Evangelicals & Intellectual Tenacity
We live in unprecedented times. Now, there is a very real sense that all of the time is unprecedented as the events that currently take place have never happened before. But there is a whole other sense we can say unprecedented, and everyone understands what people mean perfectly when we speak about the year 2020.
The Year 2020 certainly qualifies and by then some. Of course, we have a worldwide pandemic. Forbes magazine reported on June 2, 2020, almost three months ago, the COVID-19 virus had cost the US economy eight trillion, I say again, eight trillion dollars. Lord only knows what the final cost will be, and we are only considering the US economy, just think what the final world bill will tally.
We cannot forget the mayhem perpetrated in the major cities of the USA, along with other places throughout the world, due to racial strife. 2020 will be remembered as the year we had Ahmaud Arbery killed in February, only to follow in quick succession with the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor murders, and those are just the incidents that have captured the nation’s attention. We also had the Central Park incident where a Caucasian female made a blatantly false call to 911, accusing an African American male of assault, only to find out she was the aggressor. I can remember another clip that went viral with an African American painting “Black Lives Matter” on his property only to be accosted by two Caucasian neighbors. They confidently “assumed” he surely could not have been their neighbor because they “knew” who lived at “his” residence.
I could go on and on, but I still posit the most significant source of irritation, at least for me, is the eroding of the intellect of most people, especially amongst professing Evangelicals. This past few weeks I have targeted as a
1) buffoon because I do not imbibe in African American Groupthink
2) coon because I acquired my information from Fox News (please note, I do not watch Fox News or any other national new channel
2) someone who is not really black because I do not share the typical African American Liberal worldview
3) person who needs to have his credentials checked because I surely could not be a legitimate member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. if I dared not toe the political, ideological line embraced by seemingly the vast majority of the members
4) An individual who is not regarded as an “intelligent Christian” because I dare to follow the guidance of Pastor John MacArthur when he posited on social media that no Christian could legitimately vote for anyone or any entity that supports the slaughter of life in the womb.
5) out of touch because I repeatedly advise people to visit and understand the ideology and worldview aspirations of the official Black Lives Matter organization
I have personally witnessed
A gentleman with a Ph.D. communicates with me, with all earnestness, that he embraced the socially destructive BLM goal of Defunding the Police. Even after sharing with him official national data that revealed that police brutality, while always wrong, does not demonstrate any animus toward African Americans
An African American, College-educated, and Professionally employed female who purports to be an “intelligent Christian” postulate, she finds nothing wrong with BLM. Even with an alleged intellectual acumen, she saw nothing wrong with BLM as an organization (I must note there is nothing wrong with the pure sentiment. Yes, BLM just as equally as any other lives as all life is created in the Imago Dei of God.) I will just point to one tenet of the BLM to illustrate why no “thinking” Evangelical could nor should, for one iota of a second, align themselves with the BLM organization.
The BLM desires to “Upend Western Patriarchy.” That, right there, is enough alone to make any sentient Evangelicals run for the hills, with the quickness, ala, Lot from the Sodom and Gomorrah. Run to the mountains and never look back, fearing if you did, God would turn you into a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife.
A person of color subjected to mockery and ridicule for positing I would not join the sexual/moral revolution, though often times I am dialoguing with individuals who profess to share the same faith I profess
This is just the tip of the iceberg I have encountered, and these are only from the people I know who are college-educated and doing otherwise well in their chosen vocational. Just this weekend, I had a former church member post a Bible verse that stated Jesus came to call sinners and not the righteous to repentance. No commentary, no exposition, no explanation of what he was attempting to communicate with his post. His comment was about a question I raised discussing how Evangelical deals with the issue of interacting with professing homosexuals. I imagine the individual (I shudder to even refer to him as a brother based on his conduct, but that is just me) was attempting to convey he felt I was being judgmental and not loving as Jesus Christ demands. But you see, that is only the problem, I have no friggin clue precisely what he was attempting to posit.
When I inquired, all he retorted was, “the Bible says it all.” Sadly, all mature Evangelicals knew full well; anyone can make the Bible say or mean anything they want when someone takes the Bible out of context. The wildly popular adage applies perfectly here: A text without a context is nothing more than a pretext, in straightforward terms that means when we can manipulate the Bible very quickly when we do not read the Bible in its historical-grammatical context. We can, and many have made the Bible a waxed nose.
