Black History Month set me to thinking about America’s churches. Some led the struggle for civil rights. Others lined up on the wrong side. In the 1970s, a phrase was coined by historian John Lee Eighmy to explain why so many white Southern churches got it wrong: Churches in Cultural Captivity. Turns out my fellow Southern Baptists — my own family included — were Southern first and Baptist second.
But has the problem of religious organizations being co-opted or compromised by the broader secular culture gone away? And is it limited by geography or political boundaries?
Consider the issues that most threaten humanity’s common future: global terrorism, climate change, overpopulation, and the political and social unrest caused by economic disparity. These problems transcend national boundaries and beg for international solutions. Yet political leaders have generally been unwilling or unable to find solutions.