As you may know, I am uncomfortable with the Evangelical label. I often bristle when I or something I am associated with is labeled as "Evangelical." While I would describe my faith as historically evangelical, I do not subscribe to most of what is attributed to Evangelicalism today. I have sometimes suggested that we need a new label since this one has been hijacked.
And I am not alone.
Over at The Burner, Kurt Frederickson has described himself as an Evangelical that has been robbed. Here is some of what he has to say.
I am an evangelical. It defines the way I think (my orthodoxy), how I act (my orthopraxy), and how I relate to God, to others and my world (my orthopathy). This is a joyful and hopeful way of being a Christian. An evangelical loves God greatly, and seeks to serve others and bless the world. An evangelical is eager to engage in a community of faith that worships and encourages discipleship, and engages in mission around the world and in a neighborhood. This is that faith that is part of my heritage. This is the brand of Christianity that I have chosen. I am proud to be an evangelical.
But a crime has been committed. I am an evangelical, and I have been robbed.
American culture is eager to talk about religion, and this becomes very apparent as national politics heat up. In this cycle, I am hearing the term “evangelical” bantered around more frequently. Unfortunately this term is used to describe a wide range of people:
Those eager to decide who is in and who is out
Those who see God as stingy
Those who hold tightly to a strict set of doctrines and question anyone outside of their fenceposts
Those who are certain who goes to heaven, and who goes to hell
Those who ascribe to well defined and narrow moral and social values
Those who see evangelical as a synonym for Republican
I am proud to be an evangelical both theologically and genealogically, but the term has been hijacked.