Should Jesus tarry (and I see no reason why he won’t tarry. If Jesus didn’t return when Hitler, Stalin, Mao or the Rwandan massacres were happening, why come back now? He could, but maybe not…), then what will historians say about the demise of the evangelical church in the 2020s and 30s? Will they blame Christian nationalism? Progressive liberalism? Trump? Disunity? Prosperity Gospel preachers? Deconstructionists? Millennials? Gen-Z? Boomers? What will they conclude the problem was?
Living through the troubling days one could argue that I am too close to the issues to make an unbiased opinion. With that in mind here it goes:
We’ve forgotten who we are. We have made boogie men out of those with whom we disagree rather than like Jesus sit down, listen and laugh with even those considered far from God.
We look as much like Jesus as a pot hole looks like the Grand Canyon. We are more like the villains in the Bible than the heroes.
We are more like the Pharisees with rule based “holiness” rather than love based holiness.
We are more like Cain viciously attacking our brothers (and sisters).
We are more like Saul building monuments to ourselves rather than altars to God.
We are more like Demas who deserted Paul because “he loved this world.”
We are more like Jonah in the fish’s belly or under the once-big-leafy plant, disobeying God or disgruntled with God.
We are more like Judas selling out Jesus for a few pieces of silver.
We are more like the serpent convinced that we can go against God for we “won’t certainly die.”
What will historians say about the demise of North American Christianity? They will say we no longer looked like Jesus.
They will be right.