As I catch snippets of news, Facebook fights, and sometimes actually talk to people; I’m finding that lots of folks primarily think of evangelicals as people who: 1) hate abortion, 2) hate gay marriage, 3) love guns, and 4) vote Republican.
Dear reader, what do any of these things have to do with Jesus?
Now, we can debate over who is more to blame for how evangelicalism in America is perceived—the media or evangelicals themselves—but what seems beyond dispute is that this perception is very real and widespread. (Personally, I believe it is real, widespread, and deserved.)
A philosophical question: Is evangelicalism—divorced from Christ—a meaningful or logically consistent term?
I don’t think it is.
Evangel is defined as “the Christian gospel (good news).” When evangelicalism is no longer rightly or truly associated with Jesus—the only Evangel—it’s simply another failing “ism.”
We [evangelicals] proclaim to follow a man who chose to affiliate himself with the poor and dispossessed, who called the political and religious leaders of his day to account, who saw and loved people whom others had discarded. . . . When “evangelical” starts to sound like very bad news for very many Americans, it has drifted far from its roots. . . . I can’t defend my people [evangelicals]. I barely recognize them.
Perhaps when Jesus says, “apart from Me you can do nothing” He means it.
The culture needs more Jesus. So does the church.
Maybe you and I can work on that.