It’s been months since I last talked about Shawn McCraney and in my personal life I have found myself being an unlikely advocate for Shawn with folks. That being said I have just gotten around to watching some of Shawn McCraney’s recorded Heart of the Matter: Evangelical Christianity. I intend to deal directly with some of the issues he raises; but, so far, I like that Shawn feels freer and more open to being himself. It really comes through in his presentation. Concerning the content of his first show focussing on Evangelical Christianity, I can’t comment on any of the reasons that Shawn identifies in it for his original show’s cancellation, other than what I’ve said previously about what I know of the whole situation. And, concerning the things I know and documented Shawn is right that his termination appears to have been both vindictive (my word) and punitive (Shawn’s description).
I completely agree with Shawn that there is ample reason to critique and even go after, aggressively, idiotic elements that exist within contemporary American Evangelical Christianity. Evangelicalism is full of hypocrisy and, more seriously, heresy. There are things being taught in Evangelicalism today that put the souls of millions at risk of eternal condemnation because they are not hearing or believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The reality is that Shawn has biblical justification for going after the problems that exist in Evangelical Christianity. Pastors and leaders in the Church are called to serve as watchmen, prophets (in a sense) in their role as shepherds and overseers of the flock. Shawn is also totally correct in distinguishing between the Body of Christ and Evangelical Christianity. The two are not synonymous and Shawn, again, has biblical justification for offering criticism of contemporary Evangelical Christianity, so long as he maintains he distinction. Shawn has sound reasons and biblical support for his stated goal and I welcome his criticism and hope that God will use it to sharpen those who need it. I welcome and pray for a new reformation that returns churches to the bedrock of Scripture, and I hope that Shawn’s work will be useful to that end.
So, in the end I will continue to support Shawn McCraney and advocate for him, despite my disagreements with him (especially his apparent objections to Calvinism). I’m also not on board with his notion of Christian Anarchy. Although it sounds nice on the surface, my understanding of Church History leads me to be very concerned about any emphasis on Christian Anarchism because of the bloody history of the peasant’s revolts of the post-Reformation period. But, Shawn isn’t perfect, and thankfully makes no pretenses of being above all criticism. Because of his honesty and his willingness to follow his conscience I find no reason to encourage anyone to abandon Shawn McCraney at this point. In fact, I would say that more Evangelical leaders need to stop and listen to Shawn and take seriously his criticisms. I look forward to going through the videos as he posts them to the archives and will try to cover each one, although I won’t promise that.
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