Power, wealth, and political influence may not be the prize that the world needs to experience. In fact, it may be the problem.
Many evangelicals instinctively believe that our culture’s access to technology has contributed to the decay of today’s moral verve. Although that may be true in a limited scope, it is more likely that today’s technology has more often served to reveal the true nature of our moral condition, rather than contributed substantively to its demise. What was once thought hidden is now, through technology, humiliatingly paraded for all to see. The sickness was always covertly cloaked amongst us. Technology simply exposed our malady and arranged for the predictable perp-walks.
Similarly, today, many bemoan the seemingly instant free fall of evangelicalism’s reputation among those it once sought to influence. In our hand-wringing, many automatically equate this collapse of public standing to the way evangelicalism appeared to have tethered itself to a disruptive and ethically challenging political campaign. With this ecclesiastical-partisan linkage firmly established, those outside were now more outside than ever. They became committed strangers with little compelling attraction to do anything but remain stalwart outsiders.
Here is the troubling question. Was this recent sacred-secular alliance actually the cause of our missionary dissonance, or was it, like morality and technology, actually an instructive event revealing the nature of our true loyalties? Has our deep distance from missionary effectiveness resulted from a recent, political moment in history or from a sustained misunderstanding of the nature of the gospel and its calling as a gospel-surrendered people?
To me, it seems apparent that it is the latter. The cavernous division between a commissioned missionary people and its mission field serves as …
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