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Surge Summary: The decision to shut God and biblical truths out of American public life is hardly a “neutral” one as so many claim. It is every bit as much a religious decision as the nation’s overtly favoring a specific religious alternative. Christians must engage society and influence every part of national life.
by David Lane
Anthony Tyrone ‘Tony’ Evans [born 1949] is an American pastor, speaker, author, and widely syndicated radio and television broadcaster. He earned a BA at Carver College in 1972, a Th.M. in 1976, and a Th.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1982.
Over 40 years ago, Dr. Evans founded the Christian Bible teaching and resource ministry The Urban Alternative [TUA]. TUA’s current activities include radio programs, television, internet, social media, and conferences. Millions of individuals experience The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans through the daily radio broadcast playing on nearly 1,400 radio outlets and in over 130 countries.
Dr. Evans has served as the senior pastor at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX, for over 40 years. Since he and his wife Lois launched the non-denominational church in 1976 with 10 members meeting at their home, they have witnessed its growth to now over 10,000 congregants with 100 plus ministries.
In 2021 Dr. Evans delivered a powerful message at the National Religious Broadcaster’s Convention under the title God is Shaking Things Up. He began his message by sharing his 3-year struggle with the loss of a sister, brother, brother-in-law, and father, and, in late 2019, of his wife of 50 years, Lois.1
He then turned to the culture and said: “The white church has become too Republican. Too many have wrapped our faith in the American flag, and when you go for a nationalistic faith you have contaminated the gospel. Not because you’re Republican, but because you’ve now made the nation subject to the wrong Kingdom, instead of the nation having to adjust to our King and His Kingdom.
“But the black church has become idolatrous too because what we have done, we have wrapped blackness in cultural identity. So we have often been more black than Biblical. We have decided that our color can trump Christ and so we will endorse a political party who will endorse evil, say nothing about the evil of abortion, the evil of homosexuality, [and] the evil misuse of government because of a race issue.
“God doesn’t ride the backs of donkeys or elephants. He sits as King of Kings. He sits as Lord of Lords.”2
To this we respond with a full-hearted Amen!
In line with Dr. Evans’ proclamation, it once again needs emphasizing that there is nothing inherently good or bad about the Democrat Party or the Republican Party. Nothing more than Civics 101, both are simply holding vessels where like-minded constituents are housed. Yet, the shape of the current culture and American Christendom’s piddling influence on it are the dire consequence of a theological disconnect where Christian leaders, in the words of Dr. Peter J. Leithart, seemingly join “academic theologians who have never been engaged in any political struggle more serious than annual departmental budget battles.”
The cultural war is not about donkeys and elephants. Far from it. It is about two distinct religions – godless secularism and Biblical Christianity – that are advocating different creeds and directions as they vie for ideological supremacy and civic control of the ideas and values of culture.
Ignorance as well as credulousness is required to accept as true the false idea that America’s current civil religion – secularism – can be regarded as “neutral”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not believing in God is every bit of a religious decision as believing in God. Having the Bible as the principal component of contemporary public education – as America’s Founders intended – is every bit of a religious decision as the 20th-century Warren Court’s [1953-1969] ban on prayer to Jehovah in public schools in 1962, and the eradication of the Bible from public education in 1963.
In his excellent 1 & 2 Kings Commentary, Dr. Peter J. Leithart observes that “It is debatable that the framers of the American Constitution envisioned a secular state, the First Amendment has come to be understood as a protection of all religious belief, though not necessarily a protection of religious behavior [e.g., polygamy is not a protected religious behavior].
“According to contemporary interpretations of the First Amendment, it makes no social and political difference what people believe. They can worship a thousand gods or none, they can worship Yahweh or Allah or Jesus, and it has absolutely no public consequences.
“All can live in harmony and peace despite our religious differences because the sacred canopy overarching all our particular religious commitments is a commitment to the American civil religion, a religion to which all Americans adhere.”
Time will tell whether the 2023 Asbury Revival was a movement of God or a subjective human artifact. But it is certainly this type of activity of the Spirit moving across high school and college campuses that will lead to personal repentance, spiritual awakening, and rebirth desperately needed among Millennials [those born from 1980 to 1994], Gen Z [born 1995 to 2009], and Gen Alpha [2010-2024].
The film Jesus Revolution is now playing in theatres everywhere. It depicts the Christian awakening that began among hippies on the West Coast in the late 1960s. We encourage you to go and see it. Here is the trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=07eXfF6Zw44
Since politics is downstream from culture, every church in America should be prompting a pastor, deacon, elder, or congregant to run for local office in 2024, 2026, 2028, and thereafter. And by that, spreading the “leaven of Heaven” all across the nation as the countermeasure against the blasphemous barrage of godless secularism.
Biblical Christianity will have to move out of the church building and return to the public square if we are to make it through. Nonetheless, there is much to be grateful for as Gideons and Rahabs are entering the public square.
American Renewal Project
The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge.
Image: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/; Dean Hochman; https://www.flickr.com/photos/deanhochman/16064489288/
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