Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Five Easy Predictions for 2020

I am not Daniel or Ezekiel. I’m not even George Orwell. So if we’re still here in January 2021, you can either say, “Well, he totally botched that,” or “Not too bad.” More likely it’ll be somewhere in between, as it usually is. Age and experience give one a certain ability to estimate what might be coming our way in our societies and churches. Basically, it is usually something like whatever happened the last time we saw similar symptoms.

But the operative word here is “might”. There are always factors for which we cannot account, the finger of God being far from the least of these.

So with it very much in mind that the Lord will do what he will in our world, let’s speculate about what we might see more of in 2020.

  More Polarization

It is exceedingly unlikely President Trump will be successfully impeached. Given the feebleness and ambiguity of the current Articles of Impeachment, unless the Democrats are able to introduce something new and appalling in the Senate, or unless he trips over one of his own tweets, the President will skate. He will probably even find one or two Democrat Senators cast their votes in his favor. Further, unless the economy suddenly tanks, and perhaps even if it does, he looks even more likely to be re-elected in November. It should not make a significant difference to the outcome whether the eventual Democratic candidate is Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren or the corpse of Hillary Clinton.

This will further incense the Democrat base — who, for the most part fail to understand their own Constitution, the impeachment process and democracy generally — causing even greater antagonism between the Right and Left, not just in the U.S. but everywhere in the West. Canadians currently have stronger opinions about President Trump than we do about our own Prime Minister, and express them with far more vigor and venom.

This increasing polarization will foster further divisions among evangelicals. The December Christianity Today editorial calling for President Trump’s removal from office is officially the Beginning of Sorrows in that department.

  More Identity Politics

The other day I took my dog to the vet. All but one employee there are very much out of the closet, and at least half their customers were of the same disposition. That is not because there are significantly more gays and lesbians today than ten years ago, though the number is probably trending slightly upward. Rather, it is because increasingly people are living, working, directing their money to, and associating exclusively or almost exclusively with people with whom they can agree, and who they believe will have their backs if things get rough. Creating our own echo chambers is the new order of the day. This seems to hold true whether the identity group in question is based on race, sex, politics or religion.

For Christians, 2020 will give us opportunity to stand out by, well, not doing that.

  More High Profile Virtue-Signaling from Evangellyfish

(Apologies for nicking a Doug Wilson pejorative, but it’s an awfully apt one.)

2019 saw major evangelical public figures taking weird and totally unnecessary political stances, or else unblushingly embracing the current Leftist narrative. Russell Moore defended Roman Catholic celibacy and wrung his hands in public over allegations of abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention. Mark Galli called for President Trump’s impeachment in an editorial that read like a laundry list of Democrat talking points. Beth Moore (no relation to Russell) pushed the biblical boundaries of public women’s ministry, and encountered no little pushback from John MacArthur as a result. Rachel Held Evans passed away unexpectedly this year at 37, but her challenge to conservative Christian beliefs will be perpetuated by young evangelicals vowing to “sow the seed” they have received, which is this case is not the Christian gospel but the social justice gospel.

The rate of imprudent and unhelpful public pronouncements from high-profile evangelicals is not likely to slacken significantly in 2020 now that George Soros’ money is being freely spread around the community.

  More Online Censorship

Conservative and right-wing voices are being systematically demonized, disemployed and deplatformed with by an increasingly-confident Big Social. Meanwhile, big-name Christian conservatives like Erick Erickson actively support these partisan moves and denigrate those banned as “not actually conservatives” ... until it suddenly happens to them.

In Erickson’s case, the cause of his Twitter suspension was an innocuous Elizabeth Warren joke (“Elizabeth Warren set to introduce the Wrecking American Prosperity Under Marxism, or WAMPUM Act, whereby she gives everything away for free”), which Twitter said violated its rules against hateful conduct.

With an election coming, expect much more of this. Dark Web anyone?

  More Kudos for Kanye

Kanye West’s unexpected confession of faith was one of the biggest stories in 2019 evangelical circles. He released two albums of Christian rap/gospel (Jesus Is King and a Christmas record entitled Jesus Is Born), performed in jails and took his Sunday Service Choir on the road and on the internet. Millions loved it, lots of his fans questioned it, and evangelicals are lapping it up. Jesus Is King debuted on the Billboard 200 at number one not just in spite of but probably because of its subject matter.

Now, no Christian could reasonably argue the conversion of such an influential public figure is a bad thing, though the long-term prospects of big-name public converts are, to say the least, a bit spotty (looking at you, Bob Dylan).

Expect the enthusiasm to continue in 2020, at least so long as Kanye can be persuaded to keep his expressions of faith mostly apolitical.

1 comment :

  1. One of the things that nowadays will strongly support the Christian teaching and perspective is the fact that survival after death has now been pretty much scientifically confirmed. The results are so strong proving that the mind and soul continues to exist independently of the body after death that any other position is now basically untenable. See these research seminars and results discussing various long term studies:

    The latest on Life after death research: indeed, the verdict is in, there is and the mind exists independent of the body as statistically and observationally proven.