The National Association of Evangelicals created this test to determine if you were in fact an Evangelical. Ready to play? Do you accept that;
- The Bible is the highest authority for what you believe.
- It is very important for you to personally encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.
- Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that can remove the penalty of your sin.
- Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.
What seems to be missing in this short quiz is following the example of Christ. Maybe it is implied then again maybe there is just a little bit of built-in flexibility, a loophole. One would think that words like love, compassion, and empathy would be included in this test. But instead, rather than the character of Jesus Christ we get the role, what He is good for rather than what He represents.
My biggest struggle with the Evangelical community is # 4, Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation, but I will save that rant for another day.
Now for me if there was a test to find out if you were in fact a Christian it would be your acceptance of The Beatitudes, the blessings listed by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount;
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
One of the patterns that I have noticed recently among Evangelical Christians and their vocal leadership (insert Franklin Graham) is their attachment to number eight, Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven and honestly this is why they have placed Donald Trump so high on a pedestal as their savior.
Evangelicals compare their persecution right up there with how Blacks were treated for centuries in the United States. That may sound like an exaggeration but it is in fact true. There is strength in persecution, it offers groups something to rally around. And certainly if you have followed Donald Trump for any period time you know he loves playing the persecution card himself, “The real story is that President Obama did NOTHING after being informed in August about Russian meddling. With 4 months looking at Russia under a magnifying glass, they have zero “tapes” of T people colluding. There is no collusion & no obstruction. I should be given apology!”
In my opinion, mainstream Christianity in America looks nothing like Jesus. According Sojourners magazine, “Christians in America have largely supported measures that have rejected refugees, refused aid to immigrants, cut social services to the poor, diminished help for the sick, fueled xenophobia, reinforced misogyny, ignored racism, stoked hatred, reinforced corruption, and largely increased inequality, prejudice, and fear.” In short, embraced Donald Trump as the new face of American Christianity.
I believe Evangelical Christians are headed down a slippery slope with their undying loyalty to our President. If they truly accept that there will be a day of reckoning, a day that they will have to answer for their time here on earth I wonder how they will account for the persecutions they were a party too? The persecution of the LGBTQ community. The persecution of refugees and immigrants. The persecution of the poor. The persecution of people of color and other faiths. Maybe that is the loophole they are counting on.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”