Jump to content

Evangelicalism


Recommended Posts

It seems to me that I have a lot of misconceptions about what certain labels mean as applied to Christianity.

 

For example, I have always described JW's as "fundamentalists". However, it seems to me now that that is not an appropriate description. JW's would more appropriately be called "evangelical" because they do not hold to a complete literal view of the Bible.

 

So, here is one "definition" of Evangelicalism that I found. I find much of it admirable and some of it not so admirable.

 

Any opinions, comments or rants?

 

Commentators and historians have described four distinctive characteristics of evangelicals (Bebbington):

 

1) An emphasis on the conversion experience.

2) The use of the Bible as the primary source of God's revelation to man, and therefore the ultimate religious authority.

3) Encourage evangelism, that is the act of sharing one's beliefs in the gospel with others in order to convince them to convert, either in organized missionary work or through personal evangelism.

4) A central focus on Christ's redeeming work on the cross, especially as the means for salvation and the forgiveness of sins.

 

Despite many variations, evangelicals generally adhere to four core beliefs:

 

1) The Bible is without error

2) Salvation comes through faith in Jesus and not good works

3) Individuals must accept Jesus as adults

4) All Christians must evangelize

 

Evangelicals generally believe the Bible to be reliable and the ultimate authority in matters of faith and practice. They believe in the historicity of the miracles of Jesus and his literal virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection, and Second Coming. It follows that they generally adhere to their interpretation of biblical views which may affect their social outlook, believing, for example, that homosexual behavior is sinful and that human life begins at conception.

 

Active involvement in secular society is a characteristic of modern evangelicals, who see the danger of withdrawal on the one hand, and accommodation, on the other, and try to take the middle course. As such, evangelicals are highly active in social causes.

 

Historically, Evangelicals have often been in the forefront of movements such as abolition, prison reform, orphanage establishment, hospital building, and founding educational institutions.

 

Today this activism is also expressed in literacy training, adoption agencies, food banks, and day-care centers for children, as well as more politically controversial causes such as the pro-life movement and the prohibition of same-sex marriage.

 

Evangelicals also tend to prefer individual understanding of the Bible and participation in the service by all on an equal footing to a highly structured liturgy and church hierarchy. On the other hand, there is little variation of understanding of the Bible within individual evangelical churches.

 

Evangelicals can be found in a wide variety of Christian traditions and locations, although they are most commonly Protestant.

 

Many fundamentalists can also be defined as evangelicals, although not all evangelicals are fundamentalists, because they may not hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible.

 

Contemporary Evangelicals: (many of these would be more accurately listed under Neo-evangelicalism)

 

C. S. Lewis - Although Lewis was an Anglican who did not identify himself with Evangelicals, he was (and his books are still) nonetheless influential within modern Evangelicalism.

Billy Graham

Franklin Graham, Billy's son

George Barna

George W. Bush, current President of the United States

Hugh Hewitt

James Dobson

Luis Palau

Philip Yancey

Richard Mouw

Rick Warren

Tony Campolo

David Pawson

John Stott

John MacArthur

John Piper

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 64
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Sounds about right to me, though I have an issue with one point:

Many fundamentalists can also be defined as evangelicals, although not all evangelicals are fundamentalists, because they may not hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible.

This kinda contradicts what he said earlier:

Despite many variations, evangelicals generally adhere to four core beliefs:

1) The Bible is without error

Fundamentalist is basically just a pejorative term for evangelical.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DCJ,

 

I thought the same thing as you when I read the definition, until I thought about the difference between "literal" and "without error".

 

I'm going to be silly, to show the difference, so bear with me. ;)

 

I may have a copy of Little Red Riding Hood, that is without error in it's text. There are no major differences between the original manuscript and the one I own.

 

I can say my copy is "without error".

 

but

 

The story is not literally true.

 

Do you believe that the moon will LITERALLY be turned to blood? That a seven headed wild beast being ridden by a harlot will LITERALLY show up during the tribulation? That individuals with 666 LITERALLY stamped on their flesh exist?

 

Some Fundementalists do.

 

Jehovah's Witnesses used to, and so could have be called Fundementalists at that time.

 

Now however, they view that as metaphor. JW's believe "all scripture is inspired and beneficial for teaching" and that it is without error but that some of what is found in the Bible is symbolic.

 

Does that sound like a reasonable difference to you? That not all evangelicals are fundementalists?

