I get asked a lot if I am an Evangelical. Or, because I talk about faith and Jesus and I live in the South, it is assumed I am an Evangelical.
I have a general post-modern dislike for labels. But, I understand why they are useful for some people. And, I know that by daring to write this down, I am risking alienating some people, because they thought I was one of them, and now it will be clear that I am not, and thus, in their head, we cannot be friends or they cannot support my work. I am sure some of them are going to be praying for my salvation before this post is over.
As clear as I know how to be: I am not an Evangelical. I do not identify as Evangelical.
I am a Christian. I attempt to follow the Jesus path, albeit, often from afar. But, I cannot claim to be Evangelical. In fact, I am quite certain I am not.
Why am I so certain?
The first step in labeling is to define the label. The term Evangelical as a proper noun is claimed by the National Association of Evangelicals in their very title. According to their website, “We are dedicated to unifying, serving and representing the evangelical community in the United States.” If you claim to be Evangelical and live in the US, they represent you.
And, bless their heart, they have a statement of faith on their website. Of course they do.
National Association of Evangelicals Statement of Faith
- We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
- We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
- We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
- We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
- We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
- We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
I plan to write a series of posts, taking the most problematic statements in this Statement of Faith to task, from my perspective.
But they made this very simple. I cannot sign off on this Statement as representative of my beliefs. Ergo, I am not Evangelical.