The sins of the past combined with the demographic reality of the present place white Christians in a dilemma. Unless they heal the Christian racial breach, inexorable demographic change will render white Evangelicals an ever-diminishing minority— a powerful identity group, to be sure, but one that is forced to cling to secular coalitions and secular politicians to maintain influence.

But to heal the racial breach, it may be necessary to rethink partisan alignments, to be open to understanding why Christian brothers and sisters who have the same theology do not have the same spiritual, political, and cultural priorities. To be always Christian does not mean declaring one will be always Republican—or always Democrat.

This is not a future Christians should face with fear. Indeed, with liberty secured to a greater degree than it’s ever been protected in the history of the United States, it’s a future we should face with confidence, even eagerness. After all, think of the incalculable advantages the American church enjoys over the Christians of the church’s persecuted past – the same Christians who also transformed the world.

Instead, however, too many Christians experience growing anxiety about the future. And in clinging to alleged “lesser evils” (the core of the Evangelical case for Trump, for example) in “self-defense” or to maintain access to power, all too many white Evangelicals have convinced their fellow citizens that they’re not worthy of the influence they so desperately seek. A community that is supposed to be infused with transcendent moral purpose has gotten its hands very dirty indeed, and it should surprise no one when the world condemns our filth.