It’s a new day. During the 20th century Evangelicals spent more money spreading the Gospel than ever before. We printed more Bibles, built more Bible schools, seminaries, hospitals, and camps than in any other century. We now have more television stations, radio stations, missionaries, bumper stickers, t-shirts and churches than ever before. We did a great job spreading the message that the Bible is the Word of God, Jesus is the Son of God, and that all of us need to be born-again. One would think we should be headed into a positive future.
But as every political campaign and, sadly, too many sermons remind us, if we get off message, we lose. 20th Century Evangelicalism got way off message. Now our gods are attendance and money, our core aim is maintaining a good reputation, and our message is some strange amalgamation of Old Testament Law, New Testament grace, and the most recent cultural trends. As a result, we are powerless, mediocre, and many of our so-called bishops and apostles are nothing more than clouds without rain.
It’s time for a 21st Century Evangelicalism to arise. But it can’t be the message of the 20th Century made cool with graphics, videos, jeans and goatees. Simple Evangelicalism or Evangelicalism 2.0 won’t do. I believe 20th Century Evangelicalism is known as a hate group by so many because. . . we actually became a hate group to many. We don’t need a repackaging, we need to discover our New Testament center. We need to start again, and evaluate the New Testament in light of current realities and revisit our purpose in Christ. The focus of these blogs is to contemplate the central themes of Evangelicalism– theologically, socially, and structurally– and suggest some New Testament revisions.
Many of these ideas we have explored at the Roundtables on Life-Giving Leadership, which met around the country to refine the language of a Redemptive New Testament Church. Now, at the Healthy Church Intensives that I host here in Colorado for church leaders, we work to integrate authentic New Testament solutions and always produce healthy churches that grow in Christ. My intent with these blogs is a life-giving journey. My prayer is that this journey causes us to become exactly what Christ intended, an authentic body of believers, all gratefully redeemed.
If you are a church leader and are interested in you and/or your team attending a Healthy Church Intensive, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pastor Ted Haggard, DD, CHBC, is a Bible teacher with an emphasis on New Testament solutions to the human condition. His Bible teaching is informed by biblical scholarship, Choice Theory (Glasser), Attachment Theory (Johnson), and Behavioral Studies using DISC (Rohm).
This and other blogs by Pastor Ted Haggard are available at http://www.tedhaggardblog.com as a ministry of St. James Church. If you would like to strengthen the ministry of St. James Church and Pastor Ted Haggard by giving, please use the “give” tab at http://www.saintjameschurch.com.