Greg Boyd can’t stay out of trouble. First, he nearly got himself booted from his denomination, the Baptist General Conference, for advocating Open Theism. That’s the issue which caused a ruckus at my denomination’s school, Huntington University, when one of its professors became a leading advocate of Open Theism, which questions whether God fully knows the future.
Now Boyd is upsetting evangelicals by criticizing how we entangle Christianity with conservative politics. On this issue, I’m right with him. There is a cost for Boyd: the church he founded in Minneapolis in 1992 lost about 1000 of its 5000 members after he preached a series of sermons on “The Cross and the Sword” and later published a book called The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church.
The New York Times published a July 30 article about Boyd and this controversy. It’s quite interesting. I’ve been sensing plenty of sentiment for Boyd’s views in the evangelical world. I’m certainly in his camp. It pleases me to know that many evangelicals are saying, “Enough! Christianity and Republican politics are not the same thing!” Even though it could cost the Republican party big-time in the 2006 and 2008 elections.
I think one of George Bush’s many negative legacies will be the way the previously taken-for-granted evangelical base of the Republican party began crumbling–or even openly revolting–under his administration’s cynical manipulation. It’s nice to see so many Christian leaders, like Greg Boyd, refusing to be partisan yes-men for the Republican Party. But if you take a stand like that, don’t expect to get away unscathed.
One reason I love going to Branson is the patriotism which permeates nearly all of the shows. I absolutely love that. I’m proud to be an American. But it’s a matter of context. Branson is a secular venue and the message is more “love of country” than “rubber-stamping of Republican causes.” There’s a difference.1 Comment