Rachel Held Evans is complaining about what has happened to the name (and by extension identity) “evangelical” over here on her blog…

And in the wake of thousands of people deciding that a particular issue (that probably doesn’t affect them directly) was more important than using a small part of their resources to help a child in desperate need (see here)… I feel a little funny about the word “evangelical” these days, too.

Some have said our labels have been stolen. Labels like “christian” and “evangelical”.

But… Remember, the word “evangelical” didn’t get stolen… but rather… in the marketplace of (relatively) free ideas, it got auctioned off to the highest bidder, as people who decided agreeing with them about certain lifestyle issues was the deciding factor in whether a person had value or not. (I’m not arguing those issues here, merely the horrible manner in which they have been co-opted as a litmus test for faith by fragile flawed humans).

And, really… it’s just a word. Nothing more.

The crusaders called their activities “christian” when they massacred people for disagreeing with them.They weren’t.

Arminians called their activities “christian” when they massacred Calvinists… and vice versa… They weren’t.

American slaveholders called their activities “christian” when they used Scripture to rationalize demeaning and even “owning” other human beings for generations… and then they called their activities “christian” when they covered their faces and killed people because of the color of their skin.

We evoked Scripture to justify our crusade to wipe out the aboriginal people of this nation, whose land we stole.

and so on… and so forth…

This is nothing new. Christians miss the mark a lot… And when we don’t, we don’t make news, because Jesus says to keep our good deeds quiet, and I think a lot of us are obeying that. (bad PR, but good spirituality…)

Dear God, help us to remember how much you are deeply in love with us and share that love… and not all this other junk…

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