Religion and politics are again at the forefront of this year’s presidential race. Yet, in this campaign, self-described evangelicals don’t seem as concerned as they once were about a candidate’s personal faith. Otherwise, more of them might support the openly Christian candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, rather than Donald Trump, whose familiarity with the Bible, not to mention the lifestyle it recommends, places him among biblical illiterates.
At the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, I participated in a forum called “God and Politics,” along with SBTS president R. Albert H. Mohler Jr. The forum was packed. It was also civil, respectful and non-confrontational and many in attendance wished it could be the norm.
Dr. Mohler noted that “God and Politics” wasn’t meant to be “either/or,” and he was right. Christians have the freedom, he said, even the obligation, to speak to leadership and culture from a biblical viewpoint. Right again, but my main point was that in an increasingly secular society, conservative Christians must find a better way to make their message heard, if they hope to prevail, especially on social issues. To quote a biblical passage they should be “wise as serpents, but harmless as doves.”
The difficulty facing conservative Christians today is revealed in research conducted by the Barna Group, a leading research organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture. In a survey published in August 2015, Barna found that: “While the United States remains shaped by Christianity, the faith’s influence — particularly as a force in American politics and culture — is slowly waning. An increasing number of religiously unaffiliated, a steady drop in church attendance, the recent Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, and the growing tension over religious freedoms all point to a larger secularizing trend sweeping across the nation.”
To underscore its findings, Barna reported that between 2013 and 2015, “the percentage of Americans who qualify as ‘post-Christian’ rose by seven percentage points,” from 37 percent to 44 percent.
This article continues at [The Stream] In a Secular Society, Christians Must Find a Better Way to Get Out Our Message