What does “Evangelical” really mean?

evangelicalWhat exactly is an “evangelical”?

The word itself is usually deployed to describe the happy-clappy Christians who would describe themselves as “born again” and so generally it is composed of individuals who have not as such inherited their belief but have had a personal conversion experience that resulted in them making a specific commitment. That however is not what I’m getting at, and instead I’m more focused on what the word means to those outside and not just how those inside would attempt to define it.

Valerie Tarico, a psychologist and writer who is based in Seattle, Washington, has written a fascinating take on it from the viewpoint of thinking about it as a brand, which to be quite frank is exactly what it is. Her observations will not be popular with those inside because they are quite frank and to the point, and yet cannot simply be ignored because they are also wholly factual. She describes what the word “Evangelical” actually means in today’s world as follows … (WARNING: If you would self-describe as evangelical then you should perhaps stop reading, because what follows will be extremely uncomfortable reading)

Evangelical means obsessed with sex. Evangelicals are so desperate to fend off their own complicated sexual desires and self-loathing that they would rather watch queer teens commit suicide than deal with their homophobia. They abhor youth sexuality and female sexual pleasure to the point that they have driven an epidemic of teen pregnancy, unintended pregnancy and abortion—all because accurate information and contraceptive access might let the wrong kind of people (young unmarried and female people) have sex for the wrong reasons (pleasure and intimacy) without suffering for it.

Evangelical means arrogant. Wheaton College put Evangelical arrogance on national display when administrators decided to suspend and then fire a professor who dared to suggest that Muslims, Jews and Christians all worship the same God.

Evangelical means fearful and bigoted. While more secular Europeans and Canadians offer aid to Syrian refugees, Evangelical Christians have instead sought to exclude Muslims.  They have used their vast empire of telecommunications channels to inspire not charity but fear of imminent Sharia in the U.S. and of refugees more broadly. They have urged that Latin American refugees be sent home so that we can build a wall across the southern border before they come back.

Evangelical means indifferent to truth. Evangelicals refuse to acknowledge what is obvious to everyone else, including most other Christians—that the Bible is a human document woven through with moral and factual imperfections. Treating the Bible like the literally perfect word of God has forced Bible believers to make a high art out of self-deception, which they then apply to other inconvenient truths. They rewrite American History, embrace faux news, defend in court the right of “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” to lie, and force doctors to do the same. The end justifies the means.

Evangelical means gullible and greedy. From televangelists and Prosperity Gospel to adulation of Ronald Reagan and Ayn Rand, Evangelicalism faces the world as a religion of exploiters and exploited—both of which are hoping to make a quick buck.

Evangelical means ignorant. The only way to protect creationism is to keep people from understanding how science works and what scientists have discovered. As evidence accumulates related to evolutionary biology, insulating children requires a constant battleto keep accurate information out of textbooks. Insulating adults requires cultivating a deep suspicion of science and scholarship, an anti-intellectualism that diffuses out from this center and defines Evangelical culture at large.

Evangelical means predatory. Evangelical missionaries prey on the young and ignorant. They have fought all the way to the Supreme Court to ensure they can proselytize children in public grade schools. Having failed to block marriage equality in the States, they export Bible based gay-hate to Central Africa, where gays are more vulnerable. Since Americans lost interest in tent revivals, evangelists now cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead among uneducated low-information people in developing countries.

Evangelical means mean. Opposing anti-poverty programs, shaming and stigmatizing queers, making it harder for poor women to prevent pregnancy, blaming rape victims,diverting aid dollars into church coffers, threatening little kids with eternal torture, supporting war, denying the rights of other species, . . . need I go on?

In so many ways Val does indeed nail it as it actually is. This is not specifically an assertion that the evangelical brand has been unfairly tarnished, but is instead the observation that it is evangelicalism itself that has failed.

Ah But that is “them” and not us

When such uncomfortable facts are spelt out like this a rather common rebuttal is to perhaps suggest that “they” are not really born-again and that “they” are not “true” Christians. It is quite a natural response and deep down inside this is the process utilised by those within any group to alleviate the cognitive dissonance that such criticisms might stir up, and yet a retreat into such thinking does not in any way nullify the reality of it all.

Seven Questions to ponder over

If you find that the term “Evangelical” is a term you might use to describe yourself, then here are a couple of questions for you to ponder over.

  1. How do you truly feel about gay rights, should you not embrace the idea that people born with a specific sexual orientation should have equal rights?
    • To come to terms with this, substitute the word, “gay” with the word “Black”, “Irish” or “Blond” and see if the proposed evangelical stance still works
  2. What convinces you that you are right and everybody else is wrong?
    • There are many different beliefs, and so how do you feel about people who hold a distinctly different belief, would you consider them to be delusional? If so, then in what way is your belief different than their delusion?
  3. People in desperate need for sanctuary are arriving and seeking shelter and help, and they are fleeing the most appalling conditions. What convinces you that these are people who should be feared and turned away?
  4. The bible is clearly not perfect, and the US was not founded as a Christian nation, so what facts convince you that it is actually perfect, what evidence can you present that would conclusively demonstrate such claims?
  5. Science clearly demonstrates specific things that conflict with some religious beliefs. One has independently verifiable evidence and the other is something you are advised to never question but instead should simply accept on the basis of no evidence at all – why is a lack of any evidence at all permitted to trump good robust evidence?
    • In almost every field of human endeavour this would not be acceptable, and yet in religious tradition it is, why is that the case?
  6. How do you feel about the deaths of innocent people in African nations that has resulted because US evangelicals have exported hatred of gay people?
  7. How do you feel about Donald Trump?
    • Please consider the answer to that in the context of his actual behaviour. If any Democrat had delivered the same speeches and behaved in the same manner, would that have changed your opinion?