 

I'm learning, so I'm open to correction. :)

 

Thanks!

 

Aletheia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, true, I totally blew by that distinction.

 

That's because when *I* say the Bible should be interpreted literally, I mean that it should be interpreted according to the author's original intent. The genre could be apocalyptic, historical, wisdom, etc. For example, if I said it was raining cats and dogs, I don't mean pets are falling from the sky, but that it was raining heavily, *literally* raining heavily. Similarly, when Revelation (which is apocalyptic literature) speaks of Christ returning with a sword coming out of his mouth, it means he will literally be returning, but will be speaking truth, referring back to the passage that says, "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword." In contrast, the resurrection accounts were presented as eyewitness testimony, and were meant to be conveyed as an actual occurrance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have made some logical points, Ath. Infact, I was kinda thinking about this lately too. On the Network for Religious Tolerance, a favorite Progressive religious research network...they try and explain the differetn versions of Christianity as folllows:

 

DIVISIONS WITHIN PROTESTANTISM

INTRODUCTION

 

"Most Evangelical Christians do not accept the beliefs of mainline and liberal Christian churches and of the majority of American Christians. In fact, some conservative Christians do not regard mainline and liberal churches to be fully Christian."

 

"In the past, when a person said that they were a Presbyterian, or Methodist or United Church member, that this statement by itself meant a great deal about that individual's theological beliefs. But recently, some denominations are finding themselves internally divided. Liberal members of all faith groups are finding that they have much more in common with religious liberals from other denominations than with conservative members of their own faith group -- and vice-versa. "

 

These '2' quotes above would make a GREAT thread all by themselves, that is, how Fundamental Protestnats view us Progressive Christians and even Moderates as "Cults" and "NOT 'REAL' saved Christians. <_< While JW's would simply lump us as "False Religion"..kinda the same thing. <_<

 

These differences show up over matters of religious research on the historical Jesus, whether Jesus is the only path to salvation, how they should interpret the Bible, and what approach should be taken over controversial social debates such as equal rights for gays and lesbians, same-sex marriage, and female ordination.

 

Thus terms such as Fundamentalist, Conservative, Evangelical, Mainline and Liberal can refer to individual Roman Catholic Christians, Orthodox Christians, as well as to Protestants. However, when a specific denomination has unique beliefs that are not found elsewhere in Christendom, we will highlight them by name. One example is the Roman Catholic Church's unique beliefs about Purgatory, salvation, and the Virgin Mary. Another is the belief by Pentecostals that religious conversion, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, normally leads the believer to speak "in tongues."

 

JW's might come in here..But thing is that UNlike Catholic or Baptists or even Mormon...JW's do NOT have a moderate or Progressive branch.

 

Grouping denominations:

There are over 1,000 Christian religious organizations in North America alone. Each has their own set of beliefs, policies and practices. Religious authors often divide Christian denominations by family or into a three or two mode model. The Time Almanac 2002 quotes the Hartford Institute for Religious Research, who divide Protestant Christian denominations into three groups: Liberal, Moderate and Evangelical.

 

Liberal Protestant: Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), Unitarian-Universalist, and the United Church of Christ. Some would disagree with this list, because recent polls indicate that only about 10% of the members of congregations affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association consider themselves to be Christians.

 

That's good point about the UU's.

 

Moderate Protestant: American Baptist, Disciples of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Mennonite, Reformed Church in America, and the United Methodist Church. Some individual congregations of these denominations range over the full range from liberal to evangelical. Individual members within congregations do as well.

 

The above would also be most likley to contain progressive Christians as well.

 

Evangelical Protestant: Assemblies of God, Christian Reformed Church, Church of the Nazarene, Churches of Christ, Independent Christian Churches (Instrumenal), Seventh Day Adventist and the Southern Baptist Convention. Added to this group are many mega-churches, non-denominational conservative churches.

 

So the JW's might fit into the above as "Evangelical"? maybe

 

 

3. Conservative wing: (e.g. Southern Baptists and Assemblies of God).

 

This word "conserative" would positively define JW's but would not this term also double the same for "Evangelical" AND "Fundamental"?

 

They generally believe in historical Christian doctrines, such as:

 

"The inerrancy of the Bible. The Bible not only contains the Word of God, it is the Word of God; God inspired the individual authors to prevent them from error."

