Dickerson does not understand what liberalism actually is and he does not understand the mission of the Christian Church in the world. He may be the pastor of a 500 member church, but he is only 30 years old and his pool of acquired wisdom has not yet reached it’s brim.
He actually believes that the Christian Church has the potential (and has been given the job) to defeat liberalism and turn America into a strong-right Conservative nation.
Dickerson opens his article with this statement:
“In 2012 we witnessed a collapse in American evangelicalism. The old religious right largely failed to affect the Republican primaries, much less the presidential election. Last month, Americans voted in favor of same-sex marriage in four states, while Florida voters rejected an amendment to restrict abortion. Much has been said about conservative Christians and their need to retool politically.”
So its obvious Dickerson sees the Christian Church as having the potential (and having the job) to turn America into a politically conservative nation.
** I have 2 points and 1 conclusion ** in furthur response to the John Dickerson’s book titled, “The Great Evangelical Recession: Six Factors That Will Crash the American Church … and How to Prepare" and his article referenced in the OP:
** First, ** the job of the Christian Church in the world is to preach the message of the Bible to those willing to listen to it. Do not cast your pearls before swine means exactly what it says, and remember it was the Lord Jesus Himself that told His church to NOT cast their pearls before swine.
Another important point is that the Lord Jesus said clearly that His Christian Church preaching the message of the Bible would results in this: “All that the Father gives me will come to me.”__The Lord Christ (John 6:37) …
… and He also said of those that refused to come to Him: ** "you do not believe because you are not my sheep … **
… and He also said regarding His sheep that He would NOT lose a single one of them: "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”__The Lord Christ (John 10:26-30).
So the Christian Church IE the Lord Jesus has never (permanently) lost a single one of His “…sheep…” regardless of what John Dickerson thinks or says about the fluxuating rolls in the so-called “evangelical” church. (Btw, those 2 verses up there are just the tip of a huge Bible-berg of verses that say the same thing in different words. I can dig them out in an hour or two.)
( Why is the above relevant? Because Dickerson, you recall, was heavily concerned about the Christian Church “losing members” and “failing to convert new members.” He must think that the Christian Church is like Netflex where people can join and un-join at will.
Or like signing up for an email news letter. Click here to subscribe. Click here to Un-Subscribe. LOL )
** Second, **only the Left can destroy the Left. The Christian Church cannot destroy the Left and the Republician Party cannot destroy the Left and the Conservative Movement cannot destroy the Left, because only the Left can destroy the Left. Why is that true?
Because the Left is out to give as many people as they can find, the money somebody else worked for and they are going to insist doing that is true love and genuine fairness, and human nature is selfish and greedy and they “ain’t gonna turn down the money” and they’re gonna keep voting for “them that will give it to them” until the system that gives it to them self-destructs.
Because the Left will always be perceived as the do-good-party out to get rid of “social injustice” and out to “fix the world” and out to get rid of “discrimination” and “prejudices” and “racism” and out to get rid of “homophobia” and out to get rid of “Mysogny” and out to get rid of “Intolerance”, and out in strong support of “Women’s Rights” and “Gay Rights” and out in strong support of “Equalitarianism” (Equality), and Equality is an easy sell to fallen human nature …
… and the left will always be perceived as being in support of your rights to commit any sin you want to commit as long as you do not commit a sin against Life, Liberty, and Property (as defined by them, they don’t count tax theft as a sin against Property), or in other words the Left is the Party-Of-YES, the party that says “Do your own thing, and feel good about it, who are we to judge you?”
They are known to say an effective YES! to almost any sexual sin people want to commit. Their YES! comes in the form of their Leftist doctrines of NonJudgementalism and Moral Relativism, but the end results is the same, you get a “Yes, its okay” from the Left if you want to commit fornication with your girlfriend, or commit any other sexual sin. The Left will always give you a cheerful NonJudgemental “Yes!, its okay, go right ahead, who are we to judge?”
