Partisan Evangelicals and the Burning of the Mission Field

When Christians opt for political power, the gospel mission is undermined.

If the social media experiment was intended to connect and enlighten the world, it appears to have failed, and failed spectacularly. Our social connectivity has actually produced a more disconnected, isolated and polarized society. We have become more entrenched, angrier, and observably much, much dumber. Political, cultural, and—yes—theological echo chambers have only served to exhaust any semblance of critical thinking and extinguish any light for truth. Now we have two-dimensional caricature memes encrypted with sanctioned code words that are regurgitated and reprocessed as digital graffiti and online gang colors designed only to flaunt our tribal affiliation and embolden our venomous nests.

When it comes to mission, we know our sides, but we seem to understand little else.

Square in the middle of this social morass, a hefty subset of evangelicals have staked their sacred ground. The seamless convergence of cultural politics and religious identity has provided the climate for darkness to flourish with full permission from the very people who are commissioned to bring Jesus’ light. But sadly, this isn’t a new thing. This marriage of an exterior religion shrouding an interior darkness has often been recorded throughout church history in the most shameful seasons of our past. Another chapter appears to be in order.

Here is a question. What happens to the mission field when partisan evangelicals collectively turn their missionary platforms into ideological troll farms? What happens to the mission field when our highest calling is to leverage a profound cultural angst into a vitriolic nationalism? What happens to the mission field when those with whom we disagree become cultural enemies to vanquish rather …

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