The Immoral Majority: Why Evangelicals Chose Political Power Over Christian Values by [Ben Howe]

Title: The Immoral Majority:
Why Evangelicals Chose Political Power Over Christian Values
Author: Ben Howe
Genre: Politics/Theology
Pages: 265 (plus indices, citations, etcs.)
Rating: 4 of 5

How could so many Evangelical Christians go from howls of “Character matters! He must resign!” during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal to declaring “we’re electing a president not a pastor” and “it’s just locker room talk” in defense of the flagrant immorality of Donald Trump? How can they not see this blatant testimony-destroying hypocrisy? How can we speak with any kind of moral authority when the majority of self-identified Evangelicals unreservedly applaud and defend the every action of a man who in his personal conduct is the antithesis of our Lord and Savior? If nothing else, this book has let me know that there are at least a few other conservative Christians out there who share these grave concerns.

Ben Howe, a self-identified Christian and political conservative, takes a hard look at the “Trump Evangelicals.” He traces the steps that led from “not my first choice, but…” to full-fledged defense, support, or even celebration, of behavior that should appall a follower of Jesus Christ. He tries to uncover and understand the underlying motives (concluding mostly self-interest & retribution after years of feeling like they were being unfairly mischaracterized), and shows how any “gains” made through policy are essentially “gaining the world but losing your soul.” He ends on a call to return to trusting God’s to accomplish his will as we consistently obey him rather than trying to help God out with an ends-justify-the-means plunge into hypocrisy.

As far as weak points: His definition of Evangelical was incredibly imprecise, some of his attribution of motives may have been overly cynical, and he seemed to go back and forth on whether it was a problem to support Trump at all or just a problem to support/defend his flagrantly immoral behavior. In spite of these imprecisions, I would still highly recommend this book as food for thought and a biblically solid rebuke of the ends-justify-the-means thinking that far too many Christians have adopted in the arena of politics.

I leave you with this quote: “Our job is to ensure our devotion to Christ’s teachings in the means. Our trust is to believe in God’s will as it relates to the ends.” (p. 229)

11 thoughts on “A Rebuke of Blatant Hypocrisy

  1. This is remarkably similar to what our pastor talked about the other week. He was talking about politics and how too many Christians act like “the country will fail if X gets into office”. He was pointing out, rightly, that God’s man is elected each time.

    I would love to be able to dispute books like this, but I’m afraid that the results of the last 40 years show that they are correct. The church has lost an entire generation of young people and we continue to hemorrage people, much less gain new ones. Our focus was in the wrong place and we’re paying the price now.

    I used to wonder how the US could fall into what Europe has already become and now, I’m seeing it.

    At the same time, books like this rely too heavily on modern media interpretation, which I categorically reject as they are the very spirit of Anti-Christ.

    sorry for the ramble….

    Like

    1. Your pastor and I must be on the same wavelength… sounds a lot like what I preached last week. (This week was from Ephesians 5:3-14 on not being a giant hypocrite by treating sin like “no big deal” when we think it benefits us in some way and rebuking it in people/politicians we don’t like.)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I found it right in the middle of writing a sermon that covered a lot of the same territory so it was a pretty interesting complement and confirmation that I wasn’t the only person “in my circles” seeing this.

      Liked by 1 person

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