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Backlash from the US Capitol riot may hit UK evangelicals

February 2021 | by Mike Judge

The attack on the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., last month was an outrage, and a sad day for democracy across the western world. President Trump must bear his share of responsibility for raising the temperature of the crowd, just as those on the left must bear their share of the responsibility for firing up the BLM riots last year. The polarisation of politics has become – literally – deadly.

The impact on evangelicals here in the UK may come in two forms. First, there is a troubling tendency for evangelicalism to import the values of the culture. The fault lines between ‘woke’ evangelicalism and ‘conservative’ evangelicalism have already emerged. But so too has the heat and hatred which seems to accompany those debates.

Here at Evangelical Times we have not hidden our concerns about the politically-correct woke agenda. We won’t shy away from robust debate and clear analysis of the issues. But at the same time, we should all take care that we are generating light and not heat.

The second impact is this. Big technology companies and other powerful interests have decided that ‘socially conservative’ opinions automatically breed hatred and tend towards violence, and therefore need to be shut down. So, even if you’re not politically conservative, but you do hold to biblical teaching on abortion, LGBT issues, or the role of men and women, you may find yourself censored.

Legislation along these lines is already on the horizon. An ‘online harms reduction’ bill is currently working its way through Parliament. Campaigners are calling for laws to make it illegal to urge someone – whether in a sermon, a prayer, or in pastoral counselling – to resist LGBT temptations. Atheists in Scotland have already said they want to use new hate crime laws to ban parts of the Bible.

These things were already in the pipeline long before those thugs stormed the steps of the US Congress last month. But because of their reckless action, they just became a whole lot more likely.

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