The Breakup of Christianity

Many are beginning to explore the progression of events that have led to so much fracturing in Evangelicalism.  Others wonder if this is the beginning of the breakup of Christianity.

In a recent web article titled The Six Way Fracturing of Evangelicalism, Micheal Graham traces how the recent response to the death of George Floyd, COVID-19, and the events of January 6 are revealing division in Evangelicalism that has made it impossible to find agreement around a stated set of values. Graham states:

“while many in the evangelical movement thought their bonds were primarily (or exclusively) theological or missional, many of those bonds were actually political, cultural, and socioeconomic. These political, cultural, and socioeconomic differences have always been there beneath the water line but what has occurred over the last 5-10 years has been the extent to which those values are expressed has been exposed. With the expression louder and the exposing more visible, these divergent values have rapidly created substantive wedges between various subgroups.”

Graham notes that a significant group of post-evangelicals cite abuse, corruption, and hypocrisy in church leadership as the main reason why they no longer identify as evangelical. Some call themselves “Exvangelicals” meaning they have not moved to another identifiable religious association. The values that have drawn us together in the past are no longer stronger than the differences that are pushing us apart.

Even well-established churches with exemplary pastors are struggling. John Piper is one of a group of high profile leaders who have maintained a reputation for humility and cooperation, and is largely credited with launching the the Young, Restless and Reformed movement noted above.

But Bethlehem Baptist, the church from which Piper recently retired after 33 years, as been undergoing some sharp divisions over how to respond to the events and social issues credited with the fracturing of evangelicalism.

Even the strongest churches and leaders are showing signs of strain.