By Lee Edward Enochs
“But examine everything carefully, hold fast to the truth” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
I am an Evangelical Christian who very much believes in Jesus Christ. I have deep concerns about the Evangelical movement as a whole and before we make another public statement on some social issue or another, we need to right our own ship and focus on reforming and reviving our own movement first.
Recently, an Evangelical document on human sexuality called the “Nashville Statement” has generated a lot of controversy across the country. The document, signed by many leaders in American Evangelicalism, affirms traditional marriage and repudiates non-traditional modes of human sexuality such as gay and lesbian relationships.
As an Evangelical and historic Christian who believes in the full inspiration, inerrancy and authority of the Bible, the Trinity and justification by grace through faith in Christ alone, I am sympathetic to many of the sentiments espoused in the “Nashville Statement,” I have however decided not to sign the document or sponsor it in my ministry for a variety of reasons.
While I affirm Evangelical and historic Christian theology, my experience in the movement known as American Evangelicalism has largely been a very negative one. Many of my LGBTQ friends have had similar negative experiences in Evangelical Christian churches, colleges, seminaries and ministries.
I know many of the Evangelical and Southern Baptist theologians and pastors who have signed the “Nashville Statement” personally and have not had positive experiences in my interactions with them.
After over three decades in the very Evangelical Christian movement that the “Nashville Statement” came out of, it pains me to say, that I believe American Evangelicalism has become largely irrelevant in this country, not because of the doctrine it affirms, but because of its conduct in the public arena.
Much of American Evangelicalism has become an interconnected nexus of capitalistic consumerism and cult of personality based around fabulously wealthy, celebrity and media preachers who are out of touch with real people in the real world and I cannot sign a document that perpetuates celebrity-driven Evangelicalism.
Before Evangelicals rant against the LGBTQ community, maybe they should strengthen their own families ravished by widespread adultery and divorce and expunge the wanton consumerism and gluttony rampant throughout its own movement first.
It greatly pains me to admit that I have attended many of the Evangelical churches and academic institutions represented by the signees of the “Nashville Statement”and had the worst experience imaginable in these circles.
I have personally seen much hatred, greed, corruption and nepotism in American Evangelicalism and the Southern Baptist Convention and know people with same sex attraction who have experienced reprehensible treatment in Evangelical churches and colleges and I can’t in good conscience, affirm a document that comes from such a source of pain and disillusionment for so many people across America.
American Evangelicalism is in desperate need of Reformation in this country and on the eve of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses on the Wittenberg door, here I stand, so help me God.
Evangelicalism in America needs Reform and before it casts stones on the LGBTQ community, it must first look at its own shattered house of glass.
Lee Enochs is a graduate student in Princeton, New Jersey and the author of “The Case for Rand Paul” and, “A Biblical Defense of Capitalism.” Lee attendend many of American Evangelicalism’s and the Southern Baptist Convention’s leading academic institutions. Lee also writes for the Libertarian Republic magazine and has had articles published in some of America’s leading newspapers. In the last few years, close to a million people have read Lee’s Libertarian articles.