Posted by: Terry | January 24, 2016

I am no longer Evangelical

thAs near as I can tell the hijacking began around the time of Jerry Falwell in the late 1970’s, he was not alone and others (Dobson), joined in quickly, they all diverted evangelical from a statement of faith to a political label.

Evangelical has never had a precise definition, and its umbrella covered many with political involvements, yet at its heart was an attempt to adhere to the truth of Scripture. As late as 1947 there was an affirmation from Evangelical’s that dialogue and social involvement were most desirable.

The “Evangelical” world I grew up in was devoted to the idea that God has revealed himself to the human race, and that it was possible to know truth and know Him. “Evangelical” meant you accepted some core doctrines and practices, most of which I still hold as true.

Yet, during the administration of one of our most openly and arguably actual evangelicals, Jerry Falwell and others emphasized politics over faith and truth. Using abortion, as their rallying point, their message was clear, if you were a Christian you were conservative in your politics. From that beginning, the label “Evangelical” has evolved into a political term more than a statement of faith. Today Evangelical is a political label.

So, I now proclaim that I am no longer an Evangelical. My faith in Christ and most of the teachings I grew up with are still much the same as they have always been. But I can no longer attach myself to the political label.

I struggle as I watch politicians who rarely darken the door of a church, live a lifestyle that is all but Christian, and espouse ideas that contradict all that Jesus taught, try to convince people of how “Evangelical” they are. They are after a political demographic, and they court it by pretending to be something they are not.

My wife astutely observed that when God set up Israel he had the priests come from one lineage, and the kings from another – the first separation of church and state. Only Jesus has the wisdom to be king and priest. When we as humans mix religion and politics it always is a mess.

I love my Christian friends, regardless of politics, what I want to do is separate the politics from the faith. I once proudly called myself an Evangelical, it was a statement of what I believed about God. If I tell someone today that I am Evangelical it would be interpreted as a political party, one that I do not always support. So, I am no longer an Evangelical. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, Lord and savior, coming king, and reconciler of the world. I desire to live up to all that he wants me to be.

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Responses

  1. I’m not sure whether to welcome you out of a fold, or into one… 🙂

    • As long as I am out of the Political Evangelical fold and still in the more traditional, I am all in

  2. I agree that Christianity should never be attached to any particular political party. But as a follower of Christ there will always be consequences for our political point of view. The politics of economic injustice, for example. So I do believe Christians should be politically active, on a range of issues, but we shouldn’t endorse any single candidate as if they are “the Christian choice”.


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