What’s An Evangelical And Why Are We So Popular?

Evangelicals must be an important group of people, whoever they are. Not from a religious point of view. Not even from a spiritual point of view. I guess more from a “traditional family values” point of view (therefore many who voted for a Mormon for president thinking they were voting for a Christian).

I bring up that voting thing, because we don’t read story after story every day in the news about evangelicals changing lives. We read about evangelicals as a voting bloc.

I guess all evangelicals vote for the same candidates. Well, er, not exactly if this year’s Republican race to the Presidential election is an indication. Evangelicals love Cruz. Except when they love Trump. Well, maybe they like Rubio. Or Carson (oops, he’s dropped out).

I was raised in the Methodist Church. If you are British, especially English, that may have more meaning than in the US. John Wesley and his friends (who followed spiritual disciplines methodically–get it?) decided to take the church outside the walls and preach and teach to where the people were.

The article about evangelicals in Wikipedia credits Wesley as one of the founders of the movement. The article estimates that about 13% of Christians are evangelicals. It tries to define evangelical, ultimately ending in confusion. But it begins by saying evangelicals believe in salvation by grace through faith in the resurrection of Jesus. Hmm, I figured that would define all Christians. Guess I’m wrong?

In the early 70s, I was trying to figure out what it meant to be evangelical. At that time, evangelicals did not participate in politics (remember those days?). I found a group called Evangelicals for Social Action. Christian evangelicals working for peace and justice for all people.

Sometime in the mid 70s to be evangelical meant being white. And building schools where white people could send their white kids so that they wouldn’t have to go to school with black kids. And I came fresh from the movement of Christian people working for civil rights–for black people. What’s an evangelical?

In the end, I am saddened that society thinks of evangelicals as a voting bloc to be manipulated.

I wish that we were back to the roots of the word where articles about evangelicals reported on how we change lives of hurting people through teaching, preaching, feeding them and bringing them into a life-changing community of worshipers and servants.

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One Response to “What’s An Evangelical And Why Are We So Popular?”

  1. josephruizjr Says:

    Great point Gary guess this is what happens when we have lost our savor. I am tempted to point the finger but then I’m asked “what are YOU doing?” The Good News is Jesus can do quite a bit with small things! 😉 Grace and Peace.

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