Artificial Intelligence in the Bible (Part One)

For sure, God has a Plan and the creative human being fits in it.
The Elohim has given man the possibility to use his brains to create new things, even things that can be faster than any man. Man loves to play for god and wants to be in control of everything. But he can be very mistaken.

He would love to see the potential for human engineering that could extend human life by hundreds of years and eventually lead to unending physical life (immortality) but such a thing is impossible because everything is connected with its “end”. There is the “fatigue” and “erosion” of things, and man himself is limited by his own mortality, which he cannot surpass, even not with his inventions or creative works (look at the artworks and constructions of previous generations).

GraceLife Blog

Do we find Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Bible? I believe we do. The objective of this new series is to see the role AI plays in the eternal plan of God.


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Looking at behaviourism of living beings

Researcher, Writer, Artist, Musician, Composer, Web Publisher, Web Designer, Content Manager and Social Media Manager, SoundEagle is not afraid to step in the footprints of the speculative realms of philosophy and the analytic spheres of science, making us to think about different matters.

His latest post entitled “😱 We have Paleolithic Emotions; Medieval Institutions; and God-like Technology 🏰🚀” is a special tribute to the American biologist recognised as the world’s leading authority on ants, E.O. Wilson, in full Edward Osborne Wilson, (born June 10, 1929, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S. — died December 26, 2021, Burlington, Massachusetts), who was also the foremost proponent of sociobiology, the study of the genetic basis of the social behaviour of all animals, including humans.

SoundEagle writes

How sad it is to learn that the eminent scientist and writer Edward O Wilson has passed away on Boxing Day! Needless to say, we shall continue to remember the enormous contributions and miss the presence of a truly great human being. Had he lived for another ten years, perhaps another two or three books could have materialized. Of all the scientists and writers who have passed away in my lifetime, his departure is of the most profound loss for me. {We have Paleolithic Emotions; Medieval Institutions; and God-like Technology}

Damage to his depth perception as a result of a childhood eye injury, and the onset of partial deafness during his adolescence, precluded Wilson from pursuing his interest in ornithological fieldwork, but did not stop him to go in-depth into the behaviourism of living beings

Several conservative Christians did not want to hear that the essentially biological principles on which animal societies are based also apply to humans. [Find more about that in Wilson’s second major work, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975)]. Wilson maintained that as little as 10 percent of human behaviour is genetically induced, the rest being attributable to the environment.

When we want to “Look at this World” it is important to take all different views and matters into account.

Since ancient times, man has tried to be master of himself, but also of his surroundings, the plant and animal world and other people around him.

When dealing with others, various factors play a role, such as feelings and perceptions of immediate events, together with previous experiences. As the years of experience go by, a person will deal with certain situations differently.

The more experience you have, the more easily you can distance yourself from your emotions in order to analyse events. It is this experience and education that man knows how to convert into the formation of new images that can evoke further reactions.

The tricky part of human development is that he has to learn to channel everything and learn to form the right reactions to the images he perceives. And this is not always possible, which can cause conflicts. This is exacerbated when the person in question is driven more by emotions than by common sense, but also by influencing factors, because no matter how you look at it, man has still not succeeded in working himself free from the others around him.

For many it may sound harsh, but for most people it is primarily about “themselves” and around themselves. For most, the self (the “me” and “I”) is first and foremost about placing oneself in the environment and determining how that “self” will react to the environment around it.

One of the problems of the human race today is that the majority of people have drifted very far from the primal man connected to nature. Many have severed their ties with Mother Nature and therefore lack the natural provisions of behaviour and relationships. Because of their disconnection from nature, mankind has become unbalanced.

Throughout history, which is constantly repeating itself, because many people do not know this history sufficiently well and therefore do not learn from the mistakes of others, many people fall into the same trap and allow themselves to be carried away by their emotional reactions, dramatic reactions or reactive attitudes provoked by environmental factors and the inability to keep themselves under emotional control.

We can see that over the years the same errors of thought have regularly been made, or insufficient attempts have been made to investigate matters further and deeper in all serenity. We also see that many have been misled by others or have relied on erroneous reports, claims and/or arguments, as a result of which erroneous actions have been committed.

Sound Eagle writes:

Emotive rather than analytic delivery of a message is an age-old phenomenon. As highly interactive and social animals, human beings have long learnt to engineer or exploit many of their quotations and statements to efficaciously press the emotional buttons of their peers, readers and audiences for the purpose of eliciting emotive reactions, dramatic responses or reactive stances in order to deliver an idea, to drive home some issue, or to incite certain action via the emotional rapport or resonance in positive cases, or via the emotional disgust or agitation in negative cases, all the more so with respect to sensitive, controversial or provocative matters.

Emotional reaction or emotive impulse can indeed get the better of those who either fail to recognize appeal to emotion as a formal fallacy (also called logical fallacy, deductive fallacy or non sequitur), or neglect to moderate their feelings, emotional states or reactions as a result of being persuaded or stimulated by some emotion-based claim or argument carried by a quotation or statement, especially if the claim or argument is fallacious (based on a mistaken belief), biased (unfairly prejudiced for or against someone or something), misleading (giving the wrong idea or impression), or misguided (having faulty judgement or reasoning). {We have Paleolithic Emotions; Medieval Institutions; and God-like Technology}

We know that inductive reasoning is common in science, where data are collected and tentative models are developed to describe and predict future behaviour — until the appearance of anomalous data forces the model to be revised. Deductive reasoning is common in mathematics and logic, where elaborate structures of irrefutable theorems are built up from a small set of basic axioms and rules.

Emotions fuelling biases and flaring opinions can be seen as a major, volatile contributor to innumerable social flashpoints, cultural minefields and ideological infernos, where truths become victims and martyrs. The quality of news, information, journalism, public discourse and social life as well as politics and governance have been adversely impacted by Hype, Bias and Affect, thus negatively affecting democracy, civil society, civic activism, legitimate journalism and the world at large. In particular, the ease and frequency with which countless people from all walks of life readily or unreservedly slip into the cacophony of opinions and partialities in flagrant disregard for factuality and fairness have indubitably pointed to a deep-seated aspect of Homo sapiens. The perennial predilection for drama and the persistent preoccupation with emotion are part and parcel of (the (eu)social world inhabited by) the human species, simultaneously constituting the defining strength and the Achilles’ heel of the naked ape, insofar as large swathes of the human population have been held captive by biologically-based psychological states — the neurophysiological edifices that have been holding sway over much of humanity and showing no sign of abatement through the ages, whilst being magnified by institutional and technological advancements. {We have Paleolithic Emotions; Medieval Institutions; and God-like Technology}

So much has come over mankind and is still happening in this world today, that man as a way of protection selects what he wants to hear and how he wants to hear it, also to decide himself how to react to those things that pass his eyes and ears. Often, man does not mind letting his mind wander around.

Humanity today is like a waking dreamer, caught between the fantasies of sleep and the chaos of the real world. The mind seeks but cannot find the precise place and hour. We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology. We thrash about. We are terribly confused by the mere fact of our existence, and a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life.
The annoying thing is that when confronted with ourselves, we get very bored or annoyed and start reacting negatively to others. Sometimes we notice too late that we have reacted wrongly and then make an attempt to repair the damage. But sadly enough, we frequently have to conclude that this will not work.
Undoubtedly, the emotional realm and journey of humanity have been fraught with recurring problems, many of which are being exacerbated by escalating issues confronting present-day societies and the contemporary world. {We have Paleolithic Emotions; Medieval Institutions; and God-like Technology}
It are those people who are the ones who can simultaneously detach and wallow in emotional feelings and thoughts, who by playing with them, gain the ability to master those emotional feelings and to be creative with them and manage thereby to create works of art in one form or another.
Yet, regardless of how great and prodigious such human achievements have been, that “we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology” is a succinct, sombre and down-to-earth reminder that genetic evolution endowing humans with their emotional faculty …. cannot be consistently counted on to recognize and rein in the excesses and repercussions of Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic causing Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity, and in turn stressing or degrading the integrity, resilience and social responsibility of individuals, institutions and technology. {We have Paleolithic Emotions; Medieval Institutions; and God-like Technology}
writes SoundEagle.
replies on his article:

it makes perfect sense that our Paleolithic emotions are only able to foster medieval institutions, and yet hard science permits our situation to become increasingly unbalanced by providing us with god like technology.

Why do soft sciences (centered upon psychology) fail?
I think because the social tool of morality counters the ability of scientists to formally acknowledge our hedonistic nature. Our evolved moral notions instead encourage us to function altruistically — hedonists are characterized as the enemy! Thus without a solid founding premise from which to build we remain unable to develop effective models of how to lead our lives and structure our societies. But don’t count science out! This business should get figured out in coming decades. As our mental and behavioral sciences harden up we should gain theory from which to harness the extreme power that our technology brings.

