Evangelical Christians are under attack. The “War on Christmas” is underway already. But the irony is that the attack is from within, demonstrating the wisdom of Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Many of their ranks, and I think it actually is most of them, have pledged their troth to Trumpism, the figure head of which is Trump, and the rank-and-file are dug in so deep that they cannot escape…especially the illustrious “Evangelical Advisory Council” of sycophants that Trump has wrapped around himself. They suspect, in the depths of their heart, that they have really screwed up in pledging their troth to a man who is the antitheses of Jesus but, being full of “christian” ego, they cannot admit that. They, like Trump, cannot admit that they made a mistake.
Now, I don’t have a dog in this hunt. Consciously. Being an evangelical in recovery, I’m certainly grinding an ax to some degree. But, I firmly believe in the value of religion…the word comes from “re” and “ligio” which combined mean to “tie together” what had become disjointed, which is present in the etymology of the word “ligament.” And there is value in the evangelical faith as it suffices for many, and even most people in this world. We pointy-headed pseudo-intellectuals can dismiss them but we do so only out of an insidious arrogance. Truth has many levels and some approach truth on a level that can easily appear “superficial” to we “pseudo-intellectuals.” But I think God’s wisdom was presented in the wisdom of a fundamentalist radio preacher of decades ago, J. Vernon McGee who said he wanted to “put the cookies on the lower shelf so even the kiddies could reach them.” And I, being one of those “higher shelf” denizens, a “pseudo-intellectual” at best, can readily affirm the value of “the cookies” on any of the shelves. For the value lies in the cookies!
But what has happened in evangelical circles is that the “luminaries” have become intoxicated with their prominence and are more interested in maintaining their position than exploring the value, the richness, of the “cookies” that Jesus…among others…presented to us. They are those that a friend of mine, Charles Dewitt, had in mind in a poem decades ago when he described the clergy as, “You heroes of spiritual contraception who have long since despaired of rebirth.” The clergy, when they become “professional” are always tempted to relish their position and seek to increase their prominence and maintain it at all costs. This is not because they are bad people, but merely because they are people…or human, and the human ego has a deep-seated tendency to know nothing other than itself.