Shel Boese – Anabaptists have been trying to call the church away from civil-religion jesus towards the Jesus of the Kingdom of God for 500 years. I am SO glad to hear more and more younger Evangelicals and Renewalists (Pentecostals, pentecostals, charismatics/post-charismatics) rediscover the scandal of Jesus – and push back against the Civil Religion (Mormonization and Islamization of Christianity). Pentecostals and others have often been torn between the two visions – but at their best “get” the Kingdom because of signs and wonders/mystical and aesthetic openness through prayer and worship.
I try to not define myself as much by what Im against it’s a battle. In this case I would say much of the conservative-fundamentalist evangelical world is moving toward the Mormonization or Islamization of the church – buying the civil religion theology of these religions and imposing them on the New Testament through twisting the OT/misuse – forgetting the NT modifies significantly how you read the OT.
“But in recent years, evangelicals have moved towards civil religion at a breathtaking pace. We have accepted the categories given us by the world, that we are broken down into two categories: conservatives and liberals. We are given a narrative in which these labels supersede any particulars of Christian faith as to how we understand who the people of God are in the world.
If I sound wound up about this, I’m actually not. And I certainly don’t want people who have signed up for conservative civil religion to sign up for a more liberal civil religion, because neither will bring you to the kingdom of God and thus neither will change the world. I am quite thankful for this new development, because the more we degenerate into civil religion, the more authentic Christianity can stand apart from all of the parodies. I actually think it’s a gift.
This is not an angry editorial written with clenched teeth. No, this is much friendlier. I was just in the neighborhood and wanted to roll down the window and tenderly say, ‘You do realize you people are making up a new religion, right?’ ” – Jonathan Martin