A conversation starter on Christian triumphalism: The Problem with Mount Carmel Moments

August 31, 2012

Here is an item I scanned from a blog devoted to “modern pagans.” Since I have had so much luck getting readers to patiently think things through, I figured, why not take one more shot at it.

I absolutely disagree with the blogger’s religion but I think makes a few points about Evangelical triumphalism. Put plainly, American Evangelicals think that they are the majority religion (a premise that doesn’t hold up, of course) so they can impose Christianity on everybody else, and and the defeated classes will either come to like it, or leave. That’s really making short-order of a complex mindset, but you get the picture.

Where I live, in Mike Huckabee’s home state of Arkansas, people who are religiously conservative run the show. Heck, by all appearances, I am one of those conservative Christians. As an orthodox Christian with a high view of scripture I agree with much of the religions right’s religion. But that ends with their pig-headed determination to use government to enforce a theistic state.

Religiously conservative Christians tend to be shockingly naive when it comes to politics. It is as if once they win the culture war, all those Jews, atheists, Mormons, Buddhists, Roman Catholics, agnostics, social liberals, and other “soft” Christians will just close up shop and go away. This is full of irony because the instrument of reform is the same dreaded federal government they typically love to hate. The other irony is that they explicitly forget that they might someday face a Pharoah such as the genocidal tyrant in Exodus 1, a ruler who did not know Joseph.

Many Evangelicals refuse to accept the tension of living in the “already but not yet.” Readers of the New Testament know that the Kingdom is already here, but not in full. Jesus reigns, but not in the earthly national realm. Not yet. Instead of living out the virtues that would make Christianity so attractive that pagans would have to give it a look, lots of us do everything we can to make us look like a bunch of ignorant knuckle-heads.

So, disagreeing with the pagan worldview, I do think there is some merit in this post. Perhaps you might use it as a conversation starter.

The Problem with Mount Carmel Moments.

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