Intelligent quote of the day

evangelicals-worshiping1I am a non-evangelical Christian…If someone asks me about Christianity, I will present it as best I can to them, but I will not obtrude on someone else with my personal beliefs. I believe my job is to set a Christian example not to preach.

All too often demonst[r]ativeness is mistaken for evangelism. Some people feel a deep need to be demonstrative about their beliefs. I think this has more to do with a psychological profile than anything religious. People who are obsessive-compulsive about everything in life are also the same way about religion. I have witnessed such demonstrations in the past. For these people the word “share” in item four should be replaced by the word “impose”. In most cases, these people “demonstrate” in front of people who are already evangelized. And in most cases, they are not focused on apprising someone of the Gospel, which almost everybody in Western Civilization understands already, but are instead are trying to get someone to joint a particular denomination.

…In particular I believe evangelicalism has many cultural characteristics that I do not consider myself a part of or subscribe to. Mark Noll gave a good presentation of what is wrong with evangelicalism in “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.” He wrote about the rift between the intellectual community (including the Christian intellectual community) and evangelicalism.

It is embarrassing when you encounter people who believe that the universe was created 6,000 years ago and that dinosaurs co-existed with man in the pre-flood world and at the same time claim to represent what is best in God. On the whole, I believe that evangelicals are at odds with scientific thought. This is another reason why I do not consider myself an evangelical. There is a strong element of “give me that old time religion” in the evangelical movement that destroys the credibility of its leaders and adherents.

C.S. Lewis, I believe, was not an evangelical. He gave radio broadcasts and was willing to engage in discussion but he did not walk around talking about “the Lord” all day to any and everyone. Such people give Christianity a smelly cachet.

There are intellectuals and academicians in the evangelical movement, but they are few in number and exert little influence. I have attended some evangelical congregations and when I mention some of the authors in their denomination, the rule is that they do not know who I am talking about. As one theologian told me, most of them do not now if they are Calvinist or Arminian. Nor do they have an interest in this question.

I believe these are good, solid people and are sheep of the flock. But in my mind they are a cultural rather than theological or operative variation of Christianity.

—Internet poster Neotherm giving his two cents on why he is NOT an evangelical and laments the anti-intellectualism in that movement.


4 thoughts on “Intelligent quote of the day

  1. James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.

    I think many of the modern ‘Christian’ Right have gotten well away from original Evangelical principals. I can make a case that today’s ‘Christian’ Right is more puritanical than the original Puritans.

    God bless

  2. This is a sticky topic. And a good quote!

    I have often struggled with this myself. I firmly believe in sharing my faith. But I also believe it should be done first and foremost through living a Christian life. The example speaks for itself. (Not that I’m calling myself a good example, but hey! I’m working on it.) And secondarily when someone asks me about my faith I’ll answer as best I can.
    I blog. I feel I have something that needs to be said. I feel that has been said to my satisfaction. If people want to come see, then come see. I don’t push my beliefs on anyone [anymore].

    Now, I know some very devout people who literally risk their lives to “share the gospel” in areas of the world where they kill Christians regularly and burn down villages. Even though I have a deep respect for that, I don’t know about it. If you feel so deeply called, then perhaps it’s true!
    But on the flip side I’ve seen churches where the entire focus for the whole congregation is to “share the gospel”. They have printed tracts and videos and instructions and yadda yadda. THIS I disagree with, and God bless them but I don’t fellowship there. All this kind of “sharing the gospel” seems to me to be based mostly on growing new numbers to create more mega-churches to enrich more pastors.

    There appears to be a gift of evangelism (ACTS 21: 8; EPH. 4: 11; 2 TIM. 4: 5), so the idea isn’t right out. I just don’t have that gift.

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