Even though man is trying to create and control machines with artificial intelligence, it is striking that these robots can only be fed with the ideas of these people and with their ability to react, whereby the computer will be able to make certain choices much more quickly and will thus be able to surpass man at times.
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Additional reading

  1. Inner feeling, morality and Inter-connection with creation
  2. Shared inheritance plus integral and integrating vision
  3. An A-Z for a world which has to change.
  4. The self and the other in times of insecurity
  5. Broken daily routines
  6. Blossoming and healing the planet

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Related

  1. Muere a los 92 años el biólogo estadounidense Edward Osborne Wilson, “el heredero natural de Darwin”
  2. 9th February – The Origins of Creativity
  3. Give the gift of Half-Earth | E.O. Wilson
  4. In the Antarctic: Stories of Scott’s Last Expedition :: Frank Debenham
  5. Sociology
  6. Are we turning into some kind of social weirdos?
  7. My Take On Collective Social Behaviour
  8. Emotion, Cooperation and Locomotion Crucial from an Early Age
  9. Self Esteem And Social Behaviour Among Undergraduate Students
  10. Fake It ‘Till You Make It? University of Ottawa Study Finds It’s Better to Live In the Emotional Moment
  11. We were Pleistocene Predators
  12. Five Human Species You May Not Have Heard Of
  13. Why paleolithic is with it
  14. Eugenics, Transhumanism, and Artificial Intelligence | Mind Matters
  15. Meta’s new learning algorithm can teach AI to multi-task
  16. Azure AI fundamentals in a nutshell
  17. AI to Predict Life Expectancy

Hope For, But Not In, Evangelicalism

Many North American Evangelicals have shown the world how they want to be more involved in the world of politicians than to be part of the world where the heart and mind are, with Jesus Christ.

Official White House presidential portrait. Head shot of Trump smiling in front of the U.S. flag, wearing a dark blue suit jacket with American flag lapel pin, white shirt, and light blue necktie.
Official portrait, 2017of the 45th president of the U.S.A., Donald John Trump

For some years now, it has been clear to the outside world that the United States of America is struggling with a major problem for the practice of its religion. The evangelical community, in particular, has repeatedly been let down by pastors who have chosen to praise and recommend certain politicians to their believers, as if they were the only true and honest politicians who would be in line with the idea of faith and who would also defend that faith. Even when the 45th President of the U.S.A. took the Bible in hand to commit sacrilege, those evangelical preachers stood by their idol.

An unbelievable number of evangelicals have allowed themselves to be stirred up by that self-willed President to even go to war for their country and attack the Capitol. They went at it with brute force and the whole world could see how they went mad and acted like animals. Anything but an example of how a Christian should behave.

That 2021 January 6th will forever be a blot on the white evangelical network.

American pastor and current PhD candidate in Theological Ethics at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland Jared Stacy researches the intersection of theology and political conspiracies in the history of American Evangelicalism and wrote some interesting articles on this. He also in 2020-21 was processing his decision to leave Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Va., where he was ministering to young parishioners in their 20s and 30s until November 2020.

But in the four years since he had joined the church as a pastor, Stacy had found himself increasingly up against an invisible, powerful force taking hold of members of his congregation: conspiracy theories, disinformation and lies.

Stacy has seen the real consequences of these lies build up over the years; he says it has tainted the name of his faith.

“If Christians in America are serious about helping people see Jesus and what he’s about and what he claims, then the label ‘evangelical’ is a distraction because it bears, unfortunately, the weight of a violence,”

he told NPR.

“I would not use that term because of its association with Jan. 6.”

That’s the day the U.S. Capitol was attacked and invaded by a violent mob driven by what’s commonly known as “the big lie”: that President Biden wasn’t legitimately elected. The rioters moved toward the Capitol following a rally held by then-President Donald Trump, during which he repeated that big lie. Rioters say they were compelled to stop Congress’ certification of Biden’s election, which was happening at that time at the Capitol. {Disinformation Fuels A White Evangelical Movement. It Led 1 Virginia Pastor To Quit}

Trump had so convincingly spoken to his fellow Americans that 3 in 5 white evangelicals say Biden was not legitimately elected. But that idea was fed by evangelical pastors who from the cancel also presented such lies. From Europe we could see how Donald Trump spread his poison and how certain evangelist preachers helped him to do so.

Among them is Pastor Ken Peters, who founded the Patriot Church in Knoxville, Tenn., last year.

“I believe that right now we have an illegitimate president in the White House and he was not elected by the people,”

Peters told NPR.

“I believe the truly ‘We the People’-elected, should-be president is residing in Florida right now.” {Disinformation Fuels A White Evangelical Movement. It Led 1 Virginia Pastor To Quit}

On its website, the Patriot Church is described as a movement:

“a church interceding on behalf of her nation.”

That movement has a name: Christian nationalism. Some conservative evangelical circles have incubated and spread these kinds of conspiracy theories — some of which have led to violence – for years. {Disinformation Fuels A White Evangelical Movement. It Led 1 Virginia Pastor To Quit}

The big problem America is facing today is that politics and religion have become totally intertwined and many evangelical churches have chosen to play the political game of the rulers.

Jared Stacy a.o. wrote:

American culture is predisposed towards the worship of great men defined by Western culture. Look no further than VP Mike Pence’s speech at last year’s GOP convention where he equated American patriots with Christian sainthood using Hebrews 11. It is a vision marked by a certain heroic strain, one that forces Jesus to play by its rules.  {Not So Biblical Manhood}

Jared Stacy calls 2021 January 6th a theological event. {January 6: A Failed Apocalypse} For him it is clear that

January 6th was more than a failed political coup. It was a failed theological apocalypse.{January 6: A Failed Apocalypse}

He looks at what he calls

failed theology at the heart of the violence.

and says

Calling this theology “evangelical” ignores the majority of the world’s evangelical Christians existing outside the United States, who have nothing to do with the sort of theo-political views that fueled the violence that day. But inside the house of American evangelicalism, where I come from, it’s equally ignorant to use the No-True-Scotsman to disown the mob and deny the distinct American evangelical influence among them.

We can wonder how far that evangelical influence went. To what extent did evangelical preachers contribute to stirring up the crowd against the legal power and infrastructure of the United States?

According to Stacy for too long, evangelicals have acted in ways that betray Jesus while arguing they are actually loyal to Jesus.

In the name of culture war victory, evangelicals have lost our integrity and with it our ability to make plain the gospel hidden in our name. {Our Evangelical Betrayal}

He continues

For evangelicals, this betrayal has taken many forms:

whether a cultish loyalty to Trump in defense of “our Christian nation”, or a reticence to deal with homefront failures on race and abuse in the name of “church unity”, or our reduction of a pro-life ethic to supporting a political platform. We argue these betrayals are actually displays of loyalty, just like  Henry [King Henry V] ’s traitorous advisor. {Our Evangelical Betrayal}

Then-presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a worship service at the International Church of Las Vegas on Oct. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas.
Then-presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a worship service at the International Church of Las Vegas on Oct. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

We remember:

  • Evangelicalism in the United States is experiencing a multi-faceted crisis of identity.
  • the hope of the mob was undeniably theological on January 6th {January 6: A Failed Apocalypse}
  • The largest US Protestant evangelical denomination = Southern Baptist Convention  SBC facing it’s biggest threat ever {Why I’m Here} = a massive crisis of polity between its executive leadership & democratically elected messengers + scandalous evil of sexual abuse by multiple Southern Baptist pastors
  • mishandling of sexual abuse allegations =>
  • Southern Baptists debating boundaries for their cooperative efforts, everything from women receiving the title “pastor” on staff (or teaching in mixed-gender environments) to the potential use or abuse of race-related theories arising from secular ideologies.
  • overall picture of numerical decline for SBC is discouraging
  • Evangelical political alliances worked on Evangelicalism for generations
  • Since Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 due in part to strong support from White evangelical Protestants > White Americans who viewed Trump favourably and did not identify as evangelicals in 2016 were much more likely than White Trump sceptics to begin identifying as born-again or evangelical Protestants by 2020.
  • Among White respondents (both voters and nonvoters) who identified as evangelical Protestants in 2016 and expressed at least some ambivalence about Trump, 88% still identified as evangelicals in 2020, while 12% no longer did so. {More White Americans adopted than shed evangelical label during Trump presidency, especially his supporters}
  • US evangelicals = complicit in both forming + being conformed by an American culture with prevailing notions of white supremacy, American exceptionalism, and individualism.