 

Ok, now here the point that Ath was talking about with JW's. I have NEVER heard a JW or read any JW publication where they ever used this phrase, that is, "The Bible is inerrant." Infact, ironically, though JW's ARE conservative as their Southern Baptists peers, that are constantly doing and have always done bibical research on orginal Greek and Hebrew words and meanings and thus often correct and critisize transaltions errors on all bible translations, and pointing out the errors of Fundamental Protestant's interpretations of such things as interpreatating wrongly that this physical earth is going to be literally burned by fire or that hell is an actual eternal firepit. Ironically, many Moderate and Progressive Christians have also pointed out these Bible interpretations errors on the part of Fundamental Protestants..and though it makes no logical sense..this is much the reason why Fundamental Protestants tag BOTH liberals/Progressives and sometimes even Moderate Christians with JW's and Mormons, Bahia and ...basically EVERYONE else who simply does not concure with the Evangelical Protestant's interpretations of the Bible.

 

Often in ignorance, the Far Right Protestnats have claimed that JW's reduce Christ down to "just a man" and that they are too liberal in their views of the Bible. This is simply incorrect. JW's are NOT TOO "Liberal",especially when it comes to social justice views. Infact when it comes to denying women's equality in the church and bagging on homosexuals and the like they are nearly if not completely on the smae level of intolerance as Southern Baptists and the far right in general.

 

Basically the far right Protestnats get P.O-ed at JW's cause they refused to concure with their doctrine on the (1)trinity and also reject the far right's interpretations of the (2)earth literally be burned up by fire and also that they reject the belief that(3) hell is a literal fire place. Liberals, Progressives also often challenge or reject these beliefs and thus is why they too are often on the Fundamental Protestnat's "bleep" list.

 

The virgin conception of Jesus.

(JW's agree)

 

Only those who have trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior will be "born again," be saved and go to heaven after death.

 

(JW's have their own twist to a "members-ONLY" slavation theory...Except it does not invlove being born again and the reward is paradise on earth instead of in heaven..but yeah, it's still exclusive.

 

Hell exists as a place of eternal punishment for the unsaved.

(JW's reject this...but replace this with Armageddon fears)

 

The return of Christ, and the rapture -- where believers will rise through the air to meet Jesus in the sky -- is imminent.

(JW's reject this completely..That's a pluss in their favor)

 

In terms of social policies, most: Are political conservatives.

(JW's voice that they are strongly for the speration of church and state..but some say there is contridiction in this claim)

 

Feel a strong obligation to evangelize: to share their religious beliefs with those who are not saved, in order to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

(JW's positively!)

 

Are strongly opposed to women being pastors/elders/priest. reserving these positions for men ONLY.

 

(JW's are this way 100%!)

 

Are strongly opposed to women having access to abortion.

(Jw's agree)

 

Regard homosexuality as a chosen, changeable, sinful behavior, condemned by God. They often reject sexually- active homosexuals as church members, and certainly as clergy. They actively oppose and condemn any action to give gays and lesbians equal human rights to heterosexuals -- particularly the right to marry.

 

(Jw's are like this too)

 

Conservative faith groups and para-church organizations often recommend that their members vote for political candidates on the basis of their rejection of abortion access and equal rights for gays and lesbians.

(JW's no on this)

 

 

 

Mainline wing: (e.g. the United Methodist Church). As the name implies, these are faith groups whose beliefs, priorities and policies lie between the conservatives and liberals: They look upon the Bible as containing the Word of God but do not necessarily view all passages being the inerrant word of God.

 

The concept of Hell as a place of eternal punishment, and individual salvation are not stressed.

 

Most mainline denominations have experienced long-standing, serious internal conflicts because their membership is largely split into two wings: conservative and liberal.

 

The administrative leadership of the denomination is typically quite liberal. However, renewal ministries within these denomination are pressing for a return towards conservative beliefs.

 

Mainline denominations have gradually become more inclusive. Decades ago, they fought over the issue of equality of women. This was settled by allowing women to be ordained, and to hold positions of power in the denomination. Current conflicts deal mainly with human sexuality -- particularly sexual orientation. Many mainline denominations may be faced with two future paths: going through a schism, or developing some sort of local option plan to allow individual congregations or groups of congregations to decide independently whether to conduct union ceremonies and ordain homosexuals. The latter would preserve the denomination, while transferring conflict to the local level.

