This collapse, will, I believe, herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian west and will change the way tens of millions of people see the entire realm of religion. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become particularly hostile towards evangelical Christianity,
seeing it as the opponent of the good of individuals and society. (Michael Spencer on the coming evangelical collapse)
Many of the evangelicals I know would agree with this statement, but such agreement is based on what they notice in the political sphere. The recent 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade has again stirred up discourse among Christians who see the continued policy of legal abortion as anti-Christian. We could also include the issue of gay marriage to the mix or perhaps other political issues that I’m completely oblivious to.
While I understand that there are important moral, ethical, and spiritual components to these issues, it seems that they are collectively serving as a red herring within the evangelical camp. Should our primary concern focus toward these issues or the framework of thought behind the issues? I’m specifically referring to the New Atheist movement as popularized by authors and cultural commentators Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens.
Their arguments against the existence of the Christian God are embraced at both scholarly and popular levels and therefore have serious influence in the sphere of public opinion. These new atheists write bestsellers, no longer relegated to the ivory towers of academia. The large bulk of their work was published between 2004 and 2007 and so Spencer’s observation about anti-Christian sentiment came from the new-formed collective embrace of a more aggressive atheism. What’s really important in this part of the “collapse conversation” is the acknowledgement that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is at stake. An abandoning of the Gospel (not conservative policy) causes negative culture shifts. Raising a generation of people who know what they believe and why they believe it is far more central to the cause of Christ than fighting in a culture war.
Christians who spend more time on Facebook reposting anti-liberal, pro-conservative sound-bites, while not ministering to young women struggling with the reality of an unplanned pregnancy or befriending a homosexual, need to ask themselves who their god really is. If we really want to see a transformed world let’s share Good News.