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Preceding

  1. Right-wing fundamentalist Christians to dictate the U.S.A.
  2. Looking at 2021 in a nutshell
  3. One year ago people who said they love America stormed the Capitol
  4. Is it Time to Abandon “Evangelical?”
  5. The Moral Character of Public Officials: Remembering January 6
  6. How the term Evangelical has grown to blur theology and ideology
  7. Andrew McWilliams-Doty looks at evangelicals
  8. Why I’m Here

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Additional reading

  1. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  2. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  3. Donald Trump his America
  4. United in an open society relying not on command and control but on freedom
  5. American social perception, classes and fear mongering
  6. The man outranking the others having the trump card
  7. Fearmongering succeeded and got the bugaboo a victory (Our World)
  8. Fearmongering succeeded and got the bugaboo a victory (Some View on the World)
  9. 2019 was #2 a Year of much deceit in the U.S.A.
  10. 2019 was #3 a Year of much deceit in the News World
  11. United States of America once more showing how it wants to Distort Historical Facts and Truth
  12. Who can tackle Donald Trump
  13. Voted against their system (Our World)
  14. Voted against their system (Some View on the World)
  15. Incidents of hate have become commonplace in the U.S.A. anno 2017 (Our World)
  16. Incidents of hate have become commonplace in the U.S.A. anno 2017 (Some View on the World)
  17. According to Pew Most White Evangelicals Don’t Think COVID-19 is a Medical Crisis
  18. In denial, Donald Trump continues to insist that nothing serious is at hand and everything is in control
  19. Trump going over the top bringing a blasphemous act
  20. A president daring to use the Bible for underlining his hate speech
  21. Trump going over the top bringing a blasphemous act (Our World)
  22. Trump going over the top bringing a blasphemous act (Some View on the world)
  23. The Hero of the greatest …. failures
  24. Hollowness of democracy
  25. 2020 in view #1 The 45th president of the U.S.A.
  26. 2020 in view #2 The 45th president of the U.S.A. not willing to go
  27. Stress-test for democracy #1 Storming of the Capitol in Washington
  28. Stress-test for democracy #2 A coup d’etat with bloodshed
  29. The death knell of an Empire
  30. What is Fascism and who are today’s Fascists?
  31. Trump has been buffetted by accusations of misconduct (Some View on the World)
  32. Trump has been buffetted by accusations of misconduct (Our World)
  33. Donald Trump requesting to block investigations about the insurrection
  34. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  35. A History Of The Culture Wars
  36. Beyond the Culture Wars
  37. 2021 in review #1 the most startling point
  38. January 6: A Failed Apocalypse
  39. One year ago a sacred place was attacked

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Related

  1. A Short History of Evangelical Confusion
  2. Reformed and Evangelical across Four Centuries: The Presbyterian Story in America
  3. Evangelicals Today and William Wilberforce
  4. Evangelicals Today and Authority
  5. Evangelicalism in the USA: Discipleship failure owing to catechesis failure
  6. A Warning to the Sheep
  7. Trumpists and Religious Nutcases – Selfishness.
  8. One Ring to Bind Them All: Conservative Christians and the Theocratic Impulse
  9. Facts, Strategies, and Hope
  10. U.S. politics
  11. Systematic Attack on Democracy
  12. Party over Country
  13. Why Is Trump Being So Pussy About Jan. 6th, MAGA? If He Was On The Phone With Other Patriots, Holding Back Police From Defending, Trying to Stop the Fraudulent Election Being Certified, Why Doesn’t He Embrace It?
  14. There really is a vast right-wing conspiracy
  15. The Original Big Lie
  16. Jonah Goldberg is right about a third party but wrong about why it’s needed
  17. Insurrection
  18. The Social Justice Fault Lines in Evangelicalism
  19. We are talking but are we hearing each other?
  20. Review: Struggling with Evangelicalism
  21. Christian Dominionist Politics and the National Guard.
  22. A MAGA-Defiant Military
  23. More Christian Nationalist Violence Is Likely After Jan. 6 | Time
  24. ‘Let’s go Brandon!’ Further Validates My Rejection of Evangelicalism
  25. The Stench of Extreme Nationalism.
  26. Combating Christian Nationalism without Giving into Outrage
  27. Trump Paired with Hitler and other Fascists of History
  28. Turn the Corner and See More Trumpism
  29. The January 6th Insurrection
  30. To Save Democracy, we Must Charge and Prosecute Trump
  31. January 6th: A Year Later
  32. Trump-Russia is not a hoax
  33. Seriously…It’s a Cult
  34. Lindsey Graham proves again that Trump owns the Republican Party
  35. Ways to steal future elections – Rig the Census

Jared Stacy

I still believe the best days for Evangelicalism are ahead, not behind. But I say this well aware that Evangelicalism in the United States is experiencing a multi-faceted crisis of identity. We cannot reduce God to a movement, but our attempts to do just that are being exposed in the current crisis. So let’s be clear about the crisis, even as we figure out how to hope. Let’s not hope in Evangelicalism, but for a better future where evangelical Christianity has renewed integrity and prophetic witness.

Hope can only exist with its hand firmly on the truth. So let’s consider the truth of this crisis from inside and outside.

The US evangelical crisis is internal. The largest US Protestant evangelical denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, is currently facing a massive crisis of polity between its executive leadership and democratically elected messengers. The cause of this crisis? Its purported mishandling of…

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The Moral Character of Public Officials: Remembering January 6

What we in Europe came to see to what happened at the Capitol was unbelievable. Worse was, that so many cried that it was for Jesus or their god that they were storming the house of democratic values, showing the world how vulnerable democracy really is.

However, it was no surprise when, in the previous months, we even heard clerics calling for resistance against politicians and the press, who (according to them) spread lies and false news and would have rigged the elections.

Believers in Christ Jesus can only hope that those Americans will have their eyes opened and that they will come to see that their god Trump is an evil being who is better to be avoided in households as well as in state affairs.

 

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Find also to read

  1. At the closing hours of 2016 #1 Looking down at terror
  2. Facts: Why they matter and how to check them
  3. An other trait for faith in Jesus and his God
  4. Trump is proven wrong by the judge
  5. Right-wing fundamentalist Christians to dictate the U.S.A.
  6. Stress-test for democracy #1 Storming of the Capitol in Washington
  7. Stress-test for democracy #2 A coup d’etat with bloodshed
  8. The death knell of an Empire
  9. Looking at 2021 in a nutshell
  10. 2021 in review #1 the most startling point
  11. Donald Trump requesting to block investigations about the insurrection
  12. One year ago people who said they love America stormed the Capitol
  13. One year ago a sacred place was attacked
  14. Is it Time to Abandon “Evangelical?”

Real Church Life

Photo by MIMICA Rgbstock

“In 1998, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, passed, what they called, a Resolution On Moral Character Of Public Officials. If it had been followed, Trump would have been kept out of office in 2016 and evangelicals would have distanced themselves from him in 2020.”1 Instead, more the 80% of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Resolution On Moral Character Of Public Officials reads as follows:

WHEREAS, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34 NAS); and

WHEREAS, Serious allegations continue to be made about moral and legal misconduct by certain public officials; and

WHEREAS, The Bible calls upon all citizens to submit themselves to their governing authorities as ministers of the Lord (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13); and

WHEREAS, Scripture further teaches, “Whoever…

View original post 370 more words

Why I’m Here

At the end of last century the Baptists came into a terrible crisis, the church moving more to the Trinitarian thought and as such thousands of Baptists leaving that denomination.

In America itself another split had already occurred earlier, after the American Civil War, when most freedmen set up independent black congregations, regional associations, and state and national conventions, such as the National Baptist Convention, which became the second-largest Baptist convention by the end of the 19th century and the National Primitive Baptist Convention. Even then, the racial issue proved to be a sensitive and tricky point in the American Baptist movement.

At the beginning of the 21st century it seems the organisation that created the problems in Europe is now itself also in crisis. Christian denomination Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) based in the United States of America has become the world’s largest Baptist denomination, and the largest Protestant and second-largest Christian denomination in the United States, smaller than the Roman Catholic Church, according to self-reported membership statistics.

The publication of an extraordinary February 24, 2020, letter by the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Russell Moore pointed to a breach caused by the stands Moore had taken against sexual abuse within the SBC and on racial reconciliation, which had infuriated the executive committee.
Unbelievable that he was attacked because he did not defend racists and sex abusers, though one would think a Christian organisation would be totally against such an abomination.

According to pastor Mike Stone Russell Moore’s back-door press release of June 2, 2021, was filled with characterisations of who Southern Baptists are. For Stone the release of the letter was clearly an attempt to influence the upcoming presidential election in the SBC.

