Evangelical Nation

By Ron Graham


“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God , which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them,” Acts 20:28 - 30.


I recently read an article about a new book being released in May of this year entitled "The Fall of the Evangelical Nation". Here’s a brief synopsis of the book along with a short commentary I retrieved from the website www.sliceoflaodicea.com


"Evangelical Christianity is dying. The great evangelical movements of today are not a vanguard; they are a remnant, unraveling at every edge. Conversions. Baptism. Membership. Retention. Participation. Giving. Attendance. Religious literacy. Cultural influence. All are down and dropping...With her trademark vivid and first hand reporting, Wicker (Christine Wicker) takes us deep inside this crumbling pillar of the Religious Right, exposing the surprising statistics and details of this unexpected fall."


This author appears to be making some pretty bold statements, and it will be most interesting to see her data. It is also interesting that she chose none other than Brian McLaren to endorse her book. Brian McLaren doesn't believe in hell and the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross, which firmly removes him from the historic definition of evangelical. He does, however, qualify for the label of the new variety where you can make things up as you go. He writes,

“Written with intensity, passion and compassion, this is one of the year's truly important books on the changing face of religion in America .”


Those who hate the Christ of the Scriptures have a vested interest in declaring evangelical Christianity dead. The circus church foolishness and the perversion of true evangelical teaching has given them a pretext to do so. But the real church of Jesus Christ is indeed a remnant—a remnant that is alive and well and we are promised by Jesus Christ himself that the gates of hell will not prevail against her.


“Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” 1Timothy 6:5


Do I believe evangelical Christianity is dying? No, that would not be my view on the subject. More and more though we see a new evangelical movement emerging, and I believe the roots of such are emerging from the depths of Hell and being promoted from pulpits inside many of our Christian Churches . When we read that some big name evangelicals are beginning to move their beliefs into alignment with the Nicolaitans (Roman Catholic Church) for example, we can only conclude that they are being led by the father of all lies. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 1 Timothy 4:1, 2.  


Along with the Nicolaitans leading the Church astray, we have the new evangelical preachers who deceive the laity by means of spreading a false prosperity, a health and wealth gospel Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,” 2 Timothy 3:7. We shouldn’t be surprised by those who excel at tickling the ears of their followers with false gospels, then with audacity ask or even demand their audience send them money. The Bible clearly speaks of such things happening as we move closer to the end times. “…so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith,” 2 Timothy 3:8.


There is an incredible amount of wealth among these prosperity preachers. Is it a sin for a preacher to be wealthy? Before I answer that question let’s take a look at our Lord’s lifestyle while He lived and walked here on earth. Was Jesus Christ wealthy? Was Jesus even concerned with material things? Jesus tells us “And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have [thy] cloke also,” Matthew 5:40. Are we not to imitate Jesus in our daily walk? Jesus had no use for earthly gain.


I’ve known pastors that work all week at an outside job to make ends meet. Some won’t even accept a salary from the congregation where they preach and minister. They are that concerned about erroneously being accused of fleecing their flock. When we hear of evangelical preachers receiving yearly salaries in the hundred thousand to multi-million dollar range, and see the lavish lifestyles some have aspired to, we need only go to the scriptures for clarification. Paul tells us to “Let your moderation be known unto all men, Philippians 4:5. Where’s the moderation of these super-rich evangelicals? As for those who support these false evangelicals, I can only conclude covetousness and greed must be welcomed rather than being looked upon as sin? “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition,” 1Timothy 6:9.


Don’t misunderstand me I’m not saying wealth is a sin. Abraham was incredibly wealthy but he didn’t live a lavish lifestyle. Solomon was the wealthiest man in all history and look what happened to him. What I’m saying is preaching a gospel that proclaims monetary gain as godliness is sinful. Many of these evangelical preachers keep the love of money as their god. “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows, 1Timothy 6:9. Loving money is the root of all evil, whether we are trying to acquire it or hold onto it. We can be led into all sorts of evil just by loving money.