Should we not strive to make the world a better place?

5 thoughts on “What does “Evangelical” really mean?”

  1. Thanks for your reply sir, agreed both are passionate topics.

    “1. How do you truly feel all people, should you not embrace what the Creator of the Universe says about them?

    I quite honestly do not believe that there is a Creator of the Universe as described in the bible or quran or any other similar text.

    Asking me this question is perhaps akin to asking you how you might feel about Thor (I’ve seen the Marvel documentary and so have you, so if you deny he is real then I suspect you secretly belief and simply pretend that you don’t).”

    Fortunately for mankind their souls aren’t in the hands of Marvel cartoon characters, but in the hands of a very real Creator and God to whom all men, will be held accountable, belief or not. Disbelief in the Bible and the Creator and God of the Bible no more makes it’s untrue then believing make it’s it true. It’s truth because the evidence is there for all who want too see and accept it. The question for you is if it is true, then what; are you prepared to face the consequences for your choice of rejecting it?

    When you have 4 gospels from 4 different authors (who were all eye witnesses) that wrote about the same person, same events in the same time period from different parts of the world that collaborate each others stories, yes this to is considered reliable and trustworthy evidence.

    By your presumption we can wipe out half of mankind and half of history due to insufficient ‘evidence’ of first hand witnesses or insufficient physical evidence that appeared long after the actual life or event took place.

    No critical thinker, questions the existence or authenticity of those who have existed throughout history despite the insufficient manuscripts or the authenticity of the time span in which they were written after the death of the ‘apparent’ life of the person. Yet a double standard of hypocrisy is applied when dealing with OT and NT manuscripts. Why is that do you think? Could it be people are afraid of having to be accountable to the Creator of the Bible and Christ and his message of the NT, and so choose not to believe despite the evidence? Possibility?

    Example:

    Manuscript Evidence for Ancient Writings shows the hypocrisy

    Author Written Earliest Copy Time Span #Mss. (copies)

    Livy’s Roman 59 B.C. 900 A.D. 900 yrs 20
    History 17 A.D.

    Caesar 100-44 B.C. 900 A.D 1,000 yrs 10

    Demosthenes 384 B.C. 1100 A.D. 800 yrs 8

    Euripides 480-406 B.C. 1100 A.D. 1,300 yrs 9

    Aristophanes 450-385 B.C. 900 A.D. 1,200 yrs 10

    Herodotus 488-428 B.C. 900 A.D. 1,300 yrs 8

    Plato 427-347 B.C. 900 A.D 1,200 yrs 7

    Thucydides 460-400 B.C. 900 A.D. 1,300 yrs 8

    Tacitus 100 A.D. 1100 A.D. 1,000 yrs 20

    Suetonius 75-160 A.D. 950 A.D. 800 yrs 8

    Homer (Iliad) 900 B.C. 400 A.D. 500 yrs 643

    Aristotle 384-322 B.C. 1100 A.D. 1,400 yrs 49

    New Testament 40 – 100 A.D. 125 A.D. 25-300 yrs 30,000

    By looking at this chart, the Roman History and it’s 20 manuscripts at best becomes a mere ‘fairy tale’ when compared to the Bible’s NT and it’s 30,000 manuscripts for authenticity, accuracy and integrity. At some point where reasoning fails to take hold for critical thinkers, common sense must take over when comparing historical data.

    With all the NT massive manuscript evidence you would think there would be massive discrepancies – just the opposite is true. New Testament manuscripts agree in 99.5% of the text (compared to only 95% for Homers Iliad). Most of the discrepancies are in spelling and word order. A few words have been changed or added. There are two passages that are disputed but no discrepancy is of doctrinal significance.

    This is just the NT. Seems to me a true critical thinker might want to re-think what they believe. But like I stated it has more to do with choice than critical thinking or evidence.

    “2. What absolutely without doubt convinces you that the Bible is wrong and you are right?
    • There are many different beliefs, but only one way to God according to the Bible, so how do you feel for the sake of your soul, to pause a pray and ask God to reveal to you if the bible is the TRUTH?
    In simple terms – no evidence.
    The word soul is also not a word that describes anything that is measurable or real. Objective clinical studies of prayer reveal that they do not work.”

    There is often a tendency or myth to think that science can explain or has to be able to measure everything for something to be true. However, there are many things that science cannot measure or prove to be true.

    Here are some things that cannot be proven or measured using the scientific method:
    1) Existential Truth: Science cannot measure or prove that you aren’t merely a brain in a jar being manipulated to think that you and everything around is real. However, it’s still logical and rational to believe that our memories are true and that we and the world around us is real.

