After President Donald Trump signed an executive order January 27 temporarily limiting travel from seven countries that have a Muslim majority, the discourse between the left and right has been hostile. However, Trump probably never thought that he’d get push back from the evangelical community, a large voting bloc whose support he infamously said he didn’t deserve.
An evangelical advertisement – featuring 100 prominent pastors and authors, including Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s Senior Pastor, Tim Keller, and New York Times bestselling author, Ann Voskamp, among others – is slated to appear in The Washington Post, according to a CNN report.
This is music to my ears. I had long wondered when the evangelical community would stand on the side of justice for those fleeing a war-torn region. Much of the heated discussion focuses on terrorism, which is a red herring. You’re more likely to die by choking on your food than you are of terrorism. Perhaps we should ban food.
But the question I have is why it took so long for evangelicals to wake up and smell the coffee (that is, speak against the travel ban). The only conclusion I have been able to draw is that the evangelical community is hopelessly tied to the Republican Party, and has chosen to align itself to the party through thick and thin. This wedding of doctrine and party has diminished doctrine in favor of party for evangelicals; we’ve lost our prophetic edge. We are entrenched in culture wars, still.
This doesn’t mean that Christians shouldn’t be “pro-life,” as we’ve traditionally understood it. It simply means that being pro-life should encompass all of life and should be understood by more than just the white, middle-class tradition. Life, and by extension, culture, is a complex order of structures, decisions, and brokenness. But despite these converging – and sometimes conflicting – orders, Christians should stand in the gap pointing the way to Jesus Christ, the author, the finisher of our faith, and the one who is making all things new.
Just a few days ago, I listened to a sermon from John Piper, who said that the order was based out of fear and callousness. He went on to say that there was no fear in love, according to 1 John. This resonated with me. Instead of focusing on winning, which seems incredibly antithetical to the central event of Christianity, perhaps Christians (and I count myself in this) should focus on loving to such a degree that people ask us how and why we love as we do. The answer is that we have a great savior that brings us back to the Father, who has supremacy over the entire universe. If we don’t have to fear God anymore because of his son’s death and resurrection, whom else should we fear?