The Apostle Peter tells us in his first epistle “…not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind.1Peter 5:2. The filthy lucre Peter is speaking of is money, should money be the appeal of the pulpit? In his second epistle Peter explains “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not, 2 Peter 2:3. I believe God has a special place set aside for Bible teachers, who through deception, are leading His children astray and doing so for personal gain. “…even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction,” 2 Peter 2:1. False doctrines are damnable heresies.


Pastors who aspire to the pulpits because they feel a calling by God are following the will of God to be a shepherd to His children. They are to be committed to God’s truth and to feed our Lord’s flock with His truth. Believers are to see their pastor as a leader and a teacher who supplies direction, correction, and encouragement. Evangelical pastors who have become multimillionaires by means of exhorbantly high salaries, sucked away from their congregations, are not adhering to sound doctrine according to the word of God.


So what are sound characteristics of an Evangelical Christian? We are born again believers, our faith is very important in our life, we believe we have a personal responsibility to share our religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians, we believe that Satan exists, we believe that eternal salvation is possible only by grace through faith, not works, we believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth, we assert that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches, we describe God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today. Evangelical Christians who are humbly pursuing a path of righteousness before God are infinity more in line with His scriptures than those who are covertly, or even overtly, evangelizing falsely for the express purpose of acquiring personal wealth.


Today the term evangelical is becoming a dirty word among many believers. We see the Church being led in a direction contrary to God’s word by these money seeking, false teaching, children of Satan, the new evangelical. Jesus’ own words are ear splittingly loud. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” Matthew 6:19-21. Don’t these false evangelicals even read the Bible?


All Christians need to be about our Fathers business, so shouldn’t we all be evangelists? So, how do born again believers combat this scourge that seems so focused on corrupting Christ’s Church? “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness, 2 Peter 3:17. We, as believers, should be able to distinguish between the truth of God’s word and the lies of those pushing false doctrines.


Personally, I’ve made a commitment to expose these erroneous doctrines. My weekly commentaries have in the past, and will in the future, address the falsehoods being taught and accepted by many of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I believe what we are seeing come to pass is what’s known as the “Great Apostasy” of the end times.


There are many godly people in this country working diligently to expose the false teachings being promoted by these heretics; they are devoted followers of Christ proclaiming His true Gospel even in the face of adverse persecution. Are they working tirelessly for reason of some sort of worldly gain? No, they know where their treasure lies. I would much rather address the accomplishments of those who are committed to God’s word and write about how God is using them to His Glory. However, the pervasive evil of what’s happening in Christ’s Church is too important to overlook.


Christians, understanding the times we’re in is imperative, and only by studying our Bibles will we be prepared for what’s coming. Whether or not you agree that we are in the last days, studying our Bibles is our only course for girding ourselves with the truth which God has set before us. Biblical prophecies are overwhelmingly coming to pass before our very eyes, and we must learn their meanings for ourselves. There are many great teachers all over this country that are very well equipped for leading believers in the scriptures, especially when it comes to true Bible prophecy. I recommend a thorough but careful study by one or more of your favorite Bible teachers with special attention given to eschatology (the study of end times). Notwithstanding we should always heed Dr. Luke’s words as he tells us about Paul and Silas’s trip into the area of the Bereans. “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea : who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so,” Acts 17:10, 11. The Bereans searched the scriptures for themselves to make sure that what Paul and Silas had been teaching was God’s truth. By diligently studying our Bibles and knowing the scriptures as did the Bereans these false evangelicals will inevitably slip into oblivion along with their false gospels.


Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ still being preached? Are there still conversions and baptisms, happening in this country? Is church attendance increasing or decreasing? What about the literacy of the scriptures? Do believers still study their Bibles? If the writer of the book I mentioned above is correct in her assertions, the fault can only be attributed to those who make up Christ’s Church. I’ve said it before in other commentaries apathy is running wild in the Christian Church today. The author states that Evangelical Christianity is dying. I disagree. Evangelical Christianity isn’t dying but is in fact changing, and clearly not for the better.


I would love to be proven wrong.


God bless you all,


Ron Graham