Thursday, October 25, 2018


"The love of Christ compels you"
2nd Corinthians 5:14

Tracy Goodrich, 48, an evangelical Christian who home-schools two of her kids in San Antonio, "quietly left" her church after the 2016 election because her church lost Christ's vision: "Literally, all of a sudden, Donald Trump — we couldn't see anything wrong with Donald Trump. It was ... now we're blind to everything."

Goodrich is pro-life and has always voted Republican. Apparently, Trump ended that. By God (we mean that literally), Goodrich has become a Christian leftist. She remains pro-life, anti-abortion, but she believes in social justice and in helping the poor and she's not inclined to Trumpism. People like Goodrich have been driven out of some churches in the Trump era.

There's a whole "Christian Left" movement (also called "the evangelical left") that's never been wholly comfortable about the unchristian ugliness of DJT, and they've become louder voices. Jim Wallis, who helped found the Sojourners in the early 1970s, wrote in March of this year:
Since he likes to put his name in ALL CAPS, we will put their name in ALL CAPS too. TRUMP EVANGELICALS are destroying the “evangel” — the “good news” of Jesus Christ....

The word “evangelical” has its origin in the word “evangel” from Luke 4:16, in which Jesus first announced his mission at Nazareth: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor [the word for “good news” in the original Aramaic = 'evangel']. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.”
 A far cry from Trumpism (we mean "cry" literally too).

Jim Wallis is probably one of the more famous evangelical leftists who stand up against Trump. Another is John Pavlovitz, who runs a lively, muscular blog, "Stuff That Needs To Be Said," and who is very outspoken and active on Twitter. Pavlovitz has strong North Carolina connections. He worked for a decade as youth pastor at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, a "megachurch" in Charlotte. However, some things that "need to be said" will get you into trouble every time, so naturally Pavlovitz got himself fired from Good Shepherd in 2013, in response to "provocative" articles he'd posted. That was well before Trump. He later became a youth minister at North Raleigh Community Church.
Good ole Wikipedia: "His blog has gained a large following and media attention for articles he has written on the subjects of acceptance of homosexuality ("If I Have Gay Children," 2014), attitudes about rape ("To Brock Turner's Father, from Another Father," 2016), the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton ("Thank You, Hillary," 2016), and the character of Donald Trump ("It’s time we stopped calling Donald Trump a Christian," 2017).

Brian McClaren is a former evangelical pastor who talks straight about the hidden stress cracks in the evangelical community:

My exploration of the Christian Left led me to Red Letter Christians -- "Taking the Words of Jesus Seriously."

I was surrounding by guys like Shane Claiborne (above) when I was a college student at way-off Wayland Baptist College in Texas -- actual practicing Christians who acted out WWJD every day, good Samaritans who would literally give you the jean jacket off their backs, men and women with the spirit of good will toward everyone. Wayland Baptist College was fully integrated in the early '60s in West Texas --  black, white, Chicanos ... you name it! --  while the rest of the state, not to mention the entire South, was still very much Jim Crowland. As students we were actively taught the kind of Christianity Shane describes, and I've been eternally thankful (I mean that literally) for the Bible classes I took and every Chapel program I sat through (and we sat through three a week) and for the still living red letter of Christianity.

May God bless it!

1 comment:

Anonagain said...

I’ve observed this phenomenon in my own life. I work with a very sweet lady who was married to a Baptist minister until he died, and I’m sure she’s a lifelong Republican, but she absolutely hates Trump with a passion. There are also other people I’ve known my entire life who are wrapped up in the cult of Trump and can rationalize everything he does. How is it that some people can see right through Trump and others are so easily hoodwinked? I will never understand the appeal of Trump. He is so far removed from anything Christian that I’ve encountered in my life! How did a vile, vulgar, adulterous, narcissistic jerk become a beacon for evangelicals? I will never understand that one!