative view of our society regarding evangelicals does not find its source in our failures but in liberal caricatures of who we are.
God has given us the Bible and not liberals as a basis for evaluating ourselves. When we start to use liberal accusations instead of the biblical truth for self-evaluation we are headed for serious trouble. The Bible comprises absolute truth whereas liberal perspectives encompass a collage of lies. Their worldview advances evolution and global warming, advocates of abortion and homosexuality, and has taken a country made successful through Christian culture across two centuries and brought it to the brink of ruin in a few short decades.
So why is it again that we should believe their analysis of us? Jesus taught us that if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch. Since we know that they are blind, it is mystifying to me that so many evangelical leaders take their assessment of us seriously and want to build an evangelical strategy in response to it, especially since the facts do not bear out that assessment.
This evangelical penchant is of special concern because of the misguided strategy that many evangelical leaders propose in response to liberal evaluation of us. I plan to discuss that strategy in my next post.