I assume a number of people are already in Thanksgiving mode and are traveling or working ahead to get time off (apologies to our non-US members). I read through her post more than once and while I agree with her that Preaching the Gospel should be foremost in the church over endorsing amendments or candidates, this kind of thing gets me now and then:
As a young evangelical myself, I confess I have grown tired…no, weary…of responding to comments like these with some honest suggestions for how my fellow evangelicals might avoid said retirement, only to be discounted and disparaged for believing the earth is more than 6,000 years old, for voting for Democrats from time to time, and for daring to serve communion to gays and lesbians. The fact that I can affirm the Nicene and Apostle’s creeds, that I am an imperfect but devoted follower of Jesus Christ, that I am passionate about spreading the gospel, and I believe the Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God, and still my evangelical credentials are constantly being questioned and debated reveals just how narrow evangelicalism has become.
I’m not here to do the endless “What is an evangelical?” debate that goes around in circles, but you can believe the Creeds, be a devoted follower, be pro-Gospel and still be decidedly non-Evangelical. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m guessing the sizable number of Catholics (hint: They’re the ones denying communion, not the evangelicals who rarely stop and ask if you’re a member of the church in good standing) in this country who feel backed into a corner on the issue don’t feel that the definitions have been narrowed.
And speaking of which, I’m trying to figure out how the definition has been narrowed: 30 years ago a decidedly fundamentalist Jerry Falwell declared himself evangelical despite his leanings suggesting otherwise. This year Brian McLaren performed a same-sex wedding while maintaining that he’s an evangelical. Yes, The Gospel Coalition may grumble at the latter while the emergent circles will scoff at the former — but neither of them get to decide for the rest of us.
The rest has its points as well — Jim Daly of all people said that it’s a problem that the GOP and Evangelicals are so closely connected. But I also go back to what I mentioned before: Election cycles are fickle. That a moderate Mormon and conservative Catholic lost the election is brought up as a sign (by both conservatives who are mournful and liberals who are gloating) that evangelicals are in trouble is something of a farce.