James Montgomery Boice has written the following regarding what I call the “Evangelically Sexy” religion:
“What hit me like a thunderbolt several years ago is that what I had been saying about liberal churches in the 1960s and 1970s now can be said about evangelical churches too. Have evangelicals now fixed their eyes on a worldly kingdom and chosen politics and money as their weapons? About ten years ago Martin Marty, a shrewd observer of the American church, said that by the end of the century evangelicals would be “the most worldly people in America:” He was probably too cautious. Evangelicals fulfilled his prophecy before the turn of the millennium.”
On May 22, 2007, a young man named Mark David Uhl was arrested for possession of several bombs. Uhl was a freshman at Liberty University enrolled as a Religious Biblical Studies major. The early reports suggested that Uhl intended to use the bombs to kill the people who were protesting the funeral of Liberty President Jerry Falwell. His comments from October 26, 2006, seem earily prophetic.
“America, where are our leaders. Christians, where are our leaders. Uncle Sam needs soldiers to fight so our children may live free. God needs soldiers to fight so his children may live free.”
Fueled by comments on Uhl’s MySpace blog, many quickly blamed mental illness for this young man’s actions and many rushed to distance themselves from Uhl. The actions of this man, however, may be connected to a larger issue of a worldly faith that seeks to use the weapons of the world. It is my fear that the Church in America has been consumed with preaching a false “Gospel of Democracy” that inherently leads to this kind of activism.
Uhl studies at the feet of Falwell and his political-theology. Fellow Virginia evangelist Pat Robertson, citing Falwell’s stance against abortion and homosexuality, said “He [Falwell] was a champion of the fundamental values that we hold dear… He stepped on some toes.” And now it seems that the natural outgrowth of that toe-stepping gospel is coming to fruition.
It is no irony that Robertson sees Falwell as a protector of fundamentalist-evangelical religion. Both these men have been consumed by the use of the world’s power to advance the Kingdom. We only need to look back to August 2005 to see how Falwell, Robertson, and Uhl are really promoters of the same new gospel.
Following is the somewhat tongue-in-cheek post I wrote in 2005. I am reposting it here because it has great relevance for the discussion of Uhl’s alleged intent and how some Christians have distorted he Gospel of Jesus.
Who Would Jesus Assassinate (WWJA)?
It appears the answer to the question, “Who Would Jesus Assassinate?” is Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, or at least that is what Rev. Pat Robertson of the 700 Club has said:
“I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. … We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.”
I would agree with one thing, Robertson is confused about God’s doctrine. Although Robertson has fought hard to keep the Ten Commandments on Government property, it seems he has not spent any actual time reading them (he might want to revisit #6). And amidst Robertson’s criticisms of Islam as a religion that promotes violence, it seems that Pat is convinced the best way to spread his Gospel of Jesus Christ is to kill people in cold blood. Maybe at the end of 2005 when Pat gives his prophecies for the coming year, he can provide a whole list of people he would like to see killed; a sort of WWJA list.
Seriously though, I think at best Robertson’s remarks demonstrate a tragic lapse in judgment, but maybe the greater concern for all Christians living in America is that these kinds of statements are par for the course when we put our love for a system of politics over our love for Christ. All of us Christians need to be aware that we are more than citizens of the USA; we are citizens of God’s Kingdom. Yet, if we allow our hearts to love democracy, more than God we will end up saying and doing things no better than what Pat Robertson has said. It is easy to think the solution to the world’s problems is killing evil men, but only when one has lost sight of the core of our calling as Christians to share the Salvation hope of Christ.
[Only time will tell for sure the mission Uhl had in mind, but it seems the course was set for Mark David Uhl. He became the “Loyal protector of whom he loves”, but what he loved was something far different than what Jesus loved. Jesus said “love your enemies”, but Roberson and Uhl say assassinate them.]
Now the choice is set before the rest of us. Make a choice and take a stand. Are you a servant of the Evangelically Sexy “Gospel of Democracy” or a servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? The choice you make will set the course for the way you live and the words you speak.