Culture and Christ has posted a very interesting read by author/teacher S. Micheal Craven giving his perspective on a highly publicized article which claimed Christian evangelicalism will inevitably “collapse”.
Its interesting in the context of the many end time events, personalities and spiritual trending away from God that we have discussed on GCM Watch at one point or another. Its important to note, from my understanding there is a distinction to be noted here. Although the claim is that evangelicalism will fall, the [true] church will stand until such time the Lord himself returns to catch us away (1 Thessalonians 4). The church of Christ isn’t immune from threat, but is indestructible (Matt 16:18) because it’s founded and rooted in Christ himself. The church cannot fail or collapse unless Christ does.
Evangelicalism is defined by David Bebbington (per Wikipedia) as a confluence of four distinct aspects namely conversionism, activism, biblicism, and crucicentrism. If this is true and applicable about evangelicalism, then what Michael Spencer is predicting with in a decade essentially that these perspectives and methodologies will fracture to such a degree, it will drastically alter religion –and culture– in the West.
In the article, Craven argues that given some of the astonishing events we’ ve witnessed in the last six months to a year, it certainly adds a level of credence to Spencer’s claims.
I don’t think anyone could have imagined the dramatic social, political, and economic changes that have unfolded in the last six months, changes that have shaken many of our most basic assumptions. The defeat of same-sex marriage (SSM) in California, followed by the legalization of SSM in conservative midwestern Iowa, reminds us that the battle to redefine marriage is far from over. The rapid and massive extension of government power suddenly threatens our most basic individual liberties. Growing segments of the American populace are being seduced by Marxist-socialistic ideas and schemes. Emboldened hostility toward religion—as in the case of Connecticut, in which lawmakers put forth legislation to “reorganize” the Catholic church—and an unprecedented economic disaster have all combined, making proclamations of collapse credible, giving credence to Spencer’s opening statement.
Craven also acknowledges that some Christians sense something is off the mark. We may not have all the answers, but there are signs all around us that say warning, warning, the church is veering off course.
Perhaps on center stage in the realization that something is wrong, is the growing cancer of biblical illiteracy among average Christians. It seems another “dark age” is creeping upon us as more and more people either reject the authority of scripture or simply fail to study to show themselves approved. Others limit their primary knowledge of Christ and scripture to a Sunday morning sermon by a pastor they hardly know.
Craven cited that same thing as a clear sign that we are veering off course.
In 2001, researcher George Barna warned, “The Christian body in America is immersed in a crisis of biblical illiteracy.” According to Barna’s research, the most widely known “Bible verse” among adult and teen believers is “God helps those who help themselves.” Seriously!
Less than one out of every ten believers possess a biblical worldview, meaning practically that 90 percent of professing Christians neither comprehend or know how to apply the most basic Christian theological understanding to their lives. (Among young adults ages 18-23, it’s less than one percent.)
We talked about several of Barna’s highly publicized surveys on GCM Watch. One, where Barna almost praised gay christians and their alleged relationship with Christ. That was disturbing. Another where Barna claimed 54% of African American Christian believe Jesus sinned while on earth. Equally disturbing.
But what is the answer? If we are veering off course, where will we end up and what do you believe are solid solutions to getting us back to where we belong.