This article should be a MUST READ for all modern Evangelicals:
I actually had a blog post where I touched on a few of his points, but I went back and erased it all. LOL. Some things are better left unsaid. However, a few points that he touches on are worthy of consideration and further contemplation. Here’s a list of four or five points that his post made me think deeper about:
1) Science (in this case modern medicine and psychology) and Christianity, on many fronts, have become unnecessary enemies. Haggard’s, “They think the Earth is flat” comment in regard to Evangelical thought is intriguing. I’m guessing his view on this extends beyond clinical psychology, and into many other issues. If so, I agree that the often binary world of Evangelicals (denominational, doctrinal, you name it) is frequently more of a hindrance than a help.
2) The celebrity pastor culture of America is hazardous to leaders and laypeople alike. The story too often goes like this. Pastor gets “famous”, grows a big following (now through social media and video/audio sermons), plants lots of churches, gets quoted often, streams himself (almost exclusively) live to satellite churches (not always bad, but not necessarily altogether good), brands his products by putting his name and face to it, then potentially fails like a regular person, and said followers either abandon, attack, protect and everything else in between. It’s a viscous cycle and it seems potentially hazardous (in general) for all swept up in the process. There may be a few exceptions, but Haggard is fair in pointing out that their/our “scandals” just may never make mainstream media….
3) I’ll just quote Haggard here, because this is pretty powerful IMHO – “Saints, I have a high view of Scripture and am persuaded that the theological underpinnings of Evangelicalism are valid, but I am growing away from the Evangelical culture we have created. I think our movement has abandoned the application of the Gospel, and as a result we spend too much time on image management and damage control. Maybe we should be willing to admit that we are all growing in grace, be willing to be numbered with the transgressors, and stop over-stating and over-promising. Jesus has been faithful to all of us in the midst of our pain, our suffering, and our disappointments. Why don’t we tell that? Every one of us have had sin horribly intrude in our lives after being saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, and God is faithfully healing us or has healed us. Why don’t we tell that?” I could devote a full blog to this.
Read the article, it’s pretty moving. Blessings