by Ryan Streeter on November 9, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.
He mentions how a large percentage of evangelicals cringed at Republican primary candidates’ references to social issues and then writes:
We are talking about, yes abortion, but also human trafficking, poverty, orphan care, adoption, etc. The primary hit on none of these…[E]vangelical churches are taking seriously intentional diversity. You have guys like John Piper and Tim Keller talking honestly about race. You have a whole movement of people going into the urban areas and planting churches. So there is a strong discord between what the GOP keeps insisting that evangelicals care about and the discussions actually taking place…If the GOP wants to win, I’d suggest a listening tour in some of the top churches like Tim Keller’s church in NY, Andy Stanley’s church in Atlanta, and other churches. I’d suggest attending conferences like Passion and Catalyst and The Gospel Coalition. I know the Obama folks are in tune with these, often attend these churches, and go to the conferences. Rather than going to Iowa and wooing old white culture warriors.
I’m the son of an evangelical pastor, and I’ve attended evangelically-based Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopalian, and Anglican churches in the various cities in which I’ve lived over the past 20 years. Everything the writer says is 100%, completely, totally, indisputably true.
Most evangelicals under the age of 40 have spent more time reading about and participating in the work of, say, the International Justice Mission than going to the pro-life rallies their parents took them to years ago. This doesn’t mean they’re not pro-life. They are. In fact, their non-evangelical friends are more pro-life than their boomer parents, so that issue remains important, but it’s not a hot-button issue for them.
There are many theologically conservative people out there who are growing politically liberal for the reasons the writer mentions: political conservatives have ignored or misunderstood their passion for justice while the left has not. It’s not that Obama has duped them. It’s that conservative candidates are totally out of step with what motivates them.