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It's Embarrassing to Be an Evangelical This Election

 I find myself saying in the face of the fact that Donald
Trump has now captured the votes of more “evangelicals”
in the Republican primaries than any other candidate.

First, I point out that when the media says “evangelicals”
they really mean “white evangelicals” and virtually never
measure the opinions and voting practices of black, brown,
or even young evangelicals.

So I have to define the word evangelical. I find it’s best to
use the words of Jesus himself, words white evangelicals
need to listen to if they are, as they claim, believers in Jesus.

Jesus announced his mission in the little town of Nazareth,
as recorded in Luke chapter 4, verse 18.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free.”

Does that sound like anything you have heard from the
“evangelicals” the media is covering in this election?

When Jesus chose this text from Isaiah 61 to read in the temple,
he was proclaiming his mission, as recorded in the Luke 4 text.
These were the first public words out of his mouth, his first
sermon, his first public appearance, his opening gig, and his
mission statement. I've always called it his "Nazareth manifesto.
" Very clearly, justice would be at the center of his mission. He
came to "bring good news to the poor." The root of the Greek
verb Jesus uses there for "good news" is evangel, from which
we get the words "evangelize" and "evangelical." Jesus' movement
was to be based on proclaiming the good news. Without a doubt,
Jesus' gospel was always to be good news for the poor. Therefore,
any of our gospels that are not good news to poor and vulnerable
people clearly fall short of what Jesus proclaimed in his opening
statement about why he came. In other words, any gospel that
is not good news to the poor is simply not the gospel of Jesus

White evangelicals should have to explain, on the basis of their
biblical faith, how they find themselves among these statistics,
how they can feel comfortable with Trump’s proposed policies of
rounding up, deporting, and destroying the families of 11 million
immigrants; killing the families of terrorists; restricting the religious
liberty of Muslim citizens; banning Muslim refugees; and appealing
to the worst and most dangerous instincts of white Americans.

It’s time to put “evangelical” ahead of “white” and to revisit
Galatians 3:28, “There is no Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or
female; for we are all one in Christ Jesus.”

( Excerpts from Jim Wallis)

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