To put it bluntly: No, it isn’t.
Schaeffer just has an incorrect view of Christianity.
Let’s go through his essay.
While former President Jimmy Carter has already incorrectly pointed out that most criticism of Obama is due to race, Schaeffer writes that Carter should have gone even further and blamed his own religion:
There’s something he [Carter] didn’t mention however: the special culpability of his own religion — Evangelical Christianity — for the anti-Obama hyperventilating and furious reaction to our first black president. And that reaction has less to do with race and more to do with the ugliest side of religion.
Here is the author’s main point:
The fact is that if you’re going to blame one group above all others for the willful ignorance and continuing ugliness of the response to President Obama the best candidate would be the evangelical/fundamentalist community.
The people running around calling Obama is “Hitler”, the so-called “birthers” and all the rest can’t be understood outside of the context of the hermetically sealed world-hating gated community known as Evangelical Christianity.
Can you believe it’s happening in America? We’re honing in on the source of the problem, as stated by Schaeffer himself:
The key to understanding the Evangelicals is to understand the popularity of the Left Behind series of books about the “return of Christ.”
The Left Behind franchise holds out hope for the self-disenfranchised that at last soon everyone will know “we” were right and “they” were wrong. They’ll know because Spaceship Jesus will come back and whisk “us” away, leaving everyone else to ponder just how very lost they are because they refused to say the words, “I accept Jesus as my personal savior” and join our side while there was still time!
The bestselling status of the Left Behind novels proves that, not unlike Islamist terrorists who behead their enemies, many evangelical/fundamentalist readers relish the prospect of God doing lots of messy killing for them as they watch in comfort from on high. They want revenge on all people not like them–forever.
This grieves my heart. This is not at all the plan in Jesus’ heart – for His Church, for His return, or for the World.
First, let’s expose the notion that Christians will be ‘whisked’ away. We are not getting taken away. This is an erroneous doctrine that has caused much confusion in the Body of Christ – and elsewhere, as you now witness. Christians will be on the Earth when the judgments of God are released.
Here’s the kicker: The judgments aren’t released on the Church; they are released through the Church on the Antichrist’s kingdom.
This is a trustworthy statement regarding the judgments of God: God uses the least severe means to win the greatest number of people at the deepest level of love without violating anyone’s free will.
The fact of the matter is that people do not want Jesus to come back. They aren’t victims or idling standing by – they will hate Him and will seek to make war with Him (as futile as it may seem). Thus, the judgments are released by Jesus in deep partnership with His Church on the Antichrist’s kingdom.
Yes, there is coming a man who is worse than Hitler. He is the Antichrist. When he comes, and our families and friends are murdered, it is then that we will understand the need for judgment. It’s hard to grasp the severity of the judgments only because we aren’t familiar with the level of oppression that is coming.
Christianity is worth saving from the Christians for two reasons. First, because as moral and spiritual beings religion should feed our souls rather then strip out our humanity. Second, because whether we like it or not, religion is here to stay. Better to shape it rather than to simply denounce it.
The reason Christianity doesn’t look like Christianity is because we have lost our first love. We need to return to the 1st Commandment – to love Jesus with our heart, soul, mind and strength. It is from Jesus – the fountain of love Himself – that we will be empowered to love others and live out the 2nd Commandment.
We don’t shape God – He shapes us. It’s just up to us to get the correct paradigm.
Sin is sin. It is destructive. It can’t be reduced, watered-down, or dismissed. And, just because we denounce sin, it doesn’t make us intolerant.
Here is Schaeffer’s solution:
The only real answer to the hijacking of Christianity by the Religious Right, the longevity of religion-based racism, and the backward and inward looking movement we now call “American Christianity” is not to talk everyone out a having faith but rather to fight for the humane and ancient thread found within the Christian tradition. Blaming everything on race is too easy.
We need to realize that the American Dream is not the Gospel. The only message Jesus preached was to fast and pray, to love God, and to live out a holy lifestyle before him. Fun isn’t the right word – but if you pursue this your spirit will be bright! Life was meant to be lived with a free spirit and that only comes through loving Jesus.
Jesus created our emotions; He created us to have enjoyment, pleasure, and happiness. He set the boundaries for how those can be fully enjoyed.
All other ways outside His Word are distortions and lies and only lead people away from the truth.
American Christianity does need to be re-shaped; The fix is not to water down the message so that everyone can do what they want and still think they will reach Heaven.
While Frank Schaeffer is sincere in his effort to unify a people – his method and reasoning are incorrect. The devil loves sincere, deceived people because they are far more effective than angry, deceived people.
Jesus is returning soon. But, it’s in context to His followers being in 100% agreement with His heart and His plan.
“When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on this earth?”
The hour is urgent. The message for today’s Christian is not one of pursuing your best life now. You want to be developing a history in God now so that when He comes you will not be found without oil (Matthew 25).
This article from Frank Schaeffer puts urgency in my spirit. Time is running short and there is none to waste. We must know God’s Word, His plan, and His heart now so we are prepared.
My hope is that this has shed light on both the article and the hour in which we live.
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