    2) Moral Truth: Science cannot measure or prove that rape is evil. Evil is set my a moral standard, not science. While it is possible to demonstrate, for example, that there are negative physical or psychological effects of rape, there is no scientific test that can measure or prove it is evil.

    3) Logical Truth: Consider the statement, “Science is the only way to really know truth.” How could you measure or prove that statement by science is indeed true? It is actually self-refuting because there is no scientific test you could use to measure or prove that it is true! Science cannot prove logic to be true because it assumes and requires logic in order for it to work.

    4) Historical Truth: Science cannot prove by any measures that Barack Obama won the 2008 United States presidential election. There is no scientific test we could perform to prove it. We could have an investigation of physical data, but the method for proving historical truths is different from testing scientific truths since historical truths are by nature non-repeatable.

    5) Experiential Truth: Science cannot measure or prove someone loves you. A person may cite times when someones behavior demonstrates their love for them, but this is a type of historical truth. There is no scientific test that can measure or confirm a lifetime of experience of knowing a person.

    Prayer – here’s what I know about prayer and objective studies, there are many studies out there and it all comes down to which ones you want to believe. When you prayer for someone before going into surgery that you know has a medically evident 5 lb tumor proven by x-ray and that tumor is gone when the surgeon opens them up, and has no medical explaination as to why, my friend, that’s a miracle and objective proof that prayer works. Just because you or others who participated in ‘objective’ studies haven’t witnessed that for yourselves first hand, doesn’t mean prayer doesn’t work.

    Back to the ‘objective’ studies, Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., and lecturer at Harvard, says, “It’s clear from the correlational studies within the epidemiology data that positive relationships exist between religious and spiritual practice and health outcomes on a variety of different conditions.” Moreover, she says that in a study and confirmation study on intercessory prayer, “the prayer groups had statistically significant improvements in outcome, suggesting that the intervention has clinical relevance.”

    There are many ‘mixed’ results from objective studies out there and the Bible has the answer to that a well… why do some prayers get answered and others not? Doubt, lack of faith! James 1:6-9, But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind. If you are like that, unable to make up your mind and undecided in all you do, you must not think that you will receive anything from the Lord.

    Matthew 21:22, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

    “4. The Bible has a 100% tract record, historically and prophetically. It is the perfect divinely written and inspired Word of God, even if 44% of the population disagrees. It is true the US was not founded as a Christian nation; it was founded by a majority of ‘Deist’…. deism a universal supreme being. It’s immaterial how America was found. Evangelical Christians acknowledge the God as Creator of all nations. So what facts convince you that it’s NOT actually perfect, what evidence can you present that would conclusively demonstrate it’s not what it’s not all it claims?

    I get that you truly believe this … I quite honestly do not. The burden of proof is not mine. Those asserting a claim need to cite evidence. Or to put that another way, what is asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

    The burden of proof may not be yours but the consequences of your choice, will be yours alone.

    “What is asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence” is a statement of ignorance that draws a conclusion based on lack of knowledge, proof or evidence without accounting for all possibilities and asserts that a statement or belief is absolute because it has not yet been proven false or a statement or belief is false because it has not yet been proven true. It also does not allow for the possibility that the answer is unknowable, only knowable in the future, or neither completely true nor completely false. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. One may say there is no evidence of foul play, when foul play clearly took place. One may say, “”There is no evidence of aliens, and therefore, aliens do not exist”

    The truth is, you can gather evidence until the sun no longer shines and that evidence will never be 100% — there’s always the chance that everything you think you know turns out to be false —that’s why everything even that which is measured by science is based on faith.

    All science is merely the current best mode for collecting measurable evidence. Science is temporary. It is, by definition, in constant flux. You can never have 100% proof of anything. There will always be doubt.

    This comes as a bit of a shock to many people who are taught science in terms of absolute facts.

    “5. Science and the Bible are in complete harmony and those who take the time to study the bible will see it. It is not always obvious even to scientists what principles they are using to evaluate scientific theories. And it is always possible that a theory that has withstood previous testing and verification may eventually be disproved. True science is not opposed to the Bible. In fact, science properly understood proves the Bible right. Now what lengths will you go to, to make certain what you believe is the true?
    I am wholly familiar with the text … in the original Greek (well just the NT). Again, as you can most probably guess, I don’t agree.
    I confess I am curious … how exactly does science prove the bible right?”

    I’ve already given you several examples. But since you are a bit curious ponder these things:

    Science has uncovered and proved many amazing things about the universe that was first made evident in the Bible, proving its writings are true.

    I am not a scientist so I quote the works of Dr. Andrew Snelling who holds a PhD in geology from the University of Sydney and has worked as a consultant research geologist in both Australia and America. But I have verified the noted Biblical references.

    ASTRONOMY: The Bible claims the universe had a beginning. Philosophers and scientists rejected that claim for over two thousand years, but now astronomers believe the universe had a beginning, the so-called big bang (though with a very different time frame).
    ANTHROPOLOGY: The Bible claims that all humans are “one blood” descended from one man and one woman (Acts 17:26; 1 Corinthians 15:45; Genesis 3:20). Some nineteenth-century biologists argued that different races descended from lower animals, but today genetics has verified that there is only one human race.
    BIOLOGY: The Bible claims that God created animals “after their kind.” Nineteenth-century biologists argued that animals evolved from other, very different animals, but today biology confirms that creatures reproduce within their own kind.
    GEOLOGY: The Bible claims that God destroyed the earth and the creatures inhabiting it in the worldwide Flood. Nineteenth-century geologists argued that rock layers and the fossils found in them were formed as sediments were deposited slowly, but today geology confirms that many rock layers were deposited catastrophically, burying fossils within only minutes or hours.