The problem with many main churches or big organisations, like SBC is that they are afraid when their dirty laundry is hanging outside. As we have seen in the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Church, here too we see an attempt by that great Baptist association to sweep the dirt under the carpet and keep it out of public view.

It is now nearly three years since the scandalous evil of sexual abuse by multiple Southern Baptist pastors came to light (as well as the egregious mishandling of these allegations in some of their churches over the past two decades). While many churches have taken steps to improve their procedures and systems to protect the vulnerable, and despite good signs here and there in the SBC census numbers (as reported through the Annual Church Profile), the overall picture of numerical decline for their Convention is discouraging, especially the number that should mean the most to Baptists who adopt the moniker “Great Commission” — baptisms.

It has come so far in this world that the confession managed to provide doctrinal parameters for their seminaries and other entities, of which they say that they would not be binding on any particular church. Although last century they gave proof that they did not let any place for another doctrine than theirs, which is not the Biblical doctrine of there only being One God and Jesus to be His beloved son. Because for them there is no place for non-trinitarian Baptists, those all had to flee to other denominations (most of them going to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and masses going to the Church of God and the Abrahamic Faith Church, whilst others found smaller denominations to connect to, like the Nazarene Friends, or to a group of Bible Students (like the Russellites, the International Bible Students, the Thomasites or Christadelphians).
But the SBC also seem to have excluded some churches deemed not to be in “friendly cooperation,” usually for denying Christianity’s sexual ethic, tolerating or engaging in racism, or failing to take seriously sexual abuse.

Normally Baptists should be open-minded people who follow the teaching of the Bible, and not set human doctrines. They should consider all people equal and should be active in promoting peace, justice, and religious liberty. But those last three points seem to be long forgotten by that North American organisation.
It comes down firmly on the side of traditional Christian teaching regarding human sexuality, gender, and the role of men and women in the church and the home.

In the original movement of Baptists, in Europe there was simply no Trinitarian creedal formulation “one God in three persons” because they believed in Only One True God Who is One and not two or three. Though, by spreading in the nations that would become the United States, by the years more and more Trinitarian thoughts entered the belief group and became the cause of the 21st century crisis.

The last few decades we also could see several pastors trying to please the public and, worse, also playing on the hands of political people. Instead of not being of the world, they clearly presented themselves and their faith group as willing to support political figures in their movement to climb higher or to support their candidatures to become senators or even presidents.

No wonder that several believers, who used their common sense, choose to leave that church for what it was, making that denomination-wide weekly attendance dropped about 27% between 2006 and 2020. In the previous years we could see how far SBC members wanted to go to get more church members. Several accepted to baptise babies, which is totally against the original idea of the Anabaptists and original Baptists.

 

+

Preceding

  1. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  2. Not all Christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  3. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  4. Uprooted Baptists their new idea of baptism
  5. Which Christians Actually Evangelize
  6. the Just Gospel conference
  7. Is it Time to Abandon “Evangelical?”
  8. Andrew McWilliams-Doty looks at evangelicals
  9. How the term Evangelical has grown to blur theology and ideology

++

Additional reading

  1. God’s forgotten Word 6 Lost Lawbook 5 Heretics
  2. A Society pleading poverty
  3. Edward Wightman
  4. Jesse Hemery and the The Goshen Fellowship
  5. Charles Price Jones better known as C. P. Jones
  6. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the women’s bibles
  7. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles
  8. Not according to legal description of a cult
  9. Breaking up with a cult
  10. Religions and Mainliners
  11. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  12. From those preaching the Gospel and Baptism in Jesus name
  13. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news (Our World)
  14. Not all Christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture (Our World)
  15. A Hebrew-Christian movement
  16. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom (Our World)
  17. The Most Hated Family in America
  18. Marty Duren’s Plea against Westboro Baptist Church
  19. Uprooted Baptists their new idea of baptism (Our World)
  20. the Just Gospel conference (Our World)
  21. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  22. Russia and evangelisation
  23. Those willing to tarnish
  24. Decrease in church attendance not only a recent feature #1 Methodist Church of Victoria and Tasmania
  25. Art and other taboos
  26. What would you do if…? Continued trial
  27. Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study

+++

Related

  1. Andrew Bryan – Savannah, GA, Historical Marker
  2. Examining the Baptist Church and Its OriginsA First-Hand Report on the Southern Baptist Convention 2021
  3. Baptist Babylon: The evil of ‘Good ‘ole boy’ culture
  4. A Word on Behalf of the Flock
  5. Abuse of Faith: The SBC Looks as Guilty as Sin Lately
  6. Mark Lanier, Paige Patterson’s Attorney, Seeks to Sway SBC Now
  7. The SBC Isn’t Handling Its ‘Abuse of Faith’ Megascandal
  8. Ronnie Floyd Just Quit His Powerful Role With the SBC
  9. Southern Baptist leader resigns as abuse review continues
  10. The Flocks Still Hate Evangelism: Reset Button Edition
  11. Mike Stone and the Red Flag of Hypocrisy
  12. How Authoritarians Excuse Their Leaders’ HypocrisySamford, a “Southern Baptist Institution”?
  13. What Evangelism Success Claims Really Mean
  14. Evangelicals and social justice
  15. What do Seventh-day Adventists teach about salvation and the Baptists teach about obedience?
  16. The church under fire – 1
  17. The church under fire – 2
  18. Boro Baptist Church Association misuses FCRA funds for conversion activities
  19. 3 Injured As Christians, Muslims Clash Over Hijab In Ilorin
  20. S. Baptist leader: No change on marriage stance
  21. Southern Baptist Convention Did Not Do Enough
  22. Harmony Baptist Church, Lincoln County
  23. Oaky Grove Primitive Baptist Church
  24. An IFBer criticizes Neo-Evangelicalism: Guaranteed to put you to sleep
  25. ‘Bless Every Home:’ Personal Evangelism Done Super-Creepy
  26. Evangelicalism’s Intellectual Ghettoization
  27. A Resolution Worth Keeping
  28. The Moral Character of Public Officials: Remembering January 6
  29. The Southern Baptist Convention Versus John 5:24
  30. Evangelical Christian Perversion
  31. The first rule of Christian sex abuse
  32. Southern Baptist churches hope for healing in Tennessee convention after a year of challenges
  33. First Baptist Church Waco: Ministries for Adults
  34. Pastor fired after coming out as trans files lawsuit against Mississauga Baptist church
  35. Baptists of Atlantic Canada distances itself from Amherst church linked to COVID-19 outbreak
  36. Former Hamilton pastor facing charge tied to possession of child pornography
  37. Why an Intergenerational Model is Better than a Multigenerational Approach
  38. Edgar Mullins’ Axioms and 2022 America
  39. A Failed Worldview
  40. Sharing Christ with Others: Be the Light
  41. Teach No Other Doctrine

In the Thicket

The SBC is in crisis. That’s not hyperbole, that’s not being overdramatic, that is fact. The denomination is facing it’s biggest threat ever, bigger than the conservative resurgence of the 80s. It needs prayer. Since my last post, two letters written by Russell Moore were leaked detailing his investigation by the SBC Executive Committee and the personal attacks he endured by the Executive Committee’s leadership. The shocking part of the letter to me was that Moore claimed that his criticism of Donald Trump was not the reason for these attacks. No, Moore claimed the reason for these attacks stemmed from his pursuit of racial reconciliation and justice for victims of sexual abuse within the SBC. He was attacked because he did not defend racists and sex abusers. This is way worse than politics. The SBC is at a crossroads, with its witness and identity in the balance.

During all this…

View original post 939 more words

Is it Time to Abandon “Evangelical?”

In the Thicket

It’s been a bad year for evangelicals. Well, it was a bad year for everyone, but it seemed to be especially hard on evangelicals. From the numerous, high profile people claiming to leave the faith, to the multiple scandals from evangelical leaders of different institutions, to evangelicals’ poor response to both the pandemic the racial unrest in our country, to being tied to an insurrection to overthrow a democratic election, a lot has gone wrong for evangelicals; and in recent years, the term has been viewed less and less positively. The Atlantic even went so far as to say that the word has lost its meaning. So, I want to ask, is it time to abandon “evangelical?”

“Evangelical” comes for the Greek word meaning “good news.” Its ties to a religious movement started around the early 1700s, where the word became synonymous with the gospel message of Jesus Christ. What…

View original post 745 more words

How the term Evangelical has grown to blur theology and ideology

In our previous article Andrew McWilliams-Doty looks at evangelicals you could already get a glimps of the diversity in evangelical Christendom.

