Here’s another quotation from MLK Jr’s Strength To Love that I found relevant for the evangelical church today:
The Greek Church in Russia allied itself with the status quo and became so inextricably bound to the despotic czarist regime that it became impossible to be rid of the corrupt political and social system without being rid of the church. Such is the fate of every ecclesiastical organization that allies itself with things-as-they-are.
The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.
In my opinion, the evangelical church in America’s move towards political activism and being so closely linked to the Republican Party has been a huge mistake. I believe it has reduced the church’s esteem in the minds of the non-churched, making evangelism more difficult and contributing to the decline of church attendance in the younger generation.
More significantly, it’s caused the church to have to water-down its prophetic message. When I see church leaders defend Trump and excuse (though not support) his personal immorality, the church has lost its prophetic power. I can think of no greater example of political entanglement leading to loss of power as with Focus On The Family’s silence on the separation of families at the border. The organization’s name is literally about families. In years past, they led initiatives for protecting the unity of immigrant families. But they can’t speak on the issue because it will alienate their white Republican donors with whom they’ve become inextricably linked. When Focus On The Family can’t focus on the family, something has gone wrong.