    Below are many things science ‘claims’ to have discovered. Had they gone to the Bible they would have confirmed their discoveries had been known long before they believed they discovered them.

    Astronomy
    • Stars are innumerable (Genesis 22:17; Jeremiah 33:22)
    • Stars differ in glory (1 Corinthians 15:41)
    • Stars follow a predictable pattern (Jeremiah 31:35)
    • Earth is round, not flat (Isaiah 40:22; Psalm 103:12)
    • Earth hangs on nothing (not built on pillars) (Job 26:7)
    • Scientific evidence of a young universe:
    1) Spiral galaxies
    2) “Missing” supernova remnants
    3) Short-lived comets
    4) Moon moving away from Earth
    Geology
    • Water cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:7; Isaiah 55:10)
    • Sea currents (Psalm 8:8)
    • “Fountains of the deep broken up” (Genesis 7:11)
    • Scientific evidence of a young earth:
    1) Continents erode too fast
    2) Too much mud on the sea floor
    3) Too much sodium in the ocean
    4) Too rapid decay of earth’s magnetic field
    Biology
    • Blood circulation (Leviticus 17:11)
    • Scientific evidence of a recent creation:
    1) DNA programming for irreducibly complex protein sequences
    2) Lack of missing links in the fossil record
    3) Dinosaur blood vessels in fossils

    Last words on President Trump

    It’s know secret how many people feel about President Trump, but like it or not he won the Presidencey the way every other candidate has won the office, through the Electorial College.

    The Electoral College works and it’s in place for good reason and many people I speak to haven’t a clue why. Democrats are fine with the Electoral College until they lose to a businessman they loath for no other reason that he is not one of them, a career politican who is own by lobbist.

    The Electoral College was established in the Constitution by the founding fathers for several reasons. One of the main reasons was to ensure that all states had a vote, so that all people in every state would be counted. Without the Electoral College the Presidential election would always be decided by the same few heavily populated states. In reality there would be no reason for small states to even participate in the election process.

    This unprecident hatred for President Trump, has more to do with his flamboyant personality, then his ‘dishonesty’ and with his Conservative policies for the country. That’s what it’s really about, differing ideas on which direction the country should move in. I’m always intrigued when people use his dishonesty as a reason to say he’s not qualified. He’s quite qualified. To call out dishonesty is in itself unfair, show me a politician that is 100% honest. Show me a anyone who is a 100% honest. I repeat, let anyone of them who is without sin cast the first stone. There is a old saying that rings true for everyone. “If you dig deep enough into anybody, if you really look under the hood of someone’s life, you will find something familiar.” ― Nathan Hill

    So I agree with you that we humans are deep emotional beings, with unique and diverse passions about life and the measning of life. But the main problem in our culture isn’t the diverse views people have, It is based on NOT understanding that others are allowed to have other views, to think differently and have different ideas on how to resolve America’s issues. Agreed we are so completely different in our ideologies and worldviews, you’re not wrong about that. And Conversations like this can only be meaningfully when there is mutual respect for different ideas. There is no room in a civilized society to label anyone and everyone as a hater of color, race, gender or religion because they don’t agree with your ideaologies of what it takes to make a better world. Using identity politics is a cop out and is inexcusable.

    • I’m honestly not convinced either of us will ever persuade the other. However, what is achievable is that dialog enables a better understanding. At least I can explain why I do not believe.

      Evidence and The Bible.

      When it comes to believing something, we should not do so unless there is good reason for doing so. I think we just might agree on that point.

      But what evidence do we actually have?

      You wrote …

      // you have 4 gospels from 4 different authors (who were all eye witnesses) that wrote about the same person, same events in the same time period from different parts of the world that collaborate each others stories, yes this to is considered reliable and trustworthy evidence.//

      The problem here is that I simply do not find this to be as described.
      – eye witnesses? : Nope – The author of Luke tells you at the start of his Gospel that he was not an eye witness.
      – Independent accounts? : Nope – Luke and Matthew both copied most of Mark’s text and then added their own material (fixing Mark’s quite frankly appalling Greek grammar)
      – Same time period? : Nope – Mark is the very earliest and emerged about 30/40 years after the events it describes, Luke and Matthew came 10 years later. John follows after that several decades later again.
      – Reliable and Trustworthy? : Nope – This is religious propaganda. Each is written with a very specific agenda. Our modern understanding is a blend of all 4

      If you don’t accept the above, and I suspect you will not, then I should perhaps point out that it is the prevailing consensus amongst the subject matter experts. They can give you good reasons for all of the above. Your argument relating to the above is not with me but rather is with them. You will of course find some who hold different views, for example very early date claims, but those making such arguments have not persuaded the vast majority of scholars.

