The globalization of culture, ideology, and religion has effected every crevice of the contemporary world, from how we interact with each other, to how we dress, to what music we listen to, and ultimately, what we believe. Christianity is no different from the rest of the world insofar that it has also been impacted by the massive expansion of the technological glass ceiling and blossomed within the international communication now enjoyed by the masses. But, like most of Western society, globalization has also provided some negative influences to Christendom, particularly in the realm of evangelical Christianity.
With the recent condemnation of the alt-right movement by the Southern Baptist Convention in June 2017, it is necessary to analyze the modern evangelical landscape and consider what type of social teaching it actually stands. Such a survey is difficult to do, however, provided that evangelicalism is a movement encompassing an extremely diverse variety of Christians. For the sake of clarity, this article will define the term “evangelical” as a Protestant who believes that evangelism is the primary duty of the Christian religion.
The heart of evangelicalism is compassion, typically for those who are less fortunate than those residing in first world countries. This compassion leads evangelical to accomplish feats such as providing astounding amounts of humanitarian aid to needy people or rallying together to support common causes. But it has also begun to lead evangelicals into social liberalism insofar that many within the mainline Protestant churches are taught to “accept,” “tolerate,” and “love” individuals despite their political, religious, or cultural background and affiliation. This is a tenant that contributed to the SBC’s rejection of the alt-right, as linked above.
While historically there has been a recognizable divide between liberal-mainline denominations and fundamentalist denominations, the differences are readily becoming non-existent when it comes to social issues such as multiculturalism and immigration. Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, writes that “the Christian response to immigrant communities in the United States cannot be ‘You kids get off of my lawn,'” and that mass immigration should be welcomed in the name of combating “bigotry and harassment and exploitation.” Moore clearly lacks any significant understanding regarding the extremely political parameters of Islam as a religion of geographical conquest.
Baptist, Church of Christ/God, Pentecostal, non-denominational congregationalists, and other Protestant sects that have a significant history in the American world all share a single thing in common: when you walk into one of these churches, you don’t know what you’re going to get. The Baptist church on 2nd Ave. may hold very traditional services sing hymns, and fill the pews with middle aged white men while the Baptist church around the block is extremely charismatic, un-ritualistic, and filled with dancing and shouting black men and women. The culture war that permeates the political and social fabric of the United States is also deeply rooted in American fundamentalism, and as such, many evangelicals have unwittingly adopted a form of multiculturalist globalism that seeks to create an enormous cesspool of traditions and cultures.
There is perhaps no greater example of this tendencny in the evangelical world other than the ceremonial celebration of “Passover,” typically used to relate themselves to the ancient Jews during the time of pre-Christian Judaism; however, such practices reveal that they are not only for theological understanding, for the Eucharist has traditionally been accredited as the continuance of the Passover Feast, but in an attempt to adopt other cultures into their own. In addition to the integration of Jewish culture into the contemporary Christian landscape, members of evangelical Christianity have also sought a type of synergetic, multi-faceted form of minimalistic faith the requires only a bare-bones subscription to be considered “in the loop.”
Rooted in all of this, however, is the deeply rooted conviction of compassion. Those within the tradition of evangelical Christianity feel compassion for refugees and minorities and inferior cultures, and believe that by welcoming these with open arms that they are somehow doing the work of God. True compassion, however, is protecting your homeland, preserving your lineage, and promoting unity in your nation, which is only possible of national identities are in defended and recognized. This is what evangelicals fail to miss.
But hey, be my guest. Invite massive numbers of immigrants into the United States that are fundamentally at odds with our culture. The only possible route for evangelical Christianity to support immigration and simultaneously maintain a healthy understanding of compassion will be to enforce proper assimilation on refugees, but the rallying cry for such a cause has yet to be heard.