The term Fundamentalism

The evangelical Protestant tradition contained a lot of fundamentalists. The term “fundamentalism” precipitating on a type of conservative religious movement characterised by the advocacy of strict conformity to sacred texts, was in the previous century first used exclusively to refer to American Protestants who insisted on the inerrancy of the Bible, the term fundamentalism was applied more broadly beginning in the late 20th century to a wide variety of religious movements.

The first religious movement in the New World

From the very beginning of the Europeans entering the New World, those people coming from totally different denominations sought to find a way in between, to worship together.
After the War of Independence by the scattered parishes of the Church of England which survived the war, a part of the Anglican Communion, organised a Protestant Episcopal Church. It inherited from the Church of England, with which it was in communion, its liturgy, polity and spiritual traditions, though it had entire independence in legislation. While the clergy of both Churches were cordially received in their respective countries, there was no formal connexion between them except in fellowship and in advisory council as at the Lambeth Conference. The Church in the United States was therefore an independent national Church which has adapted itself to the conditions of American life.

Laity and clergy

With many likenesses, the Protestant Episcopal Church was different from the Church of England in its organisation and representative form of government. It had the three orders of bishops, priests and deacons, and used an almost identical liturgy; but it was a democratic institution in which the laity had practically as much power as the clergy, and they were represented in all legislative bodies.

To renew religious devotion

In thirteen North American colonies in the 1730s and 1740s several American citizens strove to renew individual piety and religious devotion. Having come from all sorts of churches from the European continent, people wanted to find a consensus in their community about faith matters.

Building on the foundations of older traditions — Puritanism, Pietism and Presbyterianism — people like George Whitefield, John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards articulated a theology of revival and salvation that transcended denominational boundaries and helped forge a common evangelical identity. Revivalists added to the doctrinal imperatives of Reformation Protestantism an emphasis on providential outpourings of the Holy Spirit.

Revivalists

Extemporaneous preaching gave listeners a sense of deep personal conviction of their need of salvation by Jesus Christ and fostered introspection and commitment to a new standard of personal morality. Revival theology stressed that religious conversion was not only intellectual assent to correct Christian doctrine but had to be a “new birth” experienced in the heart. Revivalists also taught that receiving assurance of salvation was a normal expectation in the Christian life.

Great Awakening

https://cdn.britannica.com/15/19315-050-B85D31C8/Jonathan-Edwards-engraving.jpg
Jonathan Edwards, American revivalist preacher, philosopher and Congregationalist theologian, widely regarded as one of America’s most important and original philosophical theologians.

The name Great Awakening was given to a remarkable religious revival centring in New England, in the northeastern United States, including the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, in 1740–1743, but covering all the American colonies in 1740-1750. The word “awakening” in this sense was frequently (and possibly first) used by the theologian and philosopher of British American Puritanism, Jonathan Edwards at the time of the Northampton revival of 1734–1735, which spread through the Connecticut Valley and prepared the Way for the work in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut (1740-1741) of George Whitefield, who had previously been preaching in the South, especially at Savannah, Georgia. He, his immediate follower, Gilbert Tennent (1703–1764), other clergymen, such as James Davenport, and many untrained laymen who took up the work, agreed in the emotional and dramatic character of their preaching, in rousing their hearers to a high pitch of excitement, often amounting to frenzy, in the undue stress they put upon “bodily effects” (the physical manifestations of an abnormal psychic state) as proofs of conversion, and in their unrestrained attacks upon the many clergymen who did not join them and whom they called “dead men,” unconverted, unregenerate and careless of the spiritual condition of their parishes. Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Colman (1673–1747), and Joseph Bellamy, recognised the viciousness of so extreme a position.

Desire for unity and Wittenberg gathering

In 1848, there was the general desire for political unity that made itself felt in the ecclesiastical sphere as well. A preliminary meeting was held at Sandhof near Frankfort in June of that year, and on the 21st of September, some five hundred delegates representing the Lutheran, the Reformed, the United and the Moravian churches assembled at Wittenberg. The gathering was known as Kirchentag (church day), and, while leaving each denomination free in respect of constitution, ritual, doctrine and attitude towards the state, agreed to act unitedly in bearing witness against the non-evangelical churches and in defending the rights and liberties of the churches in the federation. The organisation thus closely resembled that of the voluntary association of British Nonconformist churches for cooperation in religious social work, the Free Church Federation in England. The movement exercised considerable influence during the middle of the 19th century. Later its place had been taken by the Kongress für innere Mission, which held annual meetings in different towns. There was also a biennial conference of the evangelical churches, the Deutsche Evangelische Kirchenkonferenz der Kirchenregierungen, (German Protestant Church Conference, more colloquially Eisenacher Konferenz) held at Eisenach to discuss matters of general interest. Its decisions have no legislative force.

Non-trinitarian lay preachers

The main churches were not at all pleased by the growing lay preachers who went around the states preaching the Word of God and the Good News. The most objectionable thing for the clergy was that among those preachers were men who promoted what many considered to be unorthodox doctrines, such as that Jesus was not God (or god the son) but the Son of God.
According to the clergy, this had to be dealt with very harshly and therefore those people and their followers had to be clearly condemned to damnation in hellfire.
That general opposition to those ‘free Christians‘ or non-trinitarian Christians meant that certain groups wanted to restrain their members even more so that they would not defect to those (according to them) heretics.

Pamphlets, tractates, tracts and Tract Societies

At the end of the 19th century, beginning 20th century those preachers teaching that there is Only One True God Who is One, got printed pamphlets issued all over the United States. On a few pages several religious questions were answered from a Biblical instead of a Church view. some also called it “tracts”, which became a regular name for such unbound works with religious content.

The first great age of pamphleteering was inspired by the religious controversies of the early 16th century. In France so many pamphlets were issued in support of the Reformed religion that edicts prohibiting them were promulgated in 1523, 1553, and 1566. In Germany the pamphlet was first used by the leaders of the Protestant Reformation to inflame popular opinion against the pope and the Roman Catholic church. Martin Luther was one of the earliest and most effective pamphleteers. The coarseness and violence of the pamphlets on both sides and the public disorder attributed to their distribution led to their prohibition by imperial edict in 1589. {Encyc. Brit. on Pamphlet}

As far as derivation is concerned, a tract is identical with a short treatise, but by custom, the latter word has come to be used above will for a lengthy monograph on a subject, dealing with it technically and authoritatively, whereas a tract is understood to be brief and rather argumentative than educational. There is, again, the rarer word tractate, which is not a tract, in the precise sense, so much as a short treatise.

The word “tract” has come to be used for brief discourses of a moral and religious character only, and in modern practice it seems to be mainly confined to serious and hortatory themes.

Benjamin Hoadly by Sarah Hoadly, English clergyman, who was successively Bishop of Bangor, of Hereford, of Salisbury, and finally of Winchester. He is best known as the initiator of the Bangorian Controversy.

An enormous collection of tracts was published between 1717 and 1720 in elucidation of what is known as the Bangorian Controversy, set in motion by a sermon of Benjamin Hoadly, bishop of Bangor, on “The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ” (1717). Convocation considered this a treatise likely to impugn and impeach the royal supremacy in religious questions. A vast number of writers took part in the dispute, and Thomas Sherlock (1678–1761) fell into disgrace through the violence of his contributions to it. Convocation was finally obliged to give way.

The most famous collection of tracts published in the course of the 19th century was that produced from 1833 onwards by Newman, Keble and the English Anglican theologian, scholar, and a leader of the Oxford movement, E. B. Pusey, under the title of “Tracts for the Times.” Among these Pusey’s “Tract on Baptism” (1835) and his “On the Holy Eucharist” (1836) had a profound effect in leading directly to the foundation of the High Church party, so much so that the epithet “Tractarian” was barbarously coined to designate those who wished to oppose the spread of rationalism by a quickening of the Church of England. In 1841 Newman’s “Tract No. XC.” was condemned by the heads of houses in Oxford, and led to the definite organization of the High Church forces.

Tract Societies

Several Bible students travelled across the American prairie, proclaiming from settlement to settlement the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. In order to reach as many people as possible, they used pamphlets as well as established societies to provide general printed materials for their faith group.

ATCbuilding.JPG
Drawing of the American Tract Society Building, standing since 1894. The ATS being a nonprofit, nonsectarian but evangelical organisation founded on May 11, 1825, in New York City for the purpose of publishing and disseminating tracts of Christian literature.