      In the end what you actually have is not “evidence”, but rather is the claim written down. You need independent verification from other sources.

      Textual Criticism matters …
      – Homer is our source for the war with Troy. Troy was real, and there was a war … as for the Greek Gods described within the text, in one word … “no”.
      – Caesar wrote “Commentarii de Bello Gallico” in which he describes the Gallic wars he engaged in. When you learn Latin (as I did), you generally start with this because the prose is easy. It is also clearly recognised as political propaganda, hence great care is needed, you can’t take it as historical truth uncritically

      (Side Note 1: the entirety of Roman history is not all down to late copies of just 20 documents. The quantity of Roman authored texts is so vast and diverse it is almost uncountable).
      (Side Note 2: Many of the documents you list are not actually Roman at all)

      Both of the above send very strong signals that these are not topics you are truly familiar with in great detail, I’d seriously recommend hitting pause on deploying them as arguments.

      Prayer

      I reviewed all the serious studies into Prayer here … https://www.skeptical-science.com/science/scientific-studies-prayer-good-bad-ugly/

      Side Note 3: best not to cite Marilyn Schlitz. The quote comes from her 2005 opinion piece and is not backed by any reliable data. She is deep into stuff that is clearly labelled pseudoscientific. She works for the Institute of Noetic Sciences, the folks into psychic research and the paranormal. It is all a big bold flashing red neon sign that announces “here be cranks”.

      Science and the bible.

      You wrote …
      //Science has uncovered and proved many amazing things about the universe that was first made evident in the Bible, proving its writings are true.//

      You then proceed to cite the young earth Creationist, Andrew Snelling. I’m wholly familiar with him. He works for AiG. He sincerely believes that not just planet earth, but the entire universe is 6,000 years old. That’s a rather odd source to cite for an example of science and the bible being in agreement. Almost without exception, every single educational and scientific establishment on the planet disagrees with his “science”.

      You can, and he does, cherry pick vague poetical quotes from the bible and then proceeds to claim that it describes our modern understanding. The problem is that this methodology works for any text. It is rather popular with various strands of Islam to do this with the quran as proof of it’s supposed supernatural authorship. It need not be a religious text, you can, and some hove, done this with books such as Moby Dick as satire.

      Trump

      No doubt you remember day 1 – inauguration day. His claim was that it was the largest crowd ever. NYT published 2 pictures, one of his and 1 of the Obama Inauguration and asked people to pick which was the largest.

      Many of his supporters happily picked the picture of his as the largest despite it being the smaller one. This perhaps sums things up. When you emotionally invest deeply enough, people will happily dismiss reality, even with the full knowledge that they are wrong. This is the essence of the problem – a huge disconnect with reality.

      Labels

      You wrote …
      // There is no room in a civilized society to label anyone and everyone as a hater of color, race, gender or religion because they don’t agree with your ideaologies //

      I agree.

      But when faced with a constant stream of racism, misogyney, discrimination against people who simply hold a different belief, and general xenophobia, then the deployment of such terms is a statement of fact not a political slur. To not do so it to cease being honest about what is actually going on.

  2. The ignorance of what an evangelical is, is glaring in this piece. And in all honesty the very last statement reveals the true nature behind the post for what it is, nothing more than a political rant with an agenda not really about evangelicals.

    “How do you feel about Donald Trump?
    Please consider the answer to that in the context of his actual behaviour. If any Democrat had delivered the same speeches and behaved in the same manner, would that have changed your opinion?”

    This entire piece wasn’t about being ‘Wholly factual’ about evangelicals, but about one’s dislike and disapproval for President Trump, his behavior and his policies. It’s a hate piece. But let’s go with it for the sake of integrity and honesty. In spite of the misleading piece I’ll play along and address the ‘un-wholly facts’ one by one.

    The word is not deployed to describe happy-clappy Christians, except by those who have no clear understanding of what a biblical evangelical is. It’s immaterial how those ‘outside’ the faith choose to ‘brand’ or define what it means to be an evangelical, which of course is rooted in it’s own preconceived ideas and bias. Valerie Tarico’s ‘take’ on it is insignificant because it’s her opinion, and therefore it’s not really critical-thinking, it’s her injecting her own social and political bias.

    And while some may be fooled into thinking her observations are ‘wholly’ factual, they in reality are nothing more than her humanistic viewpoint. Her ‘attempt’, which it is an attempt to describe what the word ‘Evangelical’ means in today’s world reflect nothing more then society’s increasing disgust and hatred for Jesus Christ and all those who follow Him.

    What is an Evangelical Christian… ‘wholly factual’ (WARNING: If you would self-describe as an anti-evangelical then you should perhaps stop reading, because what follows will be extremely uncomfortable reading because being ‘wholly factual’ with the TRUTH offends)

    Let’s take a look at her ‘wholly factual’ points. First here is the true biblical definition of an evangelical.

    Evangelicals take the Bible seriously and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The term “evangelical” comes from the Greek word euangelion, meaning “the good news” or the “gospel.” Thus, the evangelical faith focuses on the “good news” of salvation brought to sinners by Jesus Christ and they share that “good news” with others. It’s not evangelicals that offend, it’s the gospel, and it’s not evangelicals that people despise, it’s Jesus Christ the core of the gospel.
    For evangelicals:

    • The Bible is the highest authority and takes president over the philosophies of men.
    • It is of most importance to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior, because evangelicals
    • Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.
    • Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s GRACE and free gift of eternal salvation.

