"The last several decades witnessed tremendous evangelical influence in the United States. Leaders such as Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Paige and Dorothy Patterson, James Dobson and James and Betty Robison made a bold impact on America's families, churches and government. Now that those few leaders are aging or retiring, or have died, there are very few traditional evangelical leaders left holding the torch, and even fewer candidates to whom they can pass it." -- Chelsen Vicari
Really? This is who Vicari holds up as our beacon to when things were better? Perhaps no greater false teachers in the past few decades were there than Falwell and Robertson. LaHaye gave us the horrifically unbiblical left behind series. Dobson is more of a political operative than a Christian leader. Robison has endorsed the ecumenical path that leads to the one world church. These were not great Christian leaders beloved. These were people however that shared Vicari's NAR worldview. Mercifully, he concludes:
"Evangelicals and culture warriors in the U.S. do not have to look far to discover what happens when Christian denominations give up on their traditional convictions and teachings. All we have to do is look at the dwindling memberships of mainline Protestant denominations. In order to safeguard the trajectory of young evangelicals, we must uphold the authoritative Word of God. It is imperative that those in a position to influence millennials have transparent and honest discussions about the culture wars in which evangelical youth are already engaging. Otherwise they will be silent and accepting in the face of persecution and false doctrine. The importance of arming the next generation of evangelicals cannot be overstated. If we continue to follow the example of mainline Protestants, evangelicalism will have a gloomy future. We must offer sorely needed leadership, but before we can do that, we need to know exactly whom and what we are up against." -- Chelsen Vicari
It is not surprising that we end with the same disconnect we began with. Yes it is imperative that we hold firm to the authoritative word of God - within our churches! Not within the culture. If you want to know why Christian youth are "losing the culture war" it is because you sent them out unarmed into the conflict! Giving them talking points about hot button political issues is not arming them. Give them the only weapon the bible says we need. The only offensive portion of the armor of God -- the sword of the Spirit. The problem is not that we sent the youth out without talking to them about abortion. It's that we sent them out without the Gospel. This article may have had some points where you were tempted to say amen but peel back the layers and this could have been written by Bill Johnson or C. Peter Wagner himself. This is pure NAR. Vicari is right. Leadership needs to understand better what it is up against. To accomplish this it need not look to pending legislation, 2018 elections, or even the next Supreme Court nominee. To find out what we are up against the church need only look into the mirror.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- July 25, 2018