Do Evangelicals Hate Jesus?

So argues Phil Zuckerman. His point is more that they reject Jesus’ teaching. The essay is clouded by some confusion; supporting government programs is not necessarily equivalent to caring for the poor or charity, for example. There are thoughtful arguments that charity is best done on a personal or local level, by organizations like churches rather than government. But don’t let that consistent confusion crowd out the part that seems true: sometimes we don’t take Jesus seriously and find ourselves more shaped by culture than the gospel (in fact, I’d suggest his conflation of government with Christian care for the poor may be another version of the same problem). I’ve been in churches where church action to care for the poor was resisted as part of the social gospel (kind of embarrassing, really). And it does seem as if economic prosperity and security is way too high a value for many evangelicals. So at least we need to be sure we can answer how we follow Jesus’ teachings on mercy and forgiveness, on material possessions, on priorities, and more.

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