Those Tract Societies varied in importance from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (Church of England – London – founded in 1698), the Religious Tract Society (London – founded in 1799), the interdenominational organisation Bible Society which began to provide tracts for China in 1813, and as early as 1817 founded an auxiliary tract society at Bellary in India by some men of the 84th Regiment, The Stirling Tract Enterprise ( which also sends grants of its publications to India, Ceylon and Africa), The Christian Literature Society for India (formerly the Christian Vernacular Educational Society), established in 1858, the American Tract Society (New York), the New England Tract Society,  the Watch Tower Society, the American Bible Students Tract Society (later the International Bible students Tract Society) with The Watchtower (Am. Bible Students publishing house + lecture service), the Angel of Jehovah Bible and Tract Society, and the most well-known Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (WTBTS)— all of which are publishing houses of recognised standing — to small and purely local organisations for distributing evangelistic and pastoral literature.

It was not until the Evangelical Revival that tract work began to develop along its modern lines. Starting from the provision of simple evangelistic literature for home use, the enterprise grew into the provision of Christian literature, not only for home use, but also for the mission fields of the world.

It was people like Dr. John Thomas and one of his pupils in America, Charles Taze Russell, who made a lot of use of the possibility to multiply their ideas about Christian matters. Certainly, the last one made it possible to set up a very big print imperium which was later taken over by Joseph Franklin Rutherford who created a very worldwide religious group, the  Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, today better known with their short name Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The title “ Tract Society ” has, in fact, become misleading, as suggestive of limitations which had but a brief existence and are no longer recognised by the more important agencies and by the main churches, because they detest the many tracts and pamphlets of the non-trinitarian grooups. On the other hand it must not be supposed that because the work has gone beyond the provision of tracts, these are no longer widely employed. Probably their use in various forms at home was never wider than it is today; whilst in India, China and elsewhere the attack of the Christian tracts is being met by the circulation of vernacular tracts in defence of the non-Christian faiths.

Blurring the lines between theology and ideology

For the non-trinitarians it was very clear human beings had to focus on biblical doctrines and had to put away human doctrines and human traditions, when not in line with the Biblical teachings. Man had not to become entangled by political matters, though by many of the main church their religion seemed very strictly and closely connected to the white folks their political and moral ideas. In the 18th up to the 20th century many of those protestant believers considered themselves as civilised whilst the coloured people they considered as savages who needed to be reformed.

Evangelical preachers

Although it was common for whites to regard themselves as a superior race, there were evangelical preachers who wanted to change this.

Evangelical preachers

“sought to include every person in conversion, regardless of gender, race, and status” { Taylor 2001, p. 354.}

Early in the 20th century, a series of pamphlets were published by evangelicals, who called themselves theologians, that detailed certain fundamental beliefs that they regarded as non-negotiable.

The author John Green says

Many evangelicals today by the way would agree with many of those fundamentals. But the strict separatism, the special doctrines and the harsh style of fundamentalists often turned out to be unproductive when it came to the mission of the church, and when it came to politics as well.

For Ryan Burge, assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University,

It’s no secret that evangelicalism has become deeply intertwined with a certain strain of conservative politics over the last several decades, further blurring the lines between theology and ideology. But despite that ever-growing linkage, it seems that most observers of American religion still see the term as primarily denoting spiritual matters.

Evangelical morphed into a social, cultural and political term that stretches far beyond the boundaries of Christianity

Hearing the name Evangelical

Today we more come to think about a certain group of protestants when we hear the name “Evangelical”.

Burge agrees that

the term “evangelical” has broken away from its roots as a sub-genre of Protestant theology and has now morphed into a social, cultural and political term that stretches far beyond the boundaries of Christianity. In fact, the term “evangelical” is now being embraced by religious groups that do not believe in any of the tenets of an orthodox evangelicalism.

Non-evangelic people evangelising

Most surveys that tap into American religion ask two different types of questions about tradition. One is,

“What is your current religion, if any?”

and they have presented about a dozen response options such as Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, Muslim or Atheist. We typically call this an affiliation measurement. However, in addition to this question, polls also ask,

“Would you describe yourself as a ‘born again’ or evangelical Christian, or not?”

That question is asked to every respondent, even if they didn’t indicate a Christian attachment in the prior query, and is labelled as “self-identification.”

This makes Burge to conclude:

Thus, the combination of these two questions can illuminate a seemingly incongruent fact: there are evangelical Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus in the United States.

For sure people may not confuse “evangelising” Christians with “evangelical Christians”, of the last ones many not evangelising anymore, whilst in other denominations we may find near the end of the 20th century, beginning 21st century Christians, Jeshuaists, Jehudiem or Jews and Muslims who go out on the streets or on the internet to evangelise.

In the United States the share of White Catholic evangelicals has risen five points in 11 years, but it was a nine-point increase for non-White Catholics. The share of Mormons who identify as evangelical has nearly doubled (18% to 34%) during the same time period, as well as the share of Orthodox Christians (14% to 29%).

The groups that are much further away from traditional Christendom (or Christianity) have seen increases, as well. For instance, 7% of Jews say they are evangelical – that’s up five percentage points. For Muslims the increase is 10% to 20% from 2008 to 2019. Hindus have also seen a slight increase, as well.

Activity, doctrine and passitivity

Spreading religious ideas or evangelising about their faith, those enthusiast believers are confronted with those who call themselves evangelicals but stick more together to enjoyable meetings listening and following a certain pastor. They mostly have become very passive and are taken by dogmatic teachings of their pastor or church, about they would not dare to question those teachings – mainly having been made afraid for questioning those things they have to believe (according to their pastor).

Blindly, they take their preachers’ doctrine of their “big church” as the truth and defend those teachings of their faith community very strongly. In doing so, they go so far as to dare to come out into the streets and accuse all the others of being heathens and sinners.
The last two decades politics got interwoven with their findings and as such it came nearly to mean that when had to be a ‘believer’ and good Christian, one had to be of the Republican Party.
Those politically connected ‘believers’ heard others saying that they are devout believers, whilst this seems blasphemy in the ears of those fundamental evangelicals.

According to Burge one potential reason that those from religious traditions that are in no way connected to a belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ take on the moniker of evangelical, is that the term “evangelical” has become a catch-all for saying,

“I am a devout believer.”

Thus, people who engage in a lot of religious activity may self-identify as evangelical as a way to say that their faith is more than just based on heredity or culture, but something real to them.

Burge writes

There are some religious traditions where Republicans were much more likely to identify as evangelical in 2018 compared to 2008. Mainline Protestant Republicans are 5% more Republican over a ten-year time period and White Catholics had a four-point jump. LDS Republican evangelicals were up four points as well.

There are not a lot of Republicans in the other smaller traditions like Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus, but the general trend is all in the same direction: those who identify with the GOP are more apt to also be evangelical today than they were just ten years ago. Thus, there’s some fairly compelling evidence here that the fusion of the Republican party and evangelicalism knows no theological bounds.

There’s an argument to be made here that evangelicalism is not just influencing all of American Christianity, it’s seeping into all aspects of American religion. More Catholics are evangelical today than ever before, the same is true for mainline Protestants. Many Muslims, Jews and Buddhists now take on the moniker. It’s no secret that many Americans have antipathy toward evangelicals, in no small due to their embrace of Donald Trump. But it’s surprising that all that political baggage has not made the term radioactive. In fact, that linkage between Trump, the GOP and evangelicals has actually opened up the “born-again” identity to a larger segment of American religion. If that’s a positive or negative development is something that social scientists and theologians will be working out for decades.

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Preceding

  1. Which Christians Actually Evangelize
  2. About Three-in-Ten U.S. Adults Are Now Religiously Unaffiliated
  3. Andrew McWilliams-Doty looks at evangelicals

++

Additional reading

  1. February 9, 1555 John Hooper Burned in Gloucester
  2. Followers, protestors and reformers
  3. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles
  4. American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder
  5. John Thomas namesake and inspirer
  6. Biblestudents on John Thomas
  7. Christadelpians on John Thomas
  8. Brothers in Christ – About founder John Thomas
  9. 19° century Londoners, religion and heretical opinions
  10. TD Jakes Breaks Down the Trinity, Addresses Being Called a ‘Heretic’
  11. Liberal and evangelical Christians
  12. Place for a fifth and sixth house in Christendom
  13. Which Christians Actually Evangelize (Our World)
  14. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  15. Russia and evangelisation
  16. A Worldwide Vision for Theological Education
  17. the Just Gospel conference
  18. The Anti-Reformation in Todays Evangelical Church
  19. Not according to legal description of a cult
  20. Many skeptics who raise objections to the Bible its veracity
  21. Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #2
  22. According to Pew Most White Evangelicals Don’t Think COVID-19 is a Medical Crisis
  23. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  24. Christian values and voting not just a game

