Take Care What You’re Known For
In our world of political correctness, there seems to be one group of people who it’s socially acceptable to harass and hate: Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists. In a world that values tolerance, there is one group that it’s okay to not tolerate: evangelicals.
It’s politically permissible to mock them, denigrate them, and verbally attack them.
It’s not fair, but they brought it upon themselves. They made themselves a popular target. Though some evangelicals are truly persecuted and martyred, the majority who think they are enduring hardship for their faith are really facing wrath over their errors.
Though I may have some evangelical characteristics I do not identify myself as evangelical. I was, for a time part, of their camp, but I left. When I visit them, I often don’t enjoy the experience.
The reason is they lost sight of their purpose. Their original goal was to evangelize, that is, to tell others about Jesus. Jesus loves everyone; Jesus offers acceptance; and Jesus specifically says his purpose is not to condemn (John 3:17).
Too many evangelicals have forgotten that. Contrary to Jesus’ example, they don’t love outsiders, they don’t offer acceptance to those who are different, but they do judge those with dissimilar values or lifestyles. They forgot to be like Jesus.
Instead, they have taken a political stand against two issues that trouble them: abortion and homosexuality. They stopped evangelizing and started politicizing. It’s no wonder some non-Christians think evangelical is a political movement.
In their campaign against abortion and homosexuality, a few of them have made some horrific statements and done some terrible things. Many have judged, condemned, and hated in the name of their religion.
Most have vilified those who deserve love and acceptance. They have besmirched the name of Jesus. For that, I am truly sorry.
If only they had spent half as much time, effort, and money doing what they should have been doing—telling others about Jesus and acting like him by offering love and acceptance without judgment—then the world would be a much better place and the name evangelical would be respected instead of ridiculed.
How I wish that were so.
Jesus offers love and acceptance without judgement.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.