Headlines from the New York Times for Monday, December 11, 2017
Why I Can No Longer Call Myself an Evangelical Republican (This is an excerpt from an editorial by Peter Wehner.)
There are times in life when the institutional ground underneath you begins to crumble — and with it, longstanding attachments. Such is the case for me when it comes to the Republican Party and evangelicalism.
I’ve been a part of both for my entire adult life. These days, though, in many important ways they are having harmful effects on our society.
I don’t mean to imply that politics and religion are a perfect fit. Often they’re not, and over the years Christians, myself included, have not gotten the balance right. But overall I felt that the Republican Party and the evangelical movement were imperfect forces for good, and I spent a large part of my life defending them.
Yet the support being given by many Republicans and white evangelicals to President Trump and now to Mr. Moore have caused me to rethink my identification with both groups. Not because my attachment to conservatism and Christianity has weakened, but rather the opposite. I consider Mr. Trump’s Republican Party to be a threat to conservatism, and I have concluded that the term evangelical — despite its rich history of proclaiming the “good news” of Christ to a broken world — has been so distorted that it is now undermining the Christian witness.
Just the other day I received a note from a friend of mine, a pastor, who told me he no longer uses the label “evangelical” to describe himself, even though he meets every element of its historical definition, “because the term is now so stained as to ruin my ability to be what evangelicalism was supposed to be.”
Another pastor who is a lifelong friend told me, “Evangelical is no longer a word we can use.” The reason, he explained, is that it’s become not a religious identification so much as a political one. A third person, who heads a Christian organization, told me the term evangelical “is now a tribal rather than a creedal description.”
Assume you were a person of the left and an atheist, and you decided to create a couple of people in a laboratory to discredit the Republican Party and white evangelical Christianity. You could hardly choose two more perfect men than Donald Trump and Roy Moore.
Readings from Proverbs for Monday, December 11, 2017
It is easy to point a finger at leaders in government and the media. They appear to match up perfectly with the reading from Proverbs today.
Proverbs 6.12-15 – A scoundrel and a villain goes around with crooked speech, winking the eyes, shuffling the feet, pointing the fingers, with perverted mind devising evil, continually sowing discord; on such a one calamity will descend suddenly; in a moment, damage beyond repair.
At the same time, I must remember Jesus’ words and take them into my own heart.
Matthew 7.3-5 – “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.”
Prayers for Monday, December 11, 2017
Dear God, please bring integrity into public life once again.