According to a new poll
released last Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, evangelical leaders perceive that evangelicals are losing their influence on America. The poll was the result of researchers having surveyed more than 2000 leaders who had been invited to attend the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa, last year. In fact, 82 percent of the leaders said they believed that their impact on society was declining.
Those leaders named the following as some contributing reasons: An increasingly pluralistic and secular nation, and the church’s desire for political power and influence.
I too believe that the societal impact of evangelicals is declining in America. I also agree that the reasons cited above by the leaders surveyed are challenges to our impact on society. But to me, the overarching problem for evangelicals and for the Christian church at large is that we are losing our God-given identity. For instance, Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). This tells me that we should not be looking to this world for direction, but that it should be the other way around.
However, the only way we can have the influence on America that we should be having is that we become the church that the Lord has called us to be. For instance, as I watch some of the current presidential candidates courting evangelicals, I am getting a little uncomfortable. It appears to me that a growing number of evangelicals are getting too cozy with politicians.
I submit to you that the church can never make the impact on society through political means that she can through being about the Father’s business. I understand that politics are important, and that we want godly leaders in politics, but we must never become more passionate about our political agenda than we are about the Father’s business. For the church, the former should pale in comparison to the latter.
The line between the church and the world is becoming so blurred that it’s getting hard for me to tell the difference. I believe that in order for us to realize the societal impact on America that we should be making, we must do an about-face and get serious about the Father’s business.
We have not been called to take our cue from the secular community; we have not been called to bog ourselves in the political process to the extent that we lose our prophetic voice in the earth. Rather, we have been called to be the light of this dark world, showing men the Way.
Copyright © 2011 by Frank King. All rights reserved.