+++

Related

  1. This Is America
  2. Of QAnon, Calvin, And the LA Times
  3. Heidelcast 172: With D. G. Hart On American Catholic: The Politics Of Faith During The Cold War (Updated)
  4. Let’s Talk About Anti-Intellectualism in American Life
  5. Warning Signs About That State Of Evangelical Pop Culture: The Visible, Institutional Church Matters
  6. The First Great Awakening: “A Confus’d But Very Affecting Noise”
  7. New In Print: Survival And Resistance In Evangelical America: Christian Reconstruction In The Pacific Northwest
  8. God Doesn’t Care About Polls
  9. Beyond the Culture Wars
  10. American religion, culture, and politics
  11. Polyamory, Silverware, and the “Second Generation” Problem
  12. Two Religions?
  13. In Defense Of The Bible Belt
  14. What Follows Secularism?
  15. A Nontheist Who Believes
  16. How Corrupt Is The Mainline?
  17. Review: Struggling with Evangelicalism
  18. Christian Dominionist Politics and the National Guard.
  19. White evangelicalism is a political movement
  20. A MAGA-Defiant Military
  21. The Bible Verse That Destroys Protestantism?
  22. What is evangelicalism
  23. Danny McBride: ‘I try to find new ways to shock people’
  24. Stuck in a Moment
  25. ‘Let’s go Brandon!’ Further Validates My Rejection of Evangelicalism
  26. The Social Justice Fault Lines in Evangelicalism
  27. Reformed and Evangelical across Four Centuries: The Presbyterian Story in America
  28. Book Review: Jesus and John Wayne
  29. Evangelicals Today and William Wilberforce
  30. A Short History of Evangelical Confusion
  31. Christians Today and Authority
  32. stop pretending to be neutral
  33. Christianity vs Churchianity . . .
  34. Why I left evangelicalism for progressivism
  35. How Christian Patriarchy Shows Up in Our Society
  36. An IFBer criticizes Neo-Evangelicalism: Guaranteed to put you to sleep
  37. Using “Religious Freedom” as a Guise for Discrimination
  38. Throwback Thursday: James White: What goes through Ravi Zacharias’ head?
  39. More Christian Nationalist Violence Is Likely After Jan. 6 | Time
  40. On Ukraine-Russia Border, Evangelicals Endure as Invasion Looms
  41. The Christian Right Is Ready to Take Political Violence to the Next Level
  42. Raising Evangelical Children
  43. The Hope of the Gospel
  44. Seriously…It’s a Cult
  45. Not Very Christian
  46. D.G. Hart, ‘The Church in Evangelical Theologies, Past and Future’ in Mark Husbands and Daniel J. Treier (eds), The Community of the Word: Toward an Evangelical Ecclesiology  (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2005), pp.23-40
  47. Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 1/15/22
  48. The Search for God in the Modern World ~ A Christian Deconstruction Story: Background
  49. Let’s Talk About Feelings: Angry Faith
  50. The Supposed ‘Feminization’ of Men and American-Evangelical Influence on Eastern Orthodox Converts

Andrew McWilliams-Doty looks at evangelicals

Andrew McWilliams-Doty on Medion questions

What the Heck is an Evangelical?

The 3 Kinds of Evangelicals:
1.
Theological Evangelicals
2.
Historical Evangelicals
3. Cultural Evangelicals

3 Kinds of Evangelical

While the taxonomy is intended to be all-inclusive, it is not mutually exclusive: there are times when someone or something could be characterized as belonging to any 1, 2, or all 3 types of evangelicalism. To better understand the picture, let’s dig into each of these types and their origins.

Theological Evangelicals.

Historical Evangelicals.

Cultural Evangelicals.

There isn’t now and there never was a single, unified evangelicalism. Instead, evangelicalism has always had different meanings and factions, each with their own faults and glories.

*

Come to read the full article:

There Never Was An Evangelicalism: In Dialogue with Russell Moore’s “Losing Our Religion”

**

It is very funny to see that Donald Trump is mentioned as an example of a cultural evangelical, this man having done so many things which are totally against the teachings of Jesus Christ. Though we recognise in the United States of America there are lots of people who carry this man on two hands and glorify him as a deity.

Steve Waldman editor-in-chief of Beliefnet adds:

People often get confused between the terms evangelical and fundamentalist. They mean two different things. Evangelicals are a very broad group. It’s probably a third or 40 percent of the population of the United States. Fundamentalists are a subset of that. They are very conservative politically. Have a literalist view of the Bible.

Evangelicals have a much wider range of political views. A lot of them are conservatives, but not all of them. About a third of evangelicals voted for Al Gore. So it’s a pretty broad range.

Jerry Falwell portrait.jpg
Jerry Laymon Falwell Sr., American Southern Baptist pastor, televangelist, and conservative activist. (1933 – 2007)

And you tend to think of evangelicals as being fundamentalists because the most well known evangelicals are people like Jerry Falwell who are fundamentalists and are very conservative. But in fact, the evangelicals who are part of Bush’s inner circle are not all fundamentalists. They are often very devout evangelicals. But their approach to politics is much more nuanced than the fundamentalist approach. …

John Green, director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron, Ohio and the author of Religion and the Culture Wars coments:

The differences between fundamentalism and evangelicalism are a bit subtle, and oftentimes difficult to understand from the outside. A lot of it is a style. Fundamentalists tend to be very strict. They tend towards intolerance. Notice, I said, “tend towards intolerance.” Many of them are not intolerant. But they tend towards that direction. They tend to be very judgmental. They tend to want to require an awful lot of individuals who would join their communion. And they tend to be very, very critical of other Christians — even other evangelical Christians — who don’t share their very strict approach to religion.

But there are some other things besides style that differentiate fundamentalists from evangelicals. … Evangelicals and fundamentalists both agree that the Bible is inerrant, but fundamentalists tend to read the Bible literally.

Many evangelicals don’t actually read it literally. They’re willing to understand that there’s metaphor and poetry in the Bible, and it’s just that the truth expressed in that metaphor and poetry is without error; whereas fundamentalists would tend to want to read even the metaphor and the poetry literally. That’s a particular way to interpret the Bible.

Likewise, many fundamentalists would see conversion as a sudden event — something where you could actually pick the date and the time when one accepted Jesus; whereas many evangelicals might have a broader understanding of conversion, something that might take place over a longer period of time, and in fact might not even really be understood until long after it happened. Someone might look back and say,

“Yes, it was at that particular time that this transformation occurred in my life.”

Also, when it comes to the question of who Jesus was, fundamentalists tend to have a fairly narrow, specific, very strict view of who Jesus was. Evangelicals have a somewhat broader interpretation of who Jesus was.

Fundamentalists also add some additional doctrines to their beliefs that many evangelicals would not agree with. For instance, many fundamentalists have a dispensational view of the Bible. That is to say, they have a particular understanding of sacred time, where the activity of God and history is divided up into particular eras. Different things happen in the different eras or different dispensations.

Depending on which fundamentalist you talk to, we’re either at the end of the sixth dispensation or the beginning of the seventh dispensation. This, of course, will eventually lead to the return of Jesus to Earth and the end of human history as we know it. Many evangelicals would not accept dispensationalism. They might– They do take the return of Jesus very seriously. They do take sacred time very seriously, but would not necessarily buy into a dispensational approach.

Another difference between fundamentalists and evangelicals is the degree of separatism that they practice. Both fundamentalists and evangelicals believe that conservative Christians should separate themselves from the world in many important ways. But fundamentalists are much stricter in that separation, and they would extend it to religion as well.

Many fundamentalists don’t want to associate even with other Christians who don’t agree with them. They want to separate themselves from people that have fairly similar values. Oftentimes, fundamentalists will even want to separate themselves from people who refuse to separate themselves from people who they don’t agree with. Of course, this can be extended a long way.

Evangelicals are not as separatist. They are perfectly willing to cooperate with people of other religious faiths, with whom they don’t agree on all of the particulars, for the greater cause of evangelizing and bringing people to Christ. So evangelicals, for instance, will often talk about making common cause with Roman Catholics or with mainline Protestants. Fundamentalists are very reluctant to do that, because they see it as being wrong to associate in religious terms with people with whom they don’t have complete agreement. So those differences are sometimes subtle. But in style, belief, and practice, fundamentalists really are different from evangelicals.

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Continue to read:

How the term Evangelical has grown to blur theology and ideology

Seeking to covertly interfere in UK politics

It is very well know that many countries sent infiltrates to other countries to get to know more inside information as well as to covertly interfere in  their politics, cultivating relationships with influential figures.

In 2006 in a bid to increase the participation of Chinese nationals in UK politics popular British-Chinese lawyer Christine Ching Kui Lee, born in 1963 in Hong Kong, created the British Chinese Project (BCP), as a a cross-party organisation, with a website that became very popular.

