Sunday, April 06, 2008

Evangelical?


I loved reading this story... It talks about a growing number of younger adults who consider themselves evangelicals but are falling outside the traditional definitions.

I can't stand the fact that the word evangelical has been hijacked by a small number of people. I believe that this is a word that we need to fight to reclaim.

Evangelicals are too big too fit into any box and I am glad the media is at least beginning to explore that. I really don't think that it is an age thing necessarily as the article seems to be suggesting. I just think that many in the evangelical mold are beginning to find their voice on a host of issues.

So what does it mean to be evangelical?

Is evangelical a dirty word to you?

Does this story give you hope?

1 comment:

JJ said...

Not that I do not understand the "re-branding" of what evangelical means and the need to get back to basics, but I fear I do not see it in this article. I still see too much emphasis on "labeling" and politics and not enough of "what does Jesus want us to do?" The message of Jesus and being evangelical is outside of political messages and does not deserve to be attached to candidates or parties. Some examples
...
"We're young, and we see the other side of things," said Nate Riedy, 18, a freshman also from York. "Eventually, we'll be shaping evangelical thinking about politics."
"The Republicans under Bush let the states get away with loosening environmental restrictions," she said. "They're not environmentally aware, and focus more on business."
Grant jumped in to defend the GOP, saying it's the party of the American family and its values.
....
This quote really bugged me for some reason:
...
Older evangelicals are concerned mainly with stopping abortion and gay marriage. Younger ones count ending poverty and saving the environment as imperatives.
...
In an article attempting to show the broad base of evangelicals, the author somehow labels evangelicals as older and younger? I don't know about others, but my congregation’s grey-haired (and according to the ages mentioned, me) members care very much about ways to reduce poverty, improve health care, help the helpless and care for the environment as well as have broad based positions about abortion and gay marriage. I know because I teach (er, a, lead is more like it) a Sunday school class with mostly grey hairs and we discuss these things.
I agree with the parts about how Dobson and a few others seemed to have got control of the evangelical message that not all evangelical Christians endorse. At least there is that recognition, but this last part bugged me.
...
"Twenty-seven students voted for Obama, 10 for McCain, and two for Clinton. One voted for Huckabee, while one wag (it is college, after all) cast a ballot for TV comedian-commentator Stephen Colbert.
"Evangelical belief is really very broad," said Ashley Cook, 20, a junior from Washington Township, as the class filed out.
Taking the last word, Lee agreed: "When you think Christian, you think gay marriage and abortion," she said. "But there's a lot more."
...
I wish there had been no vote and the results were not very broad as it was about 3:1 for Obama. I have no doubt in my mind that the story author supports Obama for president. Lastly, Professor Lee should not have phrased her “last word” that way, IMO. Her statement was made as if it were a fact without supporting evidence. I would guess that "gay marriage and abortion" is not what most people think when they think Christian.
The FACT that she got right is that evangelical Christianity IS so much more, a lot more.