Sunday, December 21, 2008

THIS is the public face of Christianity?

This morning I caught no more than a few seconds of an interview on one of the Sunday morning shows. The interviewee was an actress, Kristin Chenoweth, with whom I am not familiar. In the brief moments I saw, she proceeded to slam Christians who oppose gay "marriage" as judgmental. She, you see, has wider world and believes, "people who love each other should be able to get married". I saw a brief clip from an upcoming indie film where she plays a suicidal prostitute. The scene took place in a confessional, cleavage and cross abounded. Then they showed a picture of a cover she had done for a "men's" magazine, skimpy clothes and provocative pose are no surprise here. She reported that her mother cried about it.

Perhaps she should be crying about her "nonjudgmental" life choices. According to her Wikipedia biography she,

. . . has spoken publicly about her faith; she describes herself as a
non-judgmental Christian.[23] Raised as a Southern Baptist, she later chose to have a personal connection to a faith that is not based in any one denomination. When in California, she attends a non-denominational church in Malibu. In New York,
she attends a United Methodist Church.

Chenoweth also has a large gay fanbase, and was uninvited from a Women of Faith conference in September 2005 "due to her publicized and heartfelt beliefs that God is accepting of all people on earth", including homosexuals.[24][25]

"Personal connection"? Really? That she was even invited to the Women of Faith conference seems to show those connected with the conference aren't familiar with Google. This seems to be a continuing problem with these mega-rallies masquerading as Christian conferences. In the early years of Promise Keepers, one of their speakers was a well-known preacher who does not even hold to an Orthodox trinitarianism. When this preacher's modalist theology was brought to the attention of one of their board members, his response was, "How dare you expect us to check on the theology of all our speakers! He signed our required statement of faith!"

When I attended a theology conference as a seminary student, I heard one of my professors remark, "That is the genius of Evangelicalism, it is able to reinvent itself as circumstances change." Evangelicalism has moved so much that those who would have once been in its mainstream are now called fringe, crackpots, fundamental legalists. Simple, seemingly obvious Christian beliefs such as the exclusivity of salvation in Christ, the sinfulness of premarital sex (which used to be known as fornication), lifetime marriage of one man and one woman, the existence of Hell . . .all these and more are now minority beliefs in what is known as "Evangelical Christianity".

Evangelicalism has become a label more pliable than molding clay. It covers everyone from Pat Robertson to Billy Graham to Rob Bell to T. D. Jakes to nonjudgmental actresses when the need arises. It can also dismiss each of these, except for Graham, when the need arises.

And you wonder why I no longer call myself an Evangelical?

1 comment:

Michael said...

> actress, Kristin Chenoweth, with whom I am not familiar.

Yeah, who's that.

> Then they showed a picture of a cover she had done for a "men's" magazine, skimpy clothes and provocative pose...

The Muslims used to think America's decadent behavior represented Christianity, but we could say, "No, those people aren't Christians." But now people claiming to be Christians are doing those very things!!

It was interesting seeing Texas quarterback Colt McCoy thank his "Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" in the interview after winning the Fiesta Bowl last night. Several other Texas players thanked God as well.