Launched in the House of Commons with the help of Labour MP Andrew Dismore, the group sought to

“empower the UK Chinese community, making them aware of their democratic rights and responsibilities, while ensuring the needs and interests of the community are heard at a political level”.

In 2008, Dismore flew to Beijing, on a “study visit” as chair of the Chinese in Britain All-Party Parliamentary Group. The group, established in 2006, had received secretariat support from the BCP since inception.

According to parliamentary watchdog website TheyWorkForYou, Dismore’s air fare was sponsored by Christine Lee & Co, the law firm owned by Lee. His in-country costs were apparently met by the Chinese government’s Department of Overseas Chinese.

The Home Secretary decided Lee’s activities were below the threshold of criminal activity to be confident of a successful prosecution, but nonetheless said her activities were “deeply concerning”.

Lee has also been photographed with David Cameron, and was given the Points of Light award by Theresa May when she was prime minister. The award was withdrawn on Thursday.

Lee’s links to the in 1921 founded Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are long-standing and well-developed, and she has met China’s premier Xi Jinping. She has been chief legal adviser to the Chinese embassy in London, and a legal adviser to the administrative office, previously under the State Council of the People’s Republic of China responsible for liaising with overseas Chinese residing abroad or returning to China, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (OCAO), part of Beijing’s vast network of influence overseen by the UFWD.

Charter of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) logo.svgShe is also an executive member of the China Overseas Friendship Association and a committee member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (a political advisory body in China), both of which are run by the UFWD.

Ms Lee represents an ideal figure of modern espionage, which had passed the idea people have from the James Bond films. States use more professional managers and layers, connected, respected people, who have the ability to build up good connections and to be good company at a party – but whose loyalty remains overseas.

This week it has become clear that she may have played a very important role in the espionage work of China.
MI5 may now have substantial evidence of her links to the Chinese Party-State. But it’s also a recognition that Chinese attempts to influence the outside world come in various guises, and just because some are more public doesn’t mean they are less troubling.

The Chinese embassy in London dismissed the allegations against Ms Lee as

“smearing and intimidation against the Chinese community in the UK”.

Security notice about Christine Lee by Britain’s MI5.

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Please find also to read

  1. Christine Ching Kui Lee Wiki, Age, Biography, Family, Husband, Parents, Height – Daily News Catcher
  2. Christine Lee: Lawyer, mother-of-two, pillar of Anglo-Chinese community … and spy
  3. Inside the shadowy organisation behind China’s Parliament spy
  4. Chinese spy Christine Lee operated out in the open, damaging trust and creating an atmosphere of paranoia

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Djokovic who considered himself above the law expelled Australia

Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked men’s tennis player knew his popularity and managed to play on it. His fame got so high in his heads that he thought he could enter Australia like no other man could do, unvaccinated and without quarantine.

Novak Djokovic presented himself as a victim and managed to get his Servian government even to believe and say that he would have been tortured. He very well knew the conditions to enter Australia. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt had written in November last year, to Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley, saying players wishing to enter Australia quarantine-free must be fully vaccinated and cannot count a previous infection as a reason for exemption.

On December 18, Djokovic took part in a media interview despite having received a positive result on the PCR test.

Just before midnight on January 5, Djokovic arrived in Melbourne on a flight from Dubai and in the morning of the following day he was interviewed by Border Force officials before his visa got cancelled. He then was transferred to a Melbourne immigration detention hotel where he got a room to stay and sleep, which had nothing similar to a prison cell. He also next to the room he had not to pay for got three free meals a day. That day his lawyers filed a challenge against the cancellation of his visa and an injunction was granted to allow Djokovic to remain in the country until January 10, the same day a hearing was scheduled in the Federal Circuit Court.

On January 10, the court decided that Djokovic’s visa was unreasonably cancelled, highlighting the lack of time given to the player to contest the decision, and ordered his release from detention. After his release, the tennis star publicly stated his intention to stay in the country and compete at the Australian Open. Though at that time pictures had not been seen yet, proving that he lied about his whereabouts in the previous months.

On January 14, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his common sense and ministerial powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa on “health and good order grounds”. Later that day, Djokovic’s lawyers lodged an application at the Federal Circuit Court to review the cancellation. All the money Djokovic could spent to get himself free to enter the country did not help, and two days later, the Federal Court dismissed Djokovic’s application before a full bench. He got deported that evening.

The previous days we also could see how many adored the tennis player like a god. Many Serbians and fans of the player became enraged by the Australian government’s decision to try and deport Novak Djokovic

A mural of Novak Djokovic with his grandfather and a tennis mentor in Belgrade.
A mural of Novak Djokovic with his grandfather (right) and a tennis mentor in the Belgrade suburb of Banjica.(ABC News: Isabella Higgins)

In the previous months there were lots of Australian citizens who could not enter their own country because of the lockdown. Even when vaccinated (once or twice) they could not go home or come to join or visit their family.
We can therefore ask ourselves what possesses Djokovic and the Serbs to demand that he be allowed to do more than those Australian citizens who even had to wait months to be reunited with their families.

In the end, we could see that justice was done. The person who lied to the authorities, who did not want to be vaccinated when this would have given him the opportunity to enter the country, was eventually denied entry into Australia, as was and is still the case for others.

The man of great fame had to step down in the end and had been unceremoniously deported 12 hours before one of the world’s major tennis championships, the Australian Open started, after a trio of federal judges upheld the Australian immigration minister’s decision to cancel the unvaccinated athlete’s visa. As he walked through the departure gate, his fellow passengers broke into applause, according to one person on the flight. With Djokovic potentially banned from Australia for three years, it just might have been the last applause he’ll get Down Under.

Novak now may be promoted as an anti-vaccination icon, but people their eyes should be opened and come to understand that everybody should be equal for the law, and should make the right decision to protect their fellow citizens.

The tennis player should not have been allowed to come to Australia at all, in order to avoid this media circus.

In the first instance, he did not sufficiently comply with the rules for entering the country, his visas should not have been refused, but simply not issued.

To say Djokovic is being bullied by the Australian government and would be tortured seems very likely and is showing how the Serbian government is using this situation to make it a political issue and trying to have its people more behind them.
Djokovic’s treatment is playing on the minds of many in Belgrade. And the player used his popularity to exaggerate certain conditions. They also want to believe that the Australian government and the Tennis Federation would not want the Serbian player be able to claim the title of most-successful male tennis player of all time. (Djokovic is vying to claim his 21st grand slam, which would put him one ahead of Rodger Federer and Rafael Nadal.)

Novak Djokovic officially leaves Australia as Immigration Minister Alex Hawke releases fresh statement
Novak Djokovic officially leaves Australia as Immigration Minister Alex Hawke releases fresh statement

On Monday after his deportation from Australia over its required COVID-19 vaccination ended the No. 1-ranked men’s tennis comedy.

Christophe Castaner, a former member of President Emmanuel Macron’s government, made it also clear that for France

“Mr. Djokovic has no business playing if he doesn’t respect a rule that applies to spectators, ball collectors, to the professional who will work in boutiques at Roland-Garros.”

All those people who have some fame should come to know that the law will apply to French citizens and foreigners alike, if they want to come to the second of the major events that make up the annual Grand Slam of tennis, the French Open.

Djokovic, who should never have made it into Australia to start with, is also the defending champion at Wimbledon. England has allowed exemptions from various coronavirus regulations for visiting athletes, if they remain at their accommodation when not competing or training. The U.S. Tennis Association, which runs the U.S. Open, has said it will follow government rules on vaccination status.

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  7. Tennis Fans React To Novak Djokovic Officially Getting Removed From The Australian Open
  8. ‘Humiliated themselves’: Serbian leaders’ new attack over Djokovic court ‘lie’
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  13. Game, Set, Lost: The Djokovic Saga
  14. Novak Djokovic to be deported from Australia as courts reach a decision
  15. Two words that sunk Djokovic’s Open dream
  16. Rafael Nadal insists tennis rival Novak Djokovic must take ‘responsibility’ after Australia deportation
  17. Novak Djokovic officially leaves Australia as Immigration Minister Alex Hawke releases fresh statement
  18. Games, set…match
  19. Boris Becker says there are ‘no winners’ from Novak Djokovic Australia deportation controversy
  20. Novak Djokovic faces fresh Grand Slam blow over anti-vaxx stance
  21. Novak leaves, but refugees remain prisoners: how the Australian system works for migrants deemed illegal
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  24. Australian Open 2022: Djokovic deported, Jabeur injured, Coco and Cam knocked out on Day 1
  25. Djokovic deported after ‘defeat’
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