It is no secret the American church now faces a crisis of complacency.
Whether out of genuine respect for the beliefs and values of others or simple unwillingness to make waves and face social discomfort, many Christians across the country have given up the practice of openly preaching truth, rapidly conforming to progressive social convention instead.
According to a 2018 study from nonprofit spiritual research firm The Barna Group, the share of Christians who see evangelism as a personal responsibility and key spiritual discipline has dropped 25 percentage points since 1993.
On Friday, viral evangelist Bevelyn Beatty issued a stern wake-up call to the modern American church, urging its members to buck the trend and stop “virtue signaling” to avoid conflict over meaningful cultural issues.
It’s time for believers to actively “terrorize the Devil,” Beatty told The Western Journal — and to do so, they need to lean on the example of history’s most controversial, counter-cultural figure: Jesus Christ.
“You see it playing in the world, but it started with a lot of Christians who wanted to virtue signal and make an image of God,” Beatty said, playfully mocking the idea that in order to be Christ-like, one must “run in meadows and rainbows and jump around the lily pads.”
“That is not what Christians are. Christians stand on truth. Christians are bold. Christians are loyal. Christians will love you even when you’re dead wrong,” she said.
“But they’ll love you enough to pull you out of the fire.”
Beatty has brought copious attention to the untempered gospel message in recent weeks, placing herself and her ministry partner Edmee Chavannes in the eye of hurricane with regard to the most controversial political issues currently facing the United States.
On July 18, Beatty went viral on social media when video surfaced of the evangelist dumping and smearing black paint on a Black Lives Matter street mural created outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan by order of Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The incident made headlines nationwide as several videos emerged revealing Beatty had pulled an “all-nighter” in order to do the same to two other murals in the city.
Chavannes told The Western Journal on June 20 that the two were intent on mobilizing against the Black Lives Matter movement’s divisive political rhetoric and calls for American atonement over racial sin.
“What is the shame that you’re doing, that you are kneeling for? Because BLM is demanding total allegiance and it’s demanding that we bow,” Chavannes said.
“You only kneel to Jesus. You only repent to Jesus.”
— ??????? ??? (@RealDealAxelrod) July 18, 2020
Less than one week prior, the two had created another viral moment while preaching the gospel and calling out BLM inside Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, which has since been dismantled by law enforcement due to numerous violent criminal incidents.
They were also arrested while ministering to pregnant women in crisis outside a Manhattan Planned Parenthood earlier that month for alleged violations of New York City’s social distancing guidelines.
The resulting controversy and social media scorn were all worth it, Beatty told The Western Journal on Friday.
Jesus too had suffered for speaking truth to cultural power, she said, from the cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem to the very message of his ministry.
“If you want to be more active, if you want to get involved,” Beatty said, “stop thinking about yourself and get out there and think about the greater good, the greater cause — which is the people in our country, which is the innocent babies, which is the lost souls that are out there looting and killing people, that are headed to Hell. We are called to go and save their lives and give them the gospel.”
Just a few short years earlier, the words would likely have been inconceivable to her.
This street preacher is amazing!
“I know people don’t like Trump. If I had to pick between him and @JoeBiden I am not voting in Joe Biden. You want to see black people go to jail by the next 4 years vote for Joe Biden.”#Joebiden #chaz #CHAZCHOP #seattleprotest pic.twitter.com/BWLEkC1T86
— Katie Daviscourt?? (@KatieDaviscourt) June 15, 2020
Prior to a radical 2013 conversion experience which took place during a seven-day stint in jail, Beatty had been nothing if not self-centered — drinking, smoking and partying herself into the life of a college dropout.
Brought into contact with strong faith mentors by the grace of God following her conversion, however, Beatty quickly gave her life to ministry.
Time spent in the Bible and solid Christian community, in turn, gave way to a new lifestyle — one Beatty now urges lapsed believers and secular folks alike on to every time she gets the chance.
“I died to self, OK? For a long time in my life, everything revolved around Bevelyn,” Beatty said.
“If Bevelyn had it her way, Bevelyn would be sitting at home watching a good movie, eating popcorn and sipping on some champagne or something.”
“So, let’s be very clear: If I was serving myself, I would probably be just like one of those Christians who sit at home, watch someone else do something, think it’s not really Christ-like and then click off and just go back to living my own life,” she added.
“That is selfish. Christians have to stop being selfish.”
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