    Now to her ‘wholly un-factual’ points. There is nothing in her statements that are based on ‘facts, it’s all conjucture.’ There is no data to support her comments, it’s all her opinion and an honest critical-thinker will see that.

    “Evangelical means obsessed with sex. Evangelicals are so desperate to fend off their own complicated sexual desires and self-loathing that they would rather watch queer teens commit suicide than deal with their homophobia. They abhor youth sexuality and female sexual pleasure to the point that they have driven an epidemic of teen pregnancy, unintended pregnancy and abortion—all because accurate information and contraceptive access might let the wrong kind of people (young unmarried and female people) have sex for the wrong reasons (pleasure and intimacy) without suffering for it.”

    This is the ranting of someone who hates God … evangelicals don’t fend off or find their sexual desires or find them complicated in the least. We fully understand the biblical teachings on ‘sexual’ desires and we freely chose to embrace the beautiful design God has established for sex. Anything outside that, your argument is with God, not the evangelical. God is the one who established the guidelines for sexual activity. To say,” they would rather watch queer teens commit suicide than deal with their homophobia.” Comes from an ignorant and uneducated biased mind, not an objective or critical thinking one. Teen pregnancy is at epidemic levels because they are not taught self-control; they are not taught to embrace what God says about sexual desires and behavior. All this so-called ‘expert’ is doing is giving justification for immoral behavior and excusing personal responsibility for their actions.

    “Evangelical means arrogant. Wheaton College put Evangelical arrogance on national display when administrators decided to suspend and then fire a professor who dared to suggest that Muslims, Jews and Christians all worship the same God.”

    Like I said, the TRUTH offends. We do not all worship the same God as Muslims. If the writer of this ‘wholly factual’ piece had any real facts or knowledge of the Bible or Quran she might be taken seriously, but all she has done or you have done for her is put both your own arrogance on display.

    “Evangelical means fearful and bigoted. While more secular Europeans and Canadians offer aid to Syrian refugees, Evangelical Christians have instead sought to exclude Muslims. They have used their vast empire of telecommunications channels to inspire not charity but fear of imminent Sharia in the U.S. and of refugees more broadly. They have urged that Latin American refugees be sent home so that we can build a wall across the southern border before they come back.
    Evangelical means indifferent to truth. Evangelicals refuse to acknowledge what is obvious to everyone else, including most other Christians—that the Bible is a human document woven through with moral and factual imperfections. Treating the Bible like the literally perfect word of God has forced Bible believers to make a high art out of self-deception, which they then apply to other inconvenient truths. They rewrite American History, embrace faux news, defend in court the right of “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” to lie, and force doctors to do the same. The end justifies the means.”

    What I see here is a woman with political agenda piece making evangelicals her scapegoat. This non-critical piece is full of political, un-factual and biased statements.

    “Evangelicals refuse to acknowledge what is obvious to everyone else, including most other Christians—that the Bible is a ‘human document, woven through with moral and factual imperfections.”

    While I agree the number of those who ‘claim’ to be Christian and believe the bible to be a ‘human document’ rather than ‘divinely inspired’ and the ‘literal Word’ by God is staggering, it only proves the Bible right again. Just because a large part of the population has changed its view over 40 years doesn’t mean they are right. The Bible is still TRUTH, no matter how many people choose to reject it.

    Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons. 1 Timothy 4:1

    Evangelical means gullible and greedy. From televangelists and Prosperity Gospel to adulation of Ronald Reagan and Ayn Rand, Evangelicalism faces the world as a religion of exploiters and exploited—both of which are hoping to make a quick buck.

    This is probably the closest she will come to speaking facts. There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing among the Church exploiting in the name of religion, but that does not mean all evangelicals espouse the prosperity gospel. It’s simply not a ‘wholly factual’ statement. The Bible warns the Church against such wolves and to not be deceived by such.

    Evangelical means ignorant. The only way to protect creationism is to keep people from understanding how science works and what scientists have discovered. As evidence accumulates related to evolutionary biology, insulating children requires a constant battleto keep accurate information out of textbooks. Insulating adults requires cultivating a deep suspicion of science and scholarship, an anti-intellectualism that diffuses out from this center and defines Evangelical culture at large.

    Ignorance! The Bible and Science are not in competition. But what you see in science was written long ago on the pages of Scripture long before it was ‘discovered’.

    Here are several examples of many, for someone who really is an honest critical thinker:

    Gravity – the earth, the Stars, and the moon are suspended in space. Job, known to be the oldest book in the Bible, written long before Galileo and Newtons discovery spoke of this: “He spreads out the Northern over empty space; He suspends the earth over nothing.” Job 26:7…how did Job no to write about this?

    Constellations – In 1610 a French Lawyer by the name of Fabri de Peiresc discovered and named Orion. The Pleiades, was discovered and given a name in the 19th c. But God had already named them long ago, listen to Job 38:31-33, “Can thou bind the cluster of the Pleiades or loosen the bands of Orion?” Notice it also describes them as being scattered among the heavens. They weren’t named yet in History, yet Job knew there names.