I had a family member send me an unsolicited message expressing her disappointment in my “limited thinking.” Evangelicals who seek to rule their thinking by the Word of God are considered the problem, instead of being held in high esteem as they once were. You are viewed as the strange one when you had the audacity to stand with someone of the caliber and proven track of Pastor John MacArthur, especially when the point made by Pastor John is unassailable.
But you know exactly what happened. The conversation quickly became a referendum upon President Donald Trump, although Pastor John never made any reference: implicit or explicit in his post, and neither did I, then or ever. I have made repeated public declarations I did not vote for President Trump, and as of today, I do not plan to do so in November.
It is a far stretch to accuse me of mustering support for President Trump by positing no Christian can faithfully vote for a political entity that supports abortion. I grant that it is a possible inference, but it certainly is not a necessary inference. I readily grant the conscious theological Evangelical has some tough decisions to make, come November. My Sista Gurl, Pamela McKinney, have even very recently discussed that very dilemma.
The lack of critical thinking is exploding at an alarming rate, and it seems to get worse day-by-day. I was approached a couple of days ago by a fellow fraternity that I was to be held accountable for the acts of Conservative suppression of the African American vote. When I immediately asked for data to buffet such a bodacious claim, he shared a ruling from a District Judge who ruled in a particular city what the Republican Party attempted to do was voter suppression, in her opinion.
That is part and parcel of my irritation regarding our lack of intellectual prowess. I specifically asked for data to support this bold claim. A claim that is made by all political parties, so much it is nearly impossible to keep score. My interlocutor (questioner) did not seem to grasp the concept of the meaning of data, even after I shared with him Merriam Webster’s definition of the word data. Good ole Webster defines data as “facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis” (I emphasize the words “collected together”).
When you visualize something being collected together, you begin to see a series of data points being cobbled together. You do not envision a solitary decision by a single judge, but that is what passed as muster for data when I pushed back against the suppression of African American voters.
Oh, by the way, what were the Republicans found guilty of in one of these cases of voter suppression. The Republicans passed a bill requiring citizens to possess proper ID to vote. Now, I know there are all kinds of chicanery in politics. Maybe the Republican owned data that minorities in that particular district did not possess proper identification, for whatever reason, but I am sorry I am not going to be all hot and bothered if the average citizen does not have appropriate ID. If this is what one genuinely views as voter suppression, then the remedy is so quickly resolved: get some proper identification.
I have to end it here, but I totally believe our civilization is getting dumber by the minute. Kamala Harris said some vicious things about Joseph Biden during the primary. So much so, that Biden’s wife was supposed to be deeply troubled. Senator Harris’ charge was not some inconsequential allegation laid at the feet of the now Democratic candidate for the highest office in the land.
Yet, they both went on national television and insulted our intelligence when they said that spat was much ado about nothing. It will not make a hill of beans of difference to Democratic voters, the same way Donald Trump was able to brag on national television about grabbing women’s private parts and it not make a hill of beans of difference to Republican voters.
We surely must be in the immediate last day before the return of Jesus Christ. I cannot imagine this society sinking to lower lows. We have members of Congress posturing in Washington, while Americans literally are threatened with the loss of their homes.
I fear so mightily, so for the world, my new hero, Malachi Isaiah Falls, will inherit. Whatever world he inherits, if the Good Lord tarries His coming, it will be, in spite of, never because of my inability to push back against the culture.
I will not be as foolish or naïve as the Prophet Elijah was. I know there are many, many others who refuse to bend the knee to the culture. God will never leave His creation without a faithful remnant. Yet, the number seems to be getting smaller and smaller. But you know, that is just Jesus Christ promises. He said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
The secularist is fond of saying it is important to be on the right side of history. Screw that! I only desire to be on the right side of God. The culture will continue to see my as
one limited in his thinking
someone who is not really black
an imposter as a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc
a Christian who lacks intelligent
someone who must answer for all of President Trump’s foibles
I do not know if this qualifies as persecution (of course, not to the level of physical persecution), but I will still wear it as a mantel of honor. I stand with the greats of the Church Age who seek to live in total fidelity, knowing all the while I will never reach the mountaintop. Yet, if I faint not, there still awaits a great reward. That’s just the kind of Great God we serve.
Let me know what you think. Until then, keep your hands to the plow and seek to serve for an Audience of One.
With fear & trembling,
Ricky V. Kyles Sr., DEdMin