So says self-described evangelical Michael Spencer in a broad-ranging essay for The Christian Science Monitor called “The Coming Evangelical Collapse.” We’re pretty skeptical about the power of prognostication here at Queerty (Pick up an issue of Wired from the mid-nineties and read it for laughs sometime), Spencer makes some good arguments as to why evangelical Christianity’s days are numbered. Reason #1: Evangelical Christians don’t know the first thing about Christianity.
Spencer breaks the reasons for evangelical Christianity’s impending demise down to seven reasons, which we further distill for you into simply talking points:
- Evangelicals are so tied to the “culture wars” that they look to the public at large like they’re blocking progress.
- “Young Christians know next to nothing about their faith except how they feel about it.”
- Megachurches have eaten up evangelical Christianity.
- Christian education does not compete with secular education.
- Shifting cultural values make evangelicals want to “do good” in ways that are incompatible with the faith.
- Kids don’t want to hear your crazy Bible talk.
- No money!
The whole article is worth a read and Spencer has some interesting ideas on what the future holds for evangelicals.
There’s a subtext here that part of the reason evangelicals are in danger is that they stand in the way of social progress issues– you know, like rights for gays and lesbians. The more it becomes socially unacceptable to hate on gays and lesbians, the less support churches who promote bigotry will have.
This is one of the brass tacks facts that have emerged post-Prop 8. Mormons, evangelicals and Catholics have decried gay boycotts and protests against their anti-gay rhetoric and involvement in political campaigns and the truth is, there’s no middle ground on the issue. These churches are absolutely right that gays and lesbians are intolerant of beliefs that say it’s okay to deny gay people their civil rights. The danger to these churches is that the more mainstream society finds their beliefs unacceptable, the more marginalized they’ll become.