And its not only the sexual sins the Left will give you a Yes to do, its other suff too. As long as you leave their Life (Flesh), Liberty (Freedoms) and Property (Money) alone the Left will give you the green light of Endless Tollerance to do almost anything you want to do.
Another reason that only the Left can destroy the Left is that in a safe and affluent society such as America there are zero pragmatic reasons to justify the level of harshness that would be required to enforce any strict moral code. At the present time, America’s perception is that they have zero compelling pragmatic reasons to say an effective No to the Party-Of-Yes. (Well, they ain’t saying no to the Party-of-Yes, and thats a fact.)
Human nature will follow the line of least resistence and it is much easier for the electorate and the citizenry and the politicians to just say Yes to the demands of people who want more and more freedom to do whatever they want to do, or freedom to NOT do what they do not want to do.
And all this includes saying Yes to making the Federal Government the Nanny State Big Government that creates mountains of debt and dependancy.
All this includes saying Yes to accepting more and more of Big Government’s tax dollars whether its in the form of actual monthly checks or in the form of a locked-in-for-life government job that pays twice as much as that same job would pay in the private sector.
**My Conclusion: **(my view)
Does anyone really believe that the Christian Church can politically destroy or defeat all that up there?
Does anyone really believe that the Republican Party or the Conservative Movement can politically destroy or defeat all that up there?
My position is NO they cannot.
My position is that: Only the Left can destroy the Left.
Question: Will this happen? Will the Left end up self-destructing? Yes, of course they will. Its merely a question of how long it will take. How can I be so certain? Because the political, social, and economic policies of the Left are not pragmatically workable longterm.
That means it utterly impossible for the Left’s policies to continue to work on and on here in the real world. That means that the Left denies reality and lives in a utopian dream world based on their idealistic hopes and dreams, and that no system based upon illusion and fantasy can survive the onslaghts of time.
The U.S.S.R. was an example of a utopian system that self-destructed. (Reagan said from the get-go that the Soviets had a system based upon contradiction and based upon the impossible. Reagan was right.)
Likewise, Father Time will provide the Left with enough rope and they will at some point hang themselves.
Imo, the GOP is not going to destroy the Left and in fact some say that the “Democratic Party and the Republican Party are the two wings of the same bird of prey.”
And I can assure you that the Christian Church has not been given the job of destroying or defeating the Left in America.
Again, the Left will at some point destroy itself. What then, after the Left has destroyed itself? Simple, the Left-Right cycle will start again and the cycle will repeat itself with temporary fixes followed by the eventual political self-destruction of the Left, by which I mean a political restructuring back to more fiscal Conservative policies for the sake of economic survival.
Mother Russia and the other nations in the Soviet bloc suffered economically and physically, but they survived by a political restructuring, and today while not economically booming, are at least economically surviving nicely as independant nations.
A political restructuring can seriously hurt, but it is always surviviable. At some point the American Left will self-destruct followed by a political re-structuring along more Conservative fiscal policies.
There are plenty of “temporary fixes” but there are no longterm political or economic solutions to spiritual problems. You can “fix it” in one place, but it will always pop out in another form in another place, so that you have the same problem, this time just in another form.
(Btw, what about America’s founding? Was that not a true genuine fixing of many things? Yes, it was and America’s founding was the work of Christians. There are notable works that argue John Calvin and the Reformers were the true Fathers of the American Republic’s founding documents and main ideas.)
Anyway, the job of the Christian Church is to proclaim the message of the Bible to all who “have ears to hear”, our job is NOT to shut down Disney
World ( one of Dickerson’s pet peaves in his book, that “Evangelicalism” did not have the numbers to shut down Disney World, LOL ) ** and our job is NOT to defeat the Left either, except as a by-product of carrying out the Great Commission where men become true Christians regenerated by the Holy Spirit and then taught by the Holy Spirit the truths of the Bible, and then proceed to vote accordingly, for example, to get debt free and stay debt free.**