Who leads? The person with their name on the sign? The person with the POSITION of responsibility?
This is the question I have been pondering lately with regards to the Church. Who is leading the Church, specifically the Evangelical Church? Is it the guy that runs the Evangelical Association, the Haggard replacer? Is it famous pastors like Hybels, Warren, Rob Bell?
To find the leader(s), I think we need to look at who is most responsible for any changes in direction or communication. Who is most influential on what we say? Who is most influential on what we do?
My first conclusion I came to for who is leading Evangelical America is Rush Limbaugh. After all, more Evangelical Christians I talk to spend more time listening to and quoting Rush than anyone else. He clearly has developed a following and clearly shapes both the action and talking points of Evangelical Christians—which is ironic, because I don’t think he would even label himself as an Evangelical Christian.
But then I began to realize that Evangelical Christianity is being led even more powerfully by someone(something) that even Rush is being led by. The almighty dollar? Perhaps that too, but something different.
The Missionary Church, of which I am licensed by is in the process of developing a document that they will (pending vote) have all pastors sign annually. In this document, they have collected their core theological affirmation, and sprinkled in a couple of hot topic items as well. In one section, labeled “The GOSPEL alone addresses our deepest human need”, the document addresses the fall of man and the need for redemption…along with our other deepest human needs of resisting abortion and our need for heterosexuality.
Now don’t get me wrong, I agree with both of those points, theologically, but it seems very strange that in a document of timeless theological statements we are seeking to sprinkle in two hot-topic issues of our day. Isn’t all sin problematic? How do we pick which sins to single out?
The answer is (obviously) because these two issues are parts of the “Liberal agenda” of our day.
Which brings me to my point. We, as Evangelical Christians, have been reduced to a reactionary state against whatever the liberal agenda puts forth. We wait, see what they bring up that we disagree with, and then we fight it.
Therefore, THE TRUE LEADERS OF EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS, the ones who determine what we communicate and what we do, ARE NOT EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS AT ALL, BUT THOSE “WE OPPOSE”.
Here’s the problem with that…my sister, Erin is a Public Relations professional. She teaches her clients to develop a message and communicate that message clearly regardless of what the interviewers may ask, or what distractions are taking place around you. You cannot let someone else hijack your vision and communication. STAY ON COURSE!
The consequence of getting off topic, ever so slightly? You may lose your identity and people will get confused as to who you truly are and what you stand for.
That is my fear for Christians today. We have lost sight of our ability to present a message of the Gospel of Grace, and instead become led into discussions of whatever comes along. PEOPLE NO LONGER KNOW WHAT WE ARE ABOUT, JUST WHAT WE ARE AGAINST.
In our (often benevolent) attempts to fight these moral battles, we have lost sight of our true Leader, our True Commission, and crippled our ability to accurately represent the love of Christ in our world.Let’s pick a new leader! Perhaps even the one in our name.