US News asks some good questions of evangelicals this week. With their apparent influence in the White House and a string of pop culture hits (from the Left Behind books to The Passion) “born-agains” are feeling pretty good about themselves. Mega-churches are popping up all over the place and it seems like a new golden era for Bible-believing Christians. However, the article wonders why this type of Christianity is so popular. What has changed form the old exclusionary days? Is the church changing the world or is the world conforming the church?
I believe it is the latter. U.S. News writes that there no longer seems to be much difference (other than that there is more Republicans) between the church and the outside. They are right. The all consuming drive for political power and butts in the seats has driven Biblical Christianity, with all its countercultural power and moral authority, out the door of most chuches (along with the stained glass.) They call themselves Bible believers, but most never get deeper into scripture than a few therapeutic verses.
In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis noted when a man starts feeling that he has finally found his place in the world it is actually true that the world has found its place in him. The same principle applies to the church at large.