Monday, December 29, 2008

National Association of Evangelicals: What is the point?

Recently the National Association of Evangelicals fired Richard Cizik who served as Vice President. The NAE did this because they no longer trusted Cizik to speak for them because of his advocacy of Global Warming and he seems to support government distribution of contraception as well as personally supporting Civil Unions and probably even gay marriage (what else does saying I do not “officially” support gay marriage mean?).

John Armstrong has a nice series of articles about this firing, but I think he stops short of where he should. Armstrong places the blame on the make up of the NAE a “mostly white, male and aging” group. That may be true but I do not think that is the real problem. He dislikes the older way of doing “kingdom business” and prays that it will “die off” sooner rather than later. Armstrong fails to give a new way of doing kingdom business. Clearly Armstrong dislikes the influence of James Dobson and some other in the NAE, and would rather see Cizik lead the group. Potentially because Cizik could reach those younger evangelicals that care about Greenland becoming too green and not icy enough. But is that really the problem?

I think the more basic problem is that the NAE is worthless and always has been. It has over 50 denominations as member denominations, but why? Why on earth is the PCA a part of NAE? What exactly does the PCA have in common with the Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church or the Wesleyan Church? I understand that churches should engage the culture and be active, but is becoming a glorified lobbying group the answer? That worked well for a few years when all the denominations agreed on those hot button issues, but new issues have come up such as global warming and gay marriage and certain denominations have declined in moral values and no consensus can be reached. Thus this group, the NAE, runs around Washington representing “evangelicals” and throws its political weight around like any good lobbiest does. It also manages to have internal scandals such as the Cizik affair or more prominently the Ted Haggart disaster. Haggart was caught with a male prostitute buying drugs, and then outright lied about it on TV. This man was the President of the NAE. The face of “evangelicalism”. Is it any wonder why young people hate the name “evangelical”? It is a K-Street lobbying group that has outright hypocrites leading it.

When Armstrong says he is ready for the old way of doing business to go away, I can’t agree more. However, he means detaching from the Republicans and starting to engage young people by talking about the issues they care about. I mean something else completely. I mean getting rid of the political tools and getting back to basics. Preach the gospel. Teach the gospel. Live the gospel. It is that simply.

1 Comments:

Andrew McIntyre said...

Lee,

I am convinced that any concept of an "evangelical movement" is a joke. There is no unifying doctrine or motivation. It has basically come to mean "not mainline" even while many, if not most, of the evangelical world has gone down the same road as the "mainline" denominations. The recent debacles just demonstrate the stupidity of the current leadership in the so called movement. Haggart should never have been a leader of any such organization. He was not qualified by any stretch of the imagination, other than the fact that he had a lot of rear ends in his pews. Doctrinally, he was as shallow as a rain puddle.

The Reformed would do well to disstance themselves from the sinking ship, lest they be sucked under.

Peace to you,

Andy