Brian G. Chilton: The Loss of Human Decency in Modern Evangelicalism

I am about to say something that I thought I would never say. I am embarrassed by modern evangelicalism. It has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to do with theology. But it does have everything to do with human decency.

Recently, Rachel Held Evans, a woman who is known for her progressive views and departure from the conservative evangelical form of Christianity, died at the tender age of 37. Evans left behind a loving husband and family. Apparently, Evans created a firestorm due to her opinions on social and theological matters, especially due to leftist political ideologies. She was considered by the Washington Post as “the most polarizing woman in evangelicalism” (Bailey, WP.com, 2015). Evans died after being placed in a medically induced coma following an allergic reaction to medication treating an infection.

For those familiar with my writings, you know that I come from a conservative evangelical position. I am aligned with a conservative denomination and have gone to mostly, although not all, conservative schools. With that being said, I have found it atrocious how some individuals on the right have verbally assaulted Evans, even cheerfully contemplating her slate in hell. Some of the comments I read on social media made me ashamed to be aligned with conservative evangelicalism because of the distasteful and hate-filled rants that were posited. I read everything from how individuals gleefully delighted at the thought that she was burning in hell to how she was responsible for the youth of America straying from the faith. Is this what modern evangelical Christianity has come to?

Didn’t Someone very important once say, “love your enemies and pray for the ones persecuting you” (Mt. 5:44, translation mine)? Whatever happened to the love that we are supposed to have even for others with whom we disagree? Is not the love that we possess in Christ supposed to transcend areas of disagreement?

Society has most certainly lost its decency. But, unfortunately, the church is caught up in this spiral and is quickly losing its own sense of decency, too. We have become entrenched by the nuances and nuisances of living in a culture driven by social media. Decency has been lost in three areas.

  • The loss of decency in political opinion. In my 40 plus years of life on planet earth, I have never seen a time where politics has become as polarizing as it now stands. It does not seem as if people from different political spectrums can sit down and discuss issues without the debate becoming hostile. Nearly no one is listening to the concerns of those on the other side. Furthermore, when is the last time that we stopped to pray for those on the other side of the political aisle?

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brian G. Chilton