Four Groups That Have Co-opted Evangelicalism

Four Groups That Have Co-opted Evangelicalism

By Brannon S. Howse

The church in America, and worldwide, is being co-opted by at least four groups. 


#1 The Neo-Evangelicals


The first group calls themselves the “New Evangelicals,” but I prefer to call them neo-evangelicals. If that sounds a little like neo-Marxists, there’s a reason for that. Many of them embrace the economic philosophies of Karl Marx as well as all manner of heresy handed down by their forerunners who embraced “neo-orthodoxy.” 


As Iain Murray points out in his exceptional book, Evangelicalism Divided:


The “new evangelicalism” was the name first employed to describe what was proposed at Fuller. When its intended meaning was misrepresented by critics…the faculty [dropped] the term.


By dropping “new evangelicalism,” the terms evangelicalism or evangelical have been diluted by liberalism and have come to mean nothing. 


The most noteworthy characteristic of neo-evangelicals is their commitment to postmodernism, the belief that truth and reality are created by man and not by God. According to postmodernism, each person defines his or her own version of truth. Truth is subjective, situational, and is known primarily through experiences—including occult practices such walking a labyrinth, yoga, and transcendental mediation.

Many neo-evangelicals also accept liberation theology, a mixture of Marxism and Christianity, which means it ceases to be real Christianity as defined by the Word of God. Others adopt dominion theology and falsely believe it is their job to establish God’s kingdom on earth. The liberation theology camp uses socialist justice as a primary tool while the dominion theology group advances the cause through church culture which promotes their specific version of what the world should look like. 


As noted earlier, Jesus refuted both approaches in John 18:36 when he said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

Many within the neo-evangelical camp have little interest in the conservative movement and tend to be both political and theological liberals. They have historically opposed the religious right, because of their disagreement with the right’s conservative political and theological worlview. The religious right developed in the mid-1970s during the administration of President Jimmy Carter. Some of the its founders included the late Pastor Adrian Rogers of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the late Dr. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and the late Dr. Jerry Falwell of Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

The next generation of religious right leaders, unlike the previous generation, has largely abandoned the early leaders’ commitment to biblical theology and doctrine and unite openly with false teachers when it furthers their political and cultural goals. For this reason, I refer to the religious right as the New Religious Right. 


#2 The New Religious Right 


The New Religious Right consists of some who believe in dominion theology and some who do not. The hallmark of the group is an obsession with politics at the expense of the Gospel. The New Religious Right rarely, if ever, publicly proclaims the biblical Gospel. When they do, it is often alongside false teachers of the New Apostolic Reformation, the Word of Faith Movement, and New Agers. The result is a public confused as to which gospel is true Gospel.

My first-hand experience with many New Religious Right leaders and my years of studying them lead me to believe that they are largely committed to pragmatism, power, popularity, and access to political leaders, and they will compromise the Gospel and biblical principles in order to form political and religious connections with known heretics (can you say, “Glenn Beck”?), if that is what it takes to be successful in their agenda. 


I believe the New Religious Right is often driven by what will fill their fundraising coffers. They embrace projects and initiatives based on an assessment of what will increase donations as well as public visibility and likeability among “people of faith.” Mainstream acceptance increases the size of honorariums they can charge for speeches at churches or “conservative” banquets.  Yet their speeches rarely include the Gospel because the ultimate goal is not biblical preaching but winning another political battle, the next conflict in the culture war, or an upcoming election. That way, they can take credit in the next fundraising letter. 


#3 Change Agents—a.k.a., Christian Impersonators


The third group consists of change agents who are really imposters posing as Christians, evangelicals, or neo-evangelicals in order to infiltrate from within. These “change agents” are rabid haters of Christians, the Gospel, and the Bible and know exactly how to manipulate the church for their own ends. Many of them co-opt religious organizations and institutions in order to turn them toward pagan spirituality, ecumenicalism, liberation theology, dominion theology, and the creation of a New World Order. A significant goal of change agents and neo-evangelicals is to transform the church so it is no longer an obstacle to the New World Order but an active participant and builder of it.  


#4 Useful Idiots


By calling the fourth group “useful idiots,” I am not name-calling but using an historic term created by Josef Stalin to describe those who gave him credibility. Useful idiots generally are so spiritually immature that they do not have the theological and doctrinal discernment to understand they are being used. They love having their egos fed by invitations from the “rich and famous” to sit on boards of directors, give speeches at conferences, or join high profile organizations. Their Achille’s Heel is the pride which drives them to desire popularity, to be part of the in-crowd, to seem important, to be admired, and to be seen with celebrities of all sorts. Useful idiots can be found among neo-evangelicals, the New Religious Right, and change agents, but the separate tracks they all run on converge in one grand scheme.

Copyright 2012 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.