Do you still consider yourself an Evangelical Christian?

Mixing religion and politics has always been a dangerous recipe. Does who we vote for politically in any way define what it means to be a believer in Christ?

In recent years, the mainstream media and others have smeared Evangelical Christians politically as nationalists or right-wing extremists.

However, a 2023 survey suggests this is not how Bible-believing Christians defined themselves, the Christian Post reports.

According to Grey Matter Research and Infinity Concepts’ (GMRIC) analysis of the survey of 1,000 Evangelical Christians, a very small minority believe that a person’s political position in any way defines their Evangelical beliefs.

Only 2% define ‘evangelical’ at least in part by politics, such as being politically conservative, supporting Donald Trump, or being Republican,” GMRIC’s report concluded.

So, while others, such as The Economist, commonly conflate this term with politics, evangelicals themselves rarely do,” the report continued.

Initially, the term Evangelical was used to describe those who held a Biblical view of Christianity. According to the National Association of Evangelicals, this included four foundational beliefs:

  • The Bible is a person’s highest authority
  • A need and willingness to share their faith
  • Belief that a person is saved through accepting Jesus’ death on the cross as atonement for their sin, and
  • That Jesus is the only way to heaven.

However, there has been a marked shift in how culture defines Evangelicalism, and it seems that the term is falling out of favor as a way devout Christians describe themselves.

This is because Evangelicalism has been conflated by some to include additional political and cultural baggage, such as voting for Donald Trump.

While holding to Evangelical Christianity’s foundational beliefs, only 27% of those surveyed referred to themselves as Evangelical Christians.

When asked if the term Evangelical Christian defined who they are, 61% stated that it still did, while 39% said they would not use this word to describe themselves.

With many conflating evangelicalism with politics, some, like Christian commentator Dr. Michael Brown, have suggested it may be time to scrap the term Evangelical as a way of defining what it means to be a born-again Christian.

When it comes to the term ‘Evangelical,’ it is not so much that it is a potentially ambiguous term (like “Christian”) as it is a misleading term, a term that has become cultural and political more than spiritual,” Dr. Brown explained.

As Brown noted, this has already happened with the term Christian. Though many mainstream churches such as Methodist and Episcopalian still call themselves Christians, they no longer fit the Bible’s description of the church, as the body of Christ.

Not only have they rejected the Bible as their final authority, but some hold what could even be described as pagan beliefs. Nevertheless, by insisting they are still a Christian church, the term Christian has lost its original Biblical meaning.

In the same way, the term evangelical no longer means what it did even 40 years ago.

Being evangelical once suggested regular church attendance, a focus on salvation and conversion and strongly held views on specific issues such as abortion,” Brown noted.

Today, it is as often used to describe a cultural and political identity: one in which Christians are considered a persecuted minority, traditional institutions are viewed skeptically, and Trump looms large,” Brown continued.

That’s why, for a decade or more, some Evangelical leaders have suggested that we drop the term entirely, since to most Americans, it speaks of a cultural and political aspect of our faith more than the essence of our faith,” Brown continued.

While some have accused the Methodist church of being the prayer wing of the Democratic Party, Bible-believing Christians have to be careful that we don’t fall into the same trap on the other side of the political spectrum.

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