American Evangelicals: A Fresh Perspective From The Bible Belt

This week on Interfaith Voices:

Bob Robert’s Evangelical Journey

The senior pastor of a Texas megachurch explains how he helps evangelicals — the religious group most likely to hold prejudiced views of Muslims — to embrace them as fellow human beings and Americans. Evangelicals, he says, are too often “brainwashed” by the media they consume and the religious leaders they admire to believe the worst of Muslims. They are more likely to accept this bigotry, he says, because too often their faith is a shallow one — too focused on getting to heaven to recognize their responsibilities on Earth. And while clergy should preach justice and compassion, Roberts warns them against aligning with political parties as the surest way to lose their prophetic voices. He praises younger evangelicals for their willingness to embrace LGBTQ people and others often marginalized by older evangelicals. And he explains how he came to champion the rights of Muslims, the criticism he and his family has endured for it, and how this ministry has enriched his life. Limit your exposure to the news, he says, if it will help you focus on the people who are in front of you – no matter their religion.

Bob Roberts Jr., senior pastor of Northwood Church in Keller, Texas 

 

An Evangelical Primer with Roxanne Stone

 

We talk to the editor-in-chief of Barna Group, California-based research firm that specializes in culture and faith. Roxanne Stone helps us define evangelicals: Who are they? What do they believe? Why do they tend to vote the way they do? We ask her to explain why so many of them throw their support behind President Donald Trump when so many things he has said and done flout the Christian values evangelicals say they hold dear. Stone explains some of the differences between older and younger evangelicals, and what their churches are doing to keep the latter in the pews.

Roxanne Stone, editor-in-chief of Barna Group