Thursday, February 04, 2016

Thursday Thinking - Evangelical Fear

Today I want to direct you to a thought-provoking post on the Missio Alliance website written by Karina Kreminski. She considers the tension between  fear and mission.  Is fear is stopping evangelical Christians from engaging in wholehearted mission?

Breaking through Evangelicalism's Culture of Fear
by Karina Kreminski

A Short Excerpt...
I will often talk with people who are genuinely wrestling with current day issues yet too afraid to publicly share what they are working through for fear that their church, denomination, or Bible College might brand them as heretics. I also see more than a few churches practicing what I would call an unnecessarily constraining form of conservatism as they think about the values and structures of their church and I wonder if this is a fear based reaction.

It may not be, but I think the question needs to be asked. If it is true that there is a culture of fear emerging in Evangelicalism today then the consequences of this are concerning to me.

I wonder if God sends the church prophets who are the oddballs that we never expect and instead of listening to them we marginalize and domesticate their message? Prophets will often work on the fringes of society and as a result their message can be confronting and irritating to our middle class ears. Prophets will always disturb our practice and theology as they embody the radical values of the kingdom of God.

In a climate of fear, however, instead of hearing God’s voice through the strange prophets he send us, we will either reject God’s message or we will try to tame it so that it suits the culture we live in. This is disastrous. It means that instead of following in the footsteps of Jesus as we discern his Spirit today, we will be blindly walking in our own human-made paths.

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