Mark Daniels Christian Blog and Commentary

"Courting" Evangelicals

We shared a clip on my show today featuring a spokesperson for a mainline denomination, sharing her enthusiasm for the growing “Christian environmental movement.” But is it time to join a broad discussion about “Christian environmentalism?” Good stewardship of the earth is a fine notion. But there is so much more on our collective “plate,” as far as the body of Christ is concerned, that such a dialogue would seem now to be a mere distraction.


Pollster George Barna is out with his statistical “snapshot” of the “State of the Church 2005.” And the picture is not pretty.


Though there is a small, but laudable, increase in overall Bible reading…another of Barna’s findings leaps from the page. The number of evangelical Christians in America has not changed since 1994—it’s locked stubbornly at 7% of the adult population. Now, to qualify as an “evangelical” for the purposes of this study, the individual would have to be a “born-again” believer who says his faith is very important in his life today; an evangelical recognizes that he has a personal responsibility to share his religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians. Evangelicals believe that Satan exists, and that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not by being good or doing good deeds. Evangelicals assert that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth, and that the Bible is totally accurate in all it teaches. Finally, those qualifying as an “evangelical” describe God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today.


Do you agree with all of those statements? Then you’re quite obviously in a small but powerful minority. Consider all of the overtures made to gain your support by both political parties, including the current effort to--quite literally--“court” your favor over the judicial filibuster in the Senate. Entertainment moguls blame you for taking away artistic freedom. You’ve “imposed” your will on our schools, our media—all this, the handiwork of just 7% of the adult population.


Imagine what we might accomplish if more than 1 out of every 5 “born again” Christians qualified as “evangelicals.” But let’s keep our priorities in order. When more than 2% of believers regularly share their faith…when worship, discipleship, mentoring, Bible study, and financial stewardship are on track, and when the essentials of the historic Christian faith are just that…it may well be time to consider an environmental “movement” within Christianity. And just maybe then…the world would be ready to listen.