I consider myself an evangelical, and I’m dang proud of it!
Then again, I’m not so proud of it.
I have a love hate relationship with evangelicalism, much like I have a love hate relationship with most things I love/hate… Methodism, the Bulldogs, the Falcons, technology, nature (I love nature out there, I don’t love nature when it comes to a yard), etc.
The thing I love about evangelicalism is that its vibrant, in my experience evangelicalism gets it; it gets what life abundantly in Christ is like. Its not staid or lame Christianity, it inspires life in a way that I didn’t get from tradition or ritual. I love how it one of its doctrines is that all knowledge is measured by Scripture; I love that it sees its purpose is to spread the gospel, not only by evangelism, but by mission work as well. It doesn’t mind going against the grain on somethings that it perceives are wrong.
There are somethings that I don’t like, let Evolution and the Big Bang be an example. Evolution and Big Bang theories are divisive, not because of the science, but because of the application. It has been applied by many to disprove God, or at the very least used to promote a degree of doubt and ask hard questions. However, the science itself is neutral; well, at least I see it this way. Most of evangelicalism, at least the conservative voices that seem to speak louder than the rest, see the science as the problem and the solution is to promote Creationism.
I can’t blame them for wanting to counter the evolutionists; I want to as well, but I think that they’re going about it in all the wrong way. The way to do it is to redeem the applications of the science, not deny it the science itself. Even if they want to deny it, they need to counter it and point out holes in the research; they then need to promote other research that they can prove is reliable, because you know its going to have a bunch of evolutionists trying to poke holes in it. Unfortunately, I have not seen either of these things done. All I am given are unfounded hypotheses that attempt to counter evolution because its “illogical” outcomes or that its wrong because “that’s not what the Bible says.” Well, fantastic, but the Bible can be made to say a lot of things! But I have also not seen a good counter to an allegorical interpretation of the creation account; no, the only good responses are those against reinterpretations of the length of it being longer than 6 days of 24 hours each.
Regardless, all I am saying is that the pendulum of scientific understanding swung away from the traditional Christian interpretation and understanding of the universe’s origins and instead of reassessing the interpretation and understanding to see if this new scientific model could in fact be more correct, they deny that there is any science that is worth countering and call all of its adherents heretics. Reminds me of a certain Catholic Church’s dealing with Galileo.
It’s frustrating for me because I see how it marginalizes others and makes Christianity, much less faith in Christ, unappealing to them, as well as seemingly unattainable. It’s frustrating to experience because I am made to feel guilty and told my belief system is unbiblical Christianity. Somehow I just don’t think Jesus would have done this… I could go on about why I think it happens this way, but personally I’m tired of typing, haha! And I’m pretty sure it’d be a moo[t] point; you know a cow’s opinion (name the reference!).
That is, of course, unless I’m begged to do so.
Oh and some other things I don’t like: the evangelical love for the Republican party or Tea Party, the lack of ascetic practices, the desire to do away with tradition, and others that I could think of I’m sure.
I love evangelical Christianity, it helped me taste and see the goodness of God, but sometimes it just smells so bad…