The Only Remedy for the Exvangelical Phenomenon

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None Of His Benefits:

Thus the Lord was moved by prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel, 2 Samuel 24:25.

Surely you have noticed the massive exit of young evangelicals from their churches. This phenomenon is real, not imagined. Since 2006 the percentage of white evangelicals has shrunk from 23% of our population to 14%.[1] Many of these people have left evangelicalism and have “deconstructed” their faith. Some have left Christianity entirely and many of these people say they are undergoing therapy for the trauma they endured for so many years. Others have moved on to progressive or “liberal” Christianity which is light on law and hell and heavy on liberal or progressive politics.

I have been concerned about this issue for many years now since I have friends whose children were brought up in evangelical churches but who have left the faith and run headlong into secularism and licentiousness. So I recently read two books which deal with this issue from a decidedly anti-evangelical position. The first book is Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Calvin University Professor of History Kristen Kobes Du Mez. The other is The Exvangelicals: Loving, Living, and Leaving the White Evangelical Church by Sarah McCammon, a national correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR).

Du Mez grew up in the Dutch Reformed tradition and attended Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. One cannot miss her infatuation with feminism and her disdain for “white, toxic masculinity and patriarchy.” To be fair, Du Mez scores some points in her scathing rebuke of evangelicalism. She cites, for example, the myriad of sex scandals which have rocked evangelicalism since the 1970’s. Men like Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard, Bill Gothard, C.J. Mahaney of the Sovereign Grace Church, and Pete Newman of Kamp Kanakuk were all in the center of these scandals. She also points out that white evangelicals were slow to get on board with the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s and almost blindly supported the war in Vietnam.

While Du Mez did not grow up in an evangelical church Sarah McCammon surely did. Her parents were converted during the “Jesus movement” of the late sixties and were faithful members of a charismatic church in Kansas City. Sarah attended a private Christian school from K through grade twelve and also attended a Christian college. McCammon says that while serving as a United States Senate Page during her senior year of high school she began to notice that those people she was told were evil (unbelievers) were actually very nice. Slowly, over several years she moved away from evangelicalism but the coup de grace for her was her coverage of Donald Trump during the 2016 election process. She was appalled at how white evangelicals were “all in” on Trump even though the man was unquestionably morally challenged.


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