A “massive generational” shift is changing how evangelical institutions address justice issues, according to International Justice Mission CEO Gary Haugen.
“I do believe there is a massive generational thing that is taking place here,” Haugen said during his April 1 talk at Faith Angle Forum.
His presentation was on global poverty and called “Global Poverty and Injustice: Taking the Long View.” But during the Q&A session, Haugen was asked some questions about the current state of evangelicalism in the U.S.
When he first helped found IJM in the 1990s, Haugen said, most evangelicals looked with suspicion upon concerns about justice for the poor.
“Traditional evangelicals viewed any presentation … [that suggested] we want justice, care about struggles for the poor, fighting abuse and oppression, that would have been viewed, when I started 25 years ago, as a distraction for the ‘real Gospel,'” he said. “It would have been viewed as lefty political agenda … liberation theology.”
But that is no longer the case, Haugen believes.
“There were important theological objections to even to the calling of Christians to engage the struggle for justice in the world. In mainstream evangelicalism, I believe those theological objections have gone away. And especially for a younger generation, 40 and younger, they don’t even remember those old days, and if you aren’t actually talking about justice, you’re probably not credible.”
And while those younger evangelicals who are more concerned about justice for the poor don’t currently hold leadership positions in evangelical institutions, soon they will.
“Those folks don’t have the money and the power in the church community right now, but in 15 years, they will. I think you will see a different phenomenon,” he said.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Napp Nazworth