The Church in Danger: Elitism, Hypocrisy and Self-Enrichment are problems in Evangelicalism, and it threatens the health of the American Church.
The evangelical church is in danger. Those seeking their own gain oversee many of our key evangelical institutions in America. George Soros has rented evangelicals and is using his Evangelical Immigration Table to change how evangelicals think about immigration policy. And at the same time some of our leading figures are helping themselves to six-figure salaries like Beth Moore, misusing millions of church funds like an audit alleges of James MacDonald and even writing hypocritical attacks on President Donald Trump. These Evangelical Elites are a threat to the very health of the church.
Fortunately, some evangelicals are fighting this.
Dr. Richard Land and John Grano attacked the elitist attitude on display in the Christianity Today editorial. They rightly critiqued the long history of Christianity Today and Mark Galli’s disdain for Trump voters.
Richard Land and John Grano point out that the evangelical witness Galli and Christianity Today seem so worried about is likely harmed more by the obvious contempt Galli and CT show to conservative evangelicals. They write,
“Mr. Galli asks evangelicals supporting Trump to consider how continued support for the president will impede and compromise evangelical witness for Jesus to an unbelieving world. One might well ask Mr. Galli how his obvious elitist disdain and corrosive condescension for fellow Christians with whom he disagrees, as ignorant, uneducated, ‘aliens in our midst’ might well damage evangelical witness to an unbelieving world.”
Land and Grano rightly argue that “CT’s disdainful, dismissive, elitist posture toward their fellow Christians may well do far more long-term damage to American Christianity and its witness than any current prudential support for President Trump will ever cause.”
This is true. The elitism of Big Evangelicalism is a threat to the health of the church. One of the ways it is displayed is the self-enrichment and hypocrisy of evangelical leaders. Again, Christianity Today provides the example.
Ethical problems and hypocrisy at Christianity Today
Let’s further examine the Christianity Today attack on President Donald Trump. Julie Roys exposes the duplicity in the editorial from Mark Galli and CT. She writes,
“Here were Galli and CT—an editor and magazine, which have not only consistently failed to confront corrupt leaders but have actually aided and abetted them—lecturing other evangelicals about supporting Trump. The hypocrisy was so blatant, I stared at my screen with my jaw on my chest as I read Galli’s entire op-ed.”
Roys then details the stunning lack of journalistic ethics on the part of Christianity Today. It ran an op-ed by the now discredited Pastor James MacDonald. The op-ed was arranged through the efforts of Christianity Today contributing editor Ed Stetzer. Stetzer works at Wheaton College and is a church planting consultant to the Southern Baptist Convention. And this is where the ethics of this so-called Christian magazine collapsed.
“And about a year earlier, MacDonald had given Stetzer a $13,000 classic VW as a gift. Though Stetzer reimbursed Harvest Bible Chapel for the VW after learning that MacDonald had purchased it with the church’s money, taking such a large gift is a serious breach of journalistic ethics.
“Yet when called on this glaring breach, Galli’s response was that Stetzer—a CT editor—isn’t a journalist. That’s another jaw-dropper. Whether Stetzer is a journalist or not, Stetzer should be required to adhere to the magazine’s ethical standards. Yet Galli completely brushed off Stetzer’s moral lapse. CT never reported what Stetzer did and Stetzer remained in his position.
“But it gets worse.”
For the It Gets Worse part, you’ll need to go to Roys’ website and read the story. Let’s just say it throws a very bad light on how Christianity Today operates. As Roys summarizes, “What’s become abundantly clear is that Galli and CT’s outrage concerning immorality is extremely selective… I suspect the reason for this hypocrisy is that CT depends on the evangelical industrial complex to survive. It needs its evangelical advertisers and relationships with top Christian celebrities and thought leaders to remain in business. But CT doesn’t need Trump.”
That says it all. Big Evangelicalism and its piety is all about the dollars.
Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous for Evangelical Elites
The business model of Big Evangelicalism is interdependent between the popular megachurch pastors, conference speakers, and publishers. They incessantly promote one another. They applaud one another. They stand up for one another.
It is what drives the six-figure salaries, first-class travel and extravagant homes. And Big Eva knows how to live the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
Anti-Trump Beth Moore’s home is valued at $1.8 million, according to one blog. And pulled in over $250,000 in compensation from Living Proof Ministries, according to its most recent and available Form 990.
Megachurch pastor who apologized for praying for Donald Trump David Platt chastises average Christians for their extravagant lifestyles but flew first class to visit refugees along the US-Mexico border this summer. His church purchased a home for him—the cost $835,000 in the elite enclave of Vienna, Virginia.
Even denominational employees are reaping the benefits. The Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board is buying expensive homes across the country. An example of the spending comes from Tucson, Arizona, where the average home price is $179,000. NAMB spent $475,000 buying a home for a church planter there. That is over double the average home price in Tucson.
It is staggering how Elite Evangelicals live compared to the rest of the church.
These elites in Big Eva are happy taking money from those deplorables sitting in the pews. After all, the deplorables pay the bills. However, these elites despise the little guy. Christianity Today and Mark Galli had the privilege of making it crystal clear how much these fellow Christians dislike the rest of us.
That’s a real threat to the Church. The Church is in danger. Who will protect the flock from these evangelical elites?