 

Another way of grouping Christians: A simplistic two mode model -- "us and them":

 

 

Many people tend to view the Christian world in terms of "us ". e.g. "there is my denomination, and then there are all the other faith groups that only consider themselves to be Christian ."

 

For example, a Fundamentalist or other Evangelical Christian might believe that his/her faith group represents true Christianity. She/he might consider non-conservative denominations, grouped together, as non-Christian, heretical Christian, quasi-Christian, false Christian etc.

 

Reference:

"America’s Christian Commitment Has Remained Relatively Stable for the Past Decade," Barna Research Online, at: http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/

J. Gordon Melton, Ed, "The Encyclopedia of American Religions: A Comprehensive Study of the Major Religious Groups in the United States and Canada," 3 volume set, Triumph Books, New York, NY, (1989)

Borgna Brunner, Editor, "Time Almanac 2002 with Information Please," Page 436.

 

 

1997 to 2004 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.

Last update: 2004-OCT-21

Author: B.A. Robinson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hartford Institute for Religious Research, who divide Protestant Christian denominations into three groups: Liberal, Moderate and Evangelical

 

I think liberal, moderate and conservative are probably better terms.

 

Otherwise it sounds like ALL evangelicals are on the far far right and I'm not getting the impression that is always true.

 

I would categorize some Evangelicals (like Philip Yancey and Jim Wallis) as Moderate. I could be wrong about that.

 

One websight defined the difference between fundamentalists and evangelicals as:

 

Evangelicalism is a recent major movement within Christianity which places heavy emphasis upon the supreme authority of Scriptures and the atoning death of Jesus Christ. It is different from Fundamentalism due to its intentional interaction with the non-Christian world and because it split off from the Fundamentalist movement of the early 1900s.

 

The same websight defined Fundamentalism as:

 

Fundamentalism is form of American Protestant Christianity which emphasizes the authority of an inerrant Bible. The movement began in the early 20th Century and included a broad range of theological perspectives. However, by the 1930s it developed a strong tendency towards Dispensationalism, which excluded some of its early proponents, e.g. J. Gresham Machen. Then in the 1940s Fundamentalism added its third characteristic, "double separation."

 

It sounds like years ago a group broke away from the Fundamentalists and became Evangelicals.

 

Evangelicals want to associate with "the world" and do good works. Fundamentalists want to avoid associating with "the world". It also sounds like Fundamentalism, in general, is more LITERAL in it's intepretation of the Bible.

 

I'm trying to understand all viewpoints. Like I've said, I'm illiterate in these matters and I'm trying to learn. I want to get past the labels.

Edited by AletheiaRivers
Link to comment
Share on other sites

re: I mean that it should be interpreted according to the author's original intent.

 

But alas, this is impossible as none of those original author's are with us today. Granted, the Holy Spirit aides us in reading the Good Book, but NONE of us can ever claim with 100% certainty that we are reading it with the "author's actual intent." Hence, the variety of legitmate (and not so legitimate) interpretations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's all very interesting to discuss the meanings of the different "versions" of christianity. I'll admit to a bit of fun with people who take denomination as a sign of salvation (wouldn't Jesus be proud of all our divisions - neither Jew nor Greek...). But, I have found that very few people in the pews of most churches have any grasp of the statement of faith of their denomination. I think for most people, choosing a church is about family tradition, compromising with a spouse, or finding a thin spot. The doctrine is of limited importance to many. The activities in which the church is involved (or in which you can be involved at the church) are more important. I think that actually makes a lot of people a lot more progressive than they would realize. They are not so concerned about specifics but see a bigger picture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought that simpliest definition of evangelical is that it is "spreading the good news". Of course, that presupposes that meaning of words doesn't change over time, which it does.

Liberals have almost always acting on the idea of spreading good news, as pursuing justice in the world, while conservatives do this mainly by spreading the good news verbally by conversion. In fact, both aspects are in the Bible.

 

I think that liberals *could* evangelize, but almost always feel that their way isn't the only right one. It is a little hard to evangelize (ie verbally) if you feel that you don't have the only way. I think that the old term is still used for example, the Evangelical Lutheran Church is a moderate or even liberal church. One of the sermons in my very liberal church was recently about evangelism! That there are many people around that have no beliefs and are seeking.

(I agree). But I have always felt uncomfortable about being aggressive (ie like my sister). BTW, I thought that Sojourners were liberal/progressive? (Though maybe not as liberal/progressive as some of the folks here.)