When I began blogging, it was never my intent to zero in on John Pavlovitz. I don’t mean to pick on him. But, he makes it so easy.
He isn’t the only problem. There is an entire movement afoot within Christendom that wants to re-write the play book. Their commentary must be addressed. And, Pavlovitz is one of the most visible among them.
With his latest offering, Pavlovitz does a particularly swell job of showcasing his self-righteous hubris. He doesn’t realize it, of course. If he did, he wouldn’t put it on display. To those who know better, it creates the appearance of a lack of piety. And, the entire narrative of Left-ist Christianity is that their piety is truly God-breathed - a lofty aim to which all of us should aspire.
But, piety and arrogance cannot coexist. Christians know this.
Pavlovitz’ article reads like an homage to his own virtue. He goes on a lengthy rant, bragging about the many ways in which he did not and does not support Trump. This evidently makes him holier than those who, based on a similar problem of conscience, could not vote for Hillary Clinton.
Pavlovitz is clear: He’s not one of THOSE miscreants. And, evidently, he is therefore more nuanced, more evolved, and perhaps more useful to the cause of Christ.
But, as I pointed out in a previous blog, what was the alternative? If Trump’s opponent had been a moral person, then Pavlovitz might have a point. But, the cries of “immoral” from the Left completely ignore the fact that Clinton is exceedingly immoral herself (not to mention her husband). And, further, while the Left extols the virtues of the outgoing Barack Obama, they ignore the fact that he enthusiastically presided over God knows how many abortions during his 8 years (to cite just one moral issue - and, yes, it still ought to be a huge issue for Christians who hold to orthodoxy).
True, Clinton and Obama are both cosmetically better-looking than Trump. But, the irony is that this seemingly immoral man may turn out to be far more moral as a president than his opponent would have been (not to mention his moral-looking predecessor). Time will tell.
Here’s the larger point: Pavlovitz’ and other neo-Evangelicals believe that they have arrived at the ultimate historical moment. They believe that “true Christianity” has finally been transmitted to.... themselves.
Not Paul. Not Peter. Not Polycarp or the other early Christian martyrs. Not Luther, Zwingli, Spurgeon, Chambers, Tozer, Chesterton or any other great orthodox Christian thinker. No, Pavlovitz and the other 21st century enlightened folks - THEY are the ones to whom God has finally given the truth. And, for them, the “truth” is that Christ-followers for 2,000 years (including every name mentioned above) have gotten almost everything wrong. Post-Enlightenment thought has, in their view, provided the correct foundation for understanding Christ and dispensing with unnecessary doctrines and dogmas.
And, this belief is leading them to some odd conclusions. The false contrast they are painting between Trump and Clinton is one example. Like so many of their other conclusions, it lacks the intellectual consistency they demand from their opponents.
Their myopia could be excused (maybe) if it wasn’t so devoid of self-appraisal.
Is it really possible that so many Christians are falling for this mindset? Is the error not patently obvious?
Emergent Christianity has gotten a stranglehold on a large sect of the Church. But, make no mistake: It isn’t the Gospel at all. I wish more of Pavlovitz’ readers could understand that they are like hogs being led to the slaughter.
My friends know that I do not defend Trump. It would help our national conversation if those on the Left would stop defending Hillary Clinton. Or, at least, stop vilifying Trump as though Clinton had been some kind of cherubic goddess. If Trump is the Hitlerian tyrant that you believe he is, it will quickly become clear to all of us.
And, I will be marching with you in protest.