Rob Bowman at Biblical Researcher had an interesting post yesterday about the implications of evangelical theological when it comes to how evangelicals view others faith. Bowman posts the following:
“Black Protestants tend to view Judaism in much the same way as white evangelicals, but a much larger percentage of black Protestants view other non-Christian religions as potential avenues to eternal life. Notably, about a third of black Protestants reported viewing Islam in this way, as compared to a sixth of white evangelicals. This is not all that surprising, since a majority of American converts to Islam come from black Protestant backgrounds. In general, African-Americans tend to view Islam much more favorably than white Americans.
Although there is much here about which we should be concerned, I would qualify somewhat Al Mohler’s assessment: “When 34% of white evangelicals reject the truth that Jesus is the only Savior, we are witnessing a virtual collapse of evangelical theology.” I almost always agree with Mohler, and in general I agree with him that evangelical theology in America is in serious trouble. However, the issue here is somewhat more complicated. In practice only about one in six white evangelicals consistently view non-Christian religions as potential paths to salvation.”
Note the lines I bolded. To address the idea that Blacks view Islam more favorably than Whites would probably be correct. Why? Take a guess.
After centuries of forced labor (i.e. slavery) and strident hypocrisy among white professing Christians as well as ambivalence among the same during the Civil Rights movement, why would some Blacks look for truth elsewhere? As an African-American who has been challenged to theological duels on the streets by Nation of Islam followers as well as by Muslim students, most of their arguments didn’t start with the Word of God or the Son of God but with the hypocrisy of the white evangelical church and culturally-Christianized America. It appears that failure in the house of God is still a stumbling block for some.
As far as Mohler’s comment, maybe it’s just me but white evangelicals are not the end-all and be-all for the Church. Jesus is bigger than the failings or victories of black or white evangelicals. Evangelical theology as a whole is in trouble in America and the West for that matter. That’s what we should be focused on.
Especially in the wake of the recent election, the dividing line I believe Jesus is more concerned about is not rooted in race or gender but rather in the sheep of His pasture and the posers who are pretending to be sheep but have given their hearts to other “shepherds” in society.
The Church in America is obsessed with cool presentation, numbers, image, money, and numbers. Our adultery with the irrelevant transcends ethnicity, gender, and litmus test issues is merely the result of what happens when we abandon Christ and the cross. The sad reality is that the Church is living exactly what it believes.