01 July 2008

Another addendum on evangelicals as a voting bloc

by Phil Johnson

ere's someone else who evidently disagrees with my opposition to transforming the evangelical movement into a political lobby:

Brian McLaren, a former pastor who spent 24 years in the pulpit and is now an informal adviser to the Obama campaign, believes that a significant portion of evangelical voters are ready to break from their traditional home in the the Republican Party and take a new leap of faith with Obama.

"I think there's a very, very sizable percentage—I think between a third and half—of evangelicals, especially younger [evangelicals], who are very open to somebody with a new vision," McLaren said.

I'm inclined to think McLaren's numbers are inflated ("between a third and half of evangelicals" voting for Obama)—unless you take George Barna's and Christianity Today's broad and fairly meaningless definitions of what constitutes an "evangelical." But I'm quite sure McLaren is right that the tide is turning, especially among younger churchgoers. No wonder. Evangelicals have been doing practically everything but teaching doctrine for the past 50 years—ranging from entertaining themselves to picketing Disney. So it's no surprise at all if the generation Brian McLaren appeals to most wants to look for deeper meaning in Obama's notions of "justice."

Phil's signature


Matt said...

That just undergirds my belief that the way to correct error is to return to biblical norms, not to create an equal but opposite error.

Thanks for the series on Christians and politics, Phil. It's been extremely helpful.

Mike said...

(Jer 6:16) Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

chris said...

If Brian McLaren were to offer me his support for my political campaign, I would politely refuse. Since McLaren's discernment about Scripture is so far off, I'd hate to think what that would say about my campaign.

Troy said...

I had a discussion tis past winter with a major so-called evangelical leader and he talked of moving beyond such topics as abortion and gay rights to the environment, etc. (think Evangelical Manifesto) I love the environment (I guess), but how can anyone calling themselves "Christian" support a Prez candidate who is even further left of NARAL on abortion? We deserve an Obama presidency -- God help us.

NothingNewUnderTheSun said...

If there is two things you can be certain of, Obama/Mclaren will use christian terminology to expand secularism and the influence of eastern religious practices within the US.

Obama will be recieving a pagan golden idol of the Hindu god Hanuman from India as a token of appreciation since he keeps a small version of this idol in his pocket as a good luck charm.

news article@

Picture of pagan good luck charm from Obama's pocket:


Rick Frueh said...

Let us see the broader perspective, not just that MacLaren is playing in the wrong mud.

I like what Matt said in his opening statement. Our weapons are not carnal, and combating carnality is not attacking it with a more sanctified carnality.

As Maclaren and Warren et al become more open to "liberal" politics the "other side" will claim God's side, entrench futher, and waste time being responsive to the other side.

Our call to "political activism" is the gospel.

***I did notwish to disappoint you, Dan!*** :)

wfseube said...

Well, at least McLaren and Wallis have crawled out from behind their smokescreen and are showing their true leftist political colors now. Their charade was pretty thin to start with.

No surprise on this one.

candyinsierras said...

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.-George Santayana

It is interesting to note what leaders in the past have advocated change, especially during times of economic downturns, as vulnerable people find ways to maintain a footing in their lifestyle and economic status.

Just look at the history of Germany. Economic Depression, people disillusioned due to WW1, and a young charismatic man promising change.

It is also interesting how many German churches supported that young man.

Another interesting aspect is that one of the major platforms in National Socialism in Germany at that time was environmentalism. A German zoologist named Ernest Haeckel coined the term ecology in 1867. He was also one of the major voices in Germany for Darwin and the theory of evolution. In the environmental movement in Germany, which incidentally wedded naturalism and nationalism, much was blamed on the urban industrial civilization created (in their minds) by the Jewish people.

Traditions ~ 2 thess.2:15 said...

I have to admit it is easier to start a conversation these days with a political question about who's fault it is the Gasoline is so exspensive.$$$ I have the answer,but this is not about politics.You guys know it's harder for most of us to tell a person in public about Jesus Christs Gospel and that we know Him not to mention that they are lost hell bound sinners.
Thats why sometimes( more often than not)I use tracts.Don't laugh Hudson Taylor was saved, reading a tract, I read.And in my first 26 lost sinful years,No One told me about Jesus Christ, if not cursing. Or gave me a tract.I have been told Abortion is political by churches and others.I will not believe it until they give the unborn babys the vote and a way to do so, which we all know is ridiculious.Jesus told us

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

I believe Jesus gives saving babys from bloody murder while we are preaching the Gospel a huge priority. also I would not think much of anyone that did not at least make an effort to stop the holocaust.

Does a Christian defending the innocent from an evil death give testimony to a difference in their life?

Really it is obvious most Americans do not really care about the aborted babys. If you doubt that count the dead bodies.

A glimmer of hope, God's Judgement may be close and maybe the Lords Jesus Christs return closer.
God Help America

Charles Coty said...

Seems to me that the answer is always, "Jesus Christ's return is closer." It's been "closer" for the last 1,800 years. This is half the issue.

Christians have willingly taken themselves out of the game by accepting defeat as though it's God ordained. When will we wake up and realize that without a sound hermeneutical approach we will continue to languish in these expectations of failure. A self-fulfilling prophecy is more like it.

In a very little while He who is coming will come and will not delay." Heb 10:37 Audience relevance would go a long way.

Will said...

Great post. VERY important stuff. Thanks.

BTW, next time Barna does a study, if the respondant says they are voting for Obama, they need to be dropped out of the "evangelical" catagory.

NothingNewUnderTheSun said...

Mclaren stated that evangelical's want a new vision that “isn't focused on traditional social issues like abortion and gay marriage but more on efforts to end global warming and the war in Iraq.”

Does anyone else think it's very telling that Mclaren doesn't want to focus on abortion and gay marriage, which are both obvious sins. He rather focus on global warming and the Iraq war which are both debatable (and political), but maybe that’s his point, he rather have a ‘conversation’ then confront sin.

We all know that 'sin' is such a conversation killer anyway.