Evangelicals and The Unfortunate Lack of Intellectual Engagement in Society
by Erik Lindamood for Threefold Christian Alliance
In many aspects of evangelical “Christianity” (lowercase c is intentional) it’s as if a certain definition of “blind faith” has dominated mindsets to the detriment of societal engagement. The scriptures and the patriarchs, in particular, gave us an excellent blueprint for Geo-political-economic matters, however, in the pursuit of being a people of faith we have neglected being a people of action.
This intellectual disengagement was particularly visible with the election of Donald Trump. Despite the fact that it was a very positive thing that a vast majority of evangelicals got behind this candidate. The vast majority of the support and the praise for Donald Trump from the evangelical community was void of any form of intellectualism. Spend some time in the comment section of online news articles and you will see the evangelical community defending Trump with bible verses and “holier than thou” statements. For decades, evangelicals have appeared to be afraid of intellectualism or cognitive reasoning, as they see it as an enemy of their faith. Fortunately, Trump’s political agenda and his council members are not afraid and do have the strategies, insight and business acumen to follow through with the task in front of him.
I have studied the roots of this disengagement and I believe that it has been strongly influenced by some of the biggest revivals the West has seen. A lot of the revivalists in various centuries were convinced that we could give up our business, scientific and political aspirations “to follow Jesus” … performing miracles, signs and wonders within the four walls of the “church” seem to take precedence to the very simple fact that more than 90% of the church is not called to be “full-time ministers” within the four walls of the building we call “church”… (other things to be unpacked here, but I will refrain…) they miss the simple fact that signs and wonders were meant to be practiced in the marketplace, in science, and in the political arena to draw men and women to the Kingdom… through time it seems like this disengagement of society and disengagement of intellectual pursuits has done the very opposite, and push the world away from the Kingdom…
I remember, about 20 years ago, like it was yesterday, a preacher saying to young men and women “don’t worry if you don’t get your high school diploma, what matters is it is that you preach the gospel!” This was definitely not the interpretation Jesus wanted with His parable of talents!
When revival meets reform, we have societal impact. Take for example Calvin that introduced banking to the middle class. We still see the effects of that revival turned reform today. Calvin was not afraid to embrace intellectualism as a much-needed tool to develop his craft of modern banking. Can we, as Kingdom minded believers, do better than that today? I HOPE SO!
Kingdom minded believers need to learn how to articulate the reasons why the various societal ills are not conducive to a viable civilization, without saying “it’s not American…” We also need the __ (fill in the blank with the word that you are comfortable with… I have a few in mind…) to defend our convictions at the right time, at the right place, in the right manner. Freedom is not given to the intellectually deprived, but on the contrary to those that can articulate why we have this freedom and what it is used for! Imagine Patrick Henry saying “Give Me Freedom…uh…because its American”
Erik Lindamood has been involved for many years in the marketplace as an entrepreneur, trainer and property consultant. However, his guiding star is Jesus and His call to transform the world. Erik is currently involved in transforming Africa through social entrepreneurship in the water supply area. You can get in touch with him here.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.