    Meteorology – Study of the circulation of the atmosphere. In the 17th c. Galaleo discovered how this principle worked. It’s not surprising that God had revealed this process to us around 935 B.C. through the written word in Ecclesiastes 1:6, “The wind blows to the south and turns to the north, the wind continues swirling along; and on it’s circular course the wind returns.”

    Moving on….

    “Evangelical means predatory. Evangelical missionaries prey on the young and ignorant. They have fought all the way to the Supreme Court to ensure they can proselytize children in public grade schools. Having failed to block marriage equality in the States, they export Bible based gay-hate to Central Africa, where gays are more vulnerable. Since Americans lost interest in tent revivals, evangelists now cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead among uneducated low-information people in developing countries.”

    The education system and culture warriors are the missionaries of society peddling a humanist the ones praying on the young and innocent children, indoctrinating them on things against their parents, the legal guardians of their children.

    Evangelicals do not ‘cast out demons, heal the sick or raise the dead’; Pentecostals do, and are not mainstream Christianity. But that is only something a person who takes the time to understand the many branches of ‘Christianity’. The writer of this piece is obviously ignorant to what true Christianity and what being an evangelical is. The world groups every protestant stream as Christianity, it is not.

    “Evangelical means mean. Opposing anti-poverty programs, shaming and stigmatizing queers, making it harder for poor women to prevent pregnancy, blaming rape victims ,diverting aid dollars into church coffers, threatening little kids with eternal torture, supporting war, denying the rights of other species, . . . need I go on?”

    This is ‘wholly factual’ – Evangelicals are not against anti-poverty programs. But they do embrace the biblical teaching about helping the poor who are poor by no fault of their own. But if a man refuses to work, the bible says, he shall not eat. It is a fallacy to think everyone wants a jog. There are many in our society who do not want to work, they want a free hand out.

    ‘Wholly factual’ – Christianity is the first among our society to come to the aid of the poor and are among the first responders in any disaster. If it weren’t for the Churches, many people would go without.

    That whole paragraph about being a ‘meanie’ is another political rant. All women everywhere have access to birth control. Every community has free clinics, something this person knows. That’s not her real issue, her real issue is in wanting those who do not believe in birth control to be ‘forced’ to pay for it.

    Re-read it, does it really sound like a rational critical thinker wrote this or someone with a political agenda?

    Seven statements to ponder over
    If you find that the term “anti-Evangelical” is a term you might use to describe yourself, then here are a couple of statements for you to ponder over.
    1. How do you truly feel all people, should you not embrace what the Creator of the Universe says about them?
    2. What absolutely without doubt convinces you that the Bible is wrong and you are right?
    • There are many different beliefs, but only one way to God according to the Bible, so how do you feel for the sake of your soul, to pause a pray and ask God to reveal to you if the bible is the TRUTH?
    3. People are desperate, but most are NOT fleeing appalling conditions. Many are coming with ‘fake’ families only to sell them and turn them over to the hands of sex traffickers. Many are smuggling drugs and illegal weapons. What convinces you that anyone should be allowed into our country without being vetted first?
    4. The Bible has a 100% tract record, historically and prophetically. It is the perfect divinely written and inspired Word of God, even if 44% of the population disagrees. It is true the US was not founded as a Christian nation; it was founded by a majority of ‘Deist’…. deism a universal supreme being. It’s immaterial how America was found. Evangelical Christians acknowledge the God as Creator of all nations. So what facts convince you that it’s NOT actually perfect, what evidence can you present that would conclusively demonstrate it’s not what it’s not all it claims?
    5. Science and the Bible are in complete harmony and those who take the time to study the bible will see it. It is not always obvious even to scientists what principles they are using to evaluate scientific theories. And it is always possible that a theory that has withstood previous testing and verification may eventually be disproved. True science is not opposed to the Bible. In fact, science properly understood proves the Bible right. Now what lengths will you go to, to make certain what you believe is the true?
    6. How do you feel about the deaths of innocent women and gays in Iran, Iraq, and Arabia who are suppressed and hung? How do you feel about Muslims who deny the holocaust and to want to remove Israel from the face of the earth by genocide against the nation of Israel?
    7. How do you feel about Donald Trump? Something for you to consider before throwing more stones. How do you feel about a President who has a less than perfect personality … let he who is without ‘sin’ CAST the first stone? How do you feel about a man who was hired as President through our constitutional electoral system to fix America’s jobless problem? How do you feel about a president who isn’t bought and paid for by special interest? How do you feel about a President who honors America as a Sovereign nation whose borders are worth securing to protect it’s citizens’ from foreign and domestic threat? How do you feel about a President you can’t manipulate and control, but follows his convictions?

    He was running for President not competing in a personality contest. We didn’t hire him to be some kind of superhero or because like a past president said he could ‘part the seas.’ We didn’t hire him to because he was without sin, for there is none without sin, no not one. We didn’t hire a religious leader, we hired a businessman and that is what America needed. And he has been doing exactly what he was hired to do. Working hard for the American people! He has broken every job statistics across the board, for women, Hispanics’, blacks and our youth in 60 years. What will you do with that; throw it all a way all because you don’t like his twits and because he has committed some unlikeable acts in the past?

