I typically like to comment on the articles I link to, but my only comment on this one would be, “I agree with all of this“:
I have long observed that an alarming swath of public evangelicals seems to be driven by a consuming desire to be liked by the world.
… To their minds, they are trying to be good representatives of Jesus. They are focusing on “kingdom” issues. They eschew evangelicalism’s past mistakes of tying itself to various moralistic fads such as outlawing alcohol or opposing nylons and lipstick. They want to be sure that unbelievers know that they love them, that the GOP is not the Kingdom of God. They want to be seen as scholarly, cautious, nuanced, careful, measured, and helpful. They shrink from the thought of being seen as dogmatic, triumphalistic, or narrow.
Are those bad motivations? As stated and as far as they go, most of them are not.
However, I’ve come to fear that they mask fatal flaws. For starters, these sorts are willing to let their motivations be judged and dictated by the reactions of unbelievers.
The more faithful we are toward our Lord, the more likely the world is to hate us and want to silence us permanently (2 Tim. 3:12). Is that startling to hear? It isn’t said much, but it should be. In fact, I seem to recall the warning that the world’s applause and approval is generally a really bad thing to the faithful disciple (Luke 6:26; 16:15).
Wait, I do have one other comment: It’s an important mission for the church to reach out to people in the unbelieving world and connect with them, bridge the gap, be good neighbors, and all that jazz. But it is always a bad idea to take advice from people who want to destroy you.
Time and again, I see leaders in the church listening to people who aren’t just unbelievers, but who want to wipe Christianity from the face of the earth, and considering their criticism as if it’s legitimate rather than sabotage.
This makes me insane. And it’s why I take the position that the first priority of the church should be unwavering commitment to God’s truth. Because if we’re willing to be flexible in our beliefs in order to win the approval of people who hate us, then there is no more church.
People who say that the Boy Scouts should accept gay scout masters aren’t trying to help the Boy Scouts; they’re trying to destroy the Boy Scouts. People who say that Israel should trade land for peace aren’t trying to help Israel; they’re trying to destroy Israel. And people who say that the church should stop being so uptight about sex or marriage or abortion or religious freedom, or whatever else is the current front in the culture war, aren’t trying to help the church. We should be trying to help them, but we’ll never be able to do that if we hand them the keys and let them drive us off a cliff.