To Evangelical or not to Evangelical?

Ok I’ve heard these new media bywords tossed around for at least 2 years now. The words are “evangelical” and “evangelical Christian“.

Now do i have a problem with these words? I don’t know. Just recently i’ve gotten the feeling that the word has more of a insulting or labeling tone to it. I’m hoping someone can answer my question about these words. Because i don’t want a label that the secular/anti-Christian media will use against us first chance they get. They seem to be gearing for just knife in the back with Mike Huckabee who has suddenly become favorable in their eyes. I also want to know how society sees the evangelical Christian. And if there is some negative connotations to it. I hope to get a lot of comments on this.


9 thoughts on “To Evangelical or not to Evangelical?

  1. William, I will try and wade into this. It will probably be later tonight or early tomorrow as I am a bit busy at work. But this is a great question what with all the news about Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. As Aahnold said, “I’ll be back!”

  2. Typically, the term “evangelical” is used to refer to the far-right wing end of the Christo-political spectrum… that would be those who follow the teaching/preaching of men like James Dobson, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell… the term is not negative, in and of itself… however, like the term “fundamentalist”, it is generally used negatively by both secular and religious people… I, myself, do not/will not call myself “evangelical” simply because I do not want to be associated with those gentlemen I referred to earlier… does this help?


  3. Thank you Mr. Les for responding so quickly. I really want to know this because I consider myself to be a Christian all of these labels reek of political backstabbing and political correctness

  4. Hi William,

    You know, the term “evangelical” has been bandied about so much it has virtually lost all menaing…just like “fundamentalist”. Funny this topic comes up…I was literally talking about this with a friend at 5:30 this morning over coffee!

    We both agreed that one time, “fundamentalism” simply referred to the fact that there are certain essential beliefs that characterize orthodox Christianity (virgin birth, substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection of Jesus, His second coming, etc.).

    But…”fundamentalism” as a word has sadly morped over time to become essentially “I don’t smoke, I don’t chew, and I don’t hang with girls that do” kind of legalism. It has become a label for folks that focus largely if not entirely on externals and behavior.

    William, the real issue is what does it mean to know Jesus Christ as one’s Savior from sin so that we can know for sure that our sins are forgiven and that we really do have a place in heaven. You see, the Bible says we all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. And the Scriptures tell us that the wages of sin is death…eternal judgement before a holy God who will one day judge each man and each of us will have to answer God’s question…”what did you do with the death of my Son? Did you receive that gift of Jesus’ death as a payment for sin as your only hope of heaven, or are you (1) denying that you have sinned and are guilty before Me, or(2) depending on your own good deeds to somehow become “good enough” to stand before My throne and satisfy My perfect requirements of total holiness.”

    Either one of these last two approaches will result in eternal separation from God in judgement.

    The good news is that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    The Bible says we are saved by grace (God’s totally free gift) through faith alone, and that not of our own doing, not a result of good works, lest any of us should somehow try to boast before God that we earned our way to heaven, which in essence is saying “I don’t need the blood of Christ to deal with my sins…I will either deny I have sinned or deal with sin in my own way.”

    The Bible speaks of being born again (see John 3) as a consequence of believing in the life changing truth that Jesus came to do what only He could do…die in our place to satisfy the demands of God’s perfect holiness so that we could really be eternally forgiven. He came to become our sin-bearer and died for our sins, was resurrected and ascended to heaven where He even now points to His shed blood as a satisfaction for sin for those who put their trust in Him.

    That, my friend, is what real Christianity is all about.


  5. I’m not a christian. But I know I feel immediately deffensive if someone labels themselves evangelical or Fundementalist.

    If you are worried how non-christians will perceive you, I’d just hang on to “christian” and drop the added words. I mean, Jesus wasn’t an evangelical, was he?

    Also I don’t think it is good to see it in an “us vs them” sort of way. Doesn’t Jesus say to love thy neighbor? He doesn’t say, “love thy neighbor if thy neigbor is also Christian”.

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