    • Clearly you and I hold distinctly different views about many things. I understand that you deeply believe specific things and feel passionately about them.

      What I’ll do is skip over the preamble and have a go at the 7 questions you ask, and I’ll strive to be as honest as possible with each one.

      1. How do you truly feel all people, should you not embrace what the Creator of the Universe says about them?

      I quite honestly do not believe that there is a Creator of the Universe as described in the bible or quran or any other similar text.

      Asking me this question is perhaps akin to asking you how you might feel about Thor (I’ve seen the Marvel documentary and so have you, so if you deny he is real then I suspect you secretly belief and simply pretend that you don’t).

      2. What absolutely without doubt convinces you that the Bible is wrong and you are right?
      • There are many different beliefs, but only one way to God according to the Bible, so how do you feel for the sake of your soul, to pause a pray and ask God to reveal to you if the bible is the TRUTH?

      In simple terms – no evidence.

      The word soul is also not a word that describes anything that is measurable or real. Objective clinical studies of prayer reveal that they do not work.

      3. People are desperate, but most are NOT fleeing appalling conditions. Many are coming with ‘fake’ families only to sell them and turn them over to the hands of sex traffickers. Many are smuggling drugs and illegal weapons. What convinces you that anyone should be allowed into our country without being vetted first?

      This is a very hot political topic.

      I don’t think you will find anybody on any side of the debate that advocates no border so that people can come and go as they please, nor is anybody proposing that smuggling drugs or weapons is a jolly good idea. The strong feelings of opposition to the current policy can perhaps best be summed up with three words – “kids in cages”. Are we not better than that, or should we remain content to let that define who we are?

      4. The Bible has a 100% tract record, historically and prophetically. It is the perfect divinely written and inspired Word of God, even if 44% of the population disagrees. It is true the US was not founded as a Christian nation; it was founded by a majority of ‘Deist’…. deism a universal supreme being. It’s immaterial how America was found. Evangelical Christians acknowledge the God as Creator of all nations. So what facts convince you that it’s NOT actually perfect, what evidence can you present that would conclusively demonstrate it’s not what it’s not all it claims?

      I get that you truly believe this … I quite honestly do not. The burden of proof is not mine. Those asserting a claim need to cite evidence. Or to put that another way, what is asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.

      5. Science and the Bible are in complete harmony and those who take the time to study the bible will see it. It is not always obvious even to scientists what principles they are using to evaluate scientific theories. And it is always possible that a theory that has withstood previous testing and verification may eventually be disproved. True science is not opposed to the Bible. In fact, science properly understood proves the Bible right. Now what lengths will you go to, to make certain what you believe is the true?

      I am wholly familiar with the text … in the original Greek (well just the NT). Again, as you can most probably guess, I don’t agree.

      I confess I am curious … how exactly does science prove the bible right?

      6. How do you feel about the deaths of innocent women and gays in Iran, Iraq, and Arabia who are suppressed and hung? How do you feel about Muslims who deny the holocaust and to want to remove Israel from the face of the earth by genocide against the nation of Israel?

      Most humans, regardless of their belief or lack of belief are not violent thugs. Those that are, again regardless of their politics or beliefs, at the very least merit our utter contempt.

      7. How do you feel about Donald Trump? Something for you to consider before throwing more stones. How do you feel about a President who has a less than perfect personality … let he who is without ‘sin’ CAST the first stone? How do you feel about a man who was hired as President through our constitutional electoral system to fix America’s jobless problem? How do you feel about a president who isn’t bought and paid for by special interest? How do you feel about a President who honors America as a Sovereign nation whose borders are worth securing to protect it’s citizens’ from foreign and domestic threat? How do you feel about a President you can’t manipulate and control, but follows his convictions?

      Another hot political topic. “Hired” is a debatable point, he lost the popular vote and only won via the electoral collage system (but that’s a debate from a couple of years ago).

      When it comes to feelings, words that instantly spring to mind include incompetent, dishonest, … well you can guess the rest, and perhaps also guess whom I did not vote for.

      To finish …

      What is in the mix here is both political and also religious. Both relate to things that we humans specifically adopt at a deep emotional level as part of our identity, hence criticism can be perceived as a personal attack.

      Our understanding regarding what is real, and how we determine that, is so completely different, I do seriously wonder if it is possible for us to actually communicate in a meaningful way. The different is so stark we might as well be both speaking a completely different language.

      Am I wrong about even that?

  3. I disagree. The most precise definition of the world Evangelical is: there is no meaning. You can have evangelicals that are all that was listed, or evangelicals that are some of what was listed, or you can have evangelicals that are none of it. There trully is no common ground here.

    What happens is not a cognitive dissonance when people are faced with the this word being used in a way they do not use themselves. There problem is there is no consensus of what it means to be evangelical. That’s when the “true christian” argument comes up. Every single christian in the world can use that argument. You say they are not “true christians”? Well, they say you are not a “true christian” either. With whom should I agree with? None, you are both wrong. it’s like playing tennis, but both players are on different courts.

    If the only thing you know about a person is that they are evangelical, you really know nothing about that person.

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