Blogs are about thoughts, rants, opinions, and sometimes irresponsibly rash statements. Well, this post may be identified as any or all of those.
What has become of evangelicalism? Maybe I am naive and my few years of experience and identification with the “movement” is not enough to ask the question “what has become?” but my thoughts are there.
What has become of evangelicalism? Ask the average evangelical what kind of a Christian they are and they will probably say, “I am one who follows the Bible literally.” What does that mean? It means that they believe what the Scriptures teach. This is truly something that is noble, and when the Scriptures are understood correctly and believed, this is from God. Ask the average evangelical where their beliefs come from and, of course, they will say the Scriptures. This is indeed good so long as they interpret the Scriptures correctly. Ask the average evangelical, who they are accountable to, and you will hear the echo of the same, “I am accountable to the Word of God.” This is indeed hopeful so long as the Word of God that they read is mediated through an untainted interpretation. Ask the average evangelical to whom they are accountable for their interpretation, they will most certainly say that they are accountable to the Holy Spirit as He bears witness of the truth. This has credit so long as it is the Holy Spirit that is guiding them. Ask the average evangelical how they know that it is the Holy Spirit guiding them in their understanding and there will probably be a period of silence. Finally the response will come, “I just know. When the truth comes to you, you just know.” This is not good.
What has become of evangelicalism? Maybe I am naively hopeful about the movement that in so many ways is so full of hope, life, and love. Maybe I am not jumping ship because of the binding of my traditions. Maybe the lines are being blurred in my mind because of the true rich tradition of true evangelicalism.
What has become of evangelicalism? Ask the average evangelical about the history of the Church and they may tell you about their first building campaign. Ask the average evangelical about Martin Luther and they will speak of the civil rights activist. Ask the average evangelical about the way church should be done and they will speak of “big church” and Sunday school.
What has become of evangelicalism? How did we lose respect for the Holy Spirit through our arrogance and disrespect for the His movements? When did our Independence become greater than His? How did we lose respect for the Church through our individualism? How did we lose respect for Ireneaus, Athanasius, Saint Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Basil the Great, Martin Luther, and the like? When did the Holy Spirit quit working through them? When did the Holy Spirit limit Himself to us? When did God’s light get restricted to our tradition?
What has become of evangelicalism? How many can define and defend their beliefs historically? How many better reflect the mentality and arrogance of the restorationist movements such as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses? (At least they recognize that their movement is novel.)
What has become of evangelicalism? How many of us can define the movement beyond the moral majority of the eighties? When did the twenty-first century evangelical subculture become the theo-utopia? How did we get such a big God in such a small box? When did the evangelical box become so small? Who created this box?
What has become of evangelicalism? Ask the average evangelical this question and the word “become” will find no relevance. Popular evangelicalism has become a mentality that does not ask the past for advice.
What has become of evangelicalism? How many years of life do we have left?