The State of Evangelicalism in America and all that Blah Blah Blah

It has apparently become almost a pastime among conservative Christians to lament what the church is, rather than what she ought to be.

Over the past number of years I’ve had the opportunity to travel far and wide. I’ve journeyed to many countries across most of the continents. And almost everywhere I’ve been I have found myself challenged and encouraged by American Christians. Is American evangelicalism perfect? Of course not. Is she honoring God and carrying out his mission? I’ve seen that she is.

 

have grown accustomed to hearing about the horrific state of evangelicalism in the United States of America. The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation has seemed to add some new fuel to that fire, a fresh opportunity to bemoan the sorry state of the church today. It has apparently become almost a pastime among conservative Christians—and perhaps especially Calvinistic Christians—to lament what the church is, rather than what she ought to be.

I’ve come to think y’all are being a little too hard on yourselves. Over the past number of years I’ve had the opportunity to travel far and wide. I’ve journeyed to many countries across most of the continents. And almost everywhere I’ve been I have found myself challenged and encouraged by American Christians. Is American evangelicalism perfect? Of course not. Is she honoring God and carrying out his mission? I’ve seen that she is.

I have journeyed to Scotland to see work being done there to return the light of the gospel to what was once one of world’s foremost sending nations. Do you know what I found there? I found American people who moved far from home to bring hope to hopeless places. I found churches and pastors that are surviving and thriving in large part because of partnerships with American believers. I saw ministries staffed and run by Scots, but funded in large part by Americans. The work I saw there simply wouldn’t exist or be as successful without the generosity and involvement of American Christians.

Another recent trip took me to Rome where I went on a tour of the city with an American who had moved to Rome to find a job that would allow him to reach children and their families. I met other missionaries who decades ago had picked up and left their own country to dedicate their lives to a foreign one. I met American families vacationing in Rome, not just to tour the city, but to visit there to build connections through which they could serve and minister.

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