Image via WikipediaWhat is an evangelical? I'm struggling to figure this one out. Is it a Rick Warren type who pushes people to find a "purpose" to their life through God and the Bible? Or is a Joel Osteen type telling people to have the best life they can have now? Am I an evangelical? I think I am, but based on who the popular "evangelicals" are, I'm not so sure. Recently resigned National Association of Evangelical president, Ted Haggard, was supposed to represent all evangelicals in America. However, when I saw an interview with him on NBC, he said that he didn't talk about sin in his church. He accepted everybody and talked about their guilt. I'm not completely sure of what he meant on this, but that does not represent me. He seem to indicate that everyone's sin was done away with and that they did not have sin, but only guilt. Sorry, but everyone sins and has sin to confess, including Mr. Haggard as we have seen recently. Perhaps he did not see the sin in his own life because he did not preach against sin. To evangelize means to spread the good news of the Gospel with the intent of bringing someone to Christ. In that sense, I suppose I would be an evangelical as I desire to bring Muslims to Christ. In the sense of following leaders and such, I don't want someone who does not reflect my Biblical worldview and does not rely on the authority of Scripture to represent me. Muslims see "Christian" leaders such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ted Haggard, and Jerry Vines and think that represents the Christianity in America. Maybe the popular Christianity, but not the true Christianity. Quotes like "Muhammad is a demon-possessed pedophile" (Jerry Vines) are insensitive, uneducated, and definitely not evangelical or Christian. If that is what being an evangelical is, then I want nothing of it. I would prefer to live my life as a Christian, sharing the Gospel in love, not hate and misunderstanding. Before branding Christians as evangelical, I think we must get our definitions right first.
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