This is a picture of the Last Supper.
I love this image. Jesus in the middle and the crowd surrounding Him and the crowd squeezing close to Him. The table is small and it is very clear that the table will not fit the crowd around Him. It doesn’t appear Jesus really cares here. He is just glad to have everyone there.
There has been a lot of discussion around the topic of Jesus , tables, invaliitation and who belongs at the table. The recent debate’s around what happened around World Vision. There has been some specific speculation around the widening gap between the Evangelical church and everyone else.
As an example of this speculation, I present you this blog from The American Jesus. http://theamericanjesus.net/?p=11940&utm_content=buffer2c466&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign
He would argue that it is time to abandon “Evangelicalism” and we need “New Wineskins” Here is a portion of his post.
As the past few years have hinted at, and last week made crystal clear, evangelicalism is an old wineskin that is long past its expiration date. It was a new wineskin once and served the church well for a time, but it has become dry, brittle, and broken.
The Spirit is alive and needs room to breathe in the church, to expand the gospel to people who desperately need it. But evangelicalism is a old wineskin that clearly can’t handle the expansion of the Spirit.
So we must let it go.
Now, while some of you might agree with that. There certainly seems to be some anger, actually lots of anger towards them. Quite frankly, I haven’t seen this much expressed anger towards a Christian group not named “Westboro Baptist Church” ever after World Vision.
However anger or not, the Evangelical’s are still speaking and standing strong. They would disagree with The American Jesus and as a matter of fact feel their future is strong.
I bring to you Trevin Wax from The Gospel Coalition. I present this post http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2014/04/02/the-fault-lines-before-the-evangelical-earthquake/
He argues that not only will the Evangelical Church survive’s, it thrives. Here is a sample from his post.
Revisionists are culturally captive to the demands of a shrinking subset of affluent, Western churches. Though global evangelicalism is much more united on the authority of Scripture and the distinctiveness of Christianity’s sexual ethic, revisionists lecture global churches on why they should adopt the same beliefs and practices that emptied their own.
The Moderates hold to an unsustainable position. They uphold a traditional understanding of marriage and sexual ethics, and yet they downplay the significance of these issues by taking the “agree to disagree” posture or a quiet agnosticism (“since people disagree on this, who can really know?”). I sympathize with those who feel like the culture has thrust upon us an issue we didn’t ask for and those who are weary of the constant cultural clashes between evangelicals and revisionists. That said, this category will shrink the fastest. The revisionists will challenge moderates to stop linking arms with people who affirm traditional marriage because they are “hateful” and “bigoted.” The evangelicals will challenge moderates to recognize the underlying authority of Scripture issues that accompany this debate. Moderates today will be forced to choose sides tomorrow. Those who remain on the fence will see their children, or the next generation, move steadily into the revisionist camp in response to increasing cultural pressure. “If marriage isn’t a big deal, Mom, then why are we holding the line on this?”
Now I’ve given you some reading and thinking. On my Facebook, I asked this question.
When I say the word evangelical, what comes to your mind?
The interesting thing is this. The comments are quite divided and even. There were both positive and criticism towards the Evangelical Church. The positive includes kindness, compassionate and family-oriented. Criticism includes anger, hatred, and exclusive.
Is there some serious concern around the behaviour of some in the Evangelical Church? Yes, there is.
However, is there many people that have been impacted positively by the Evangelical Church? Yes, there is.
Is it in trouble?
I’ll let you decide first, but from where I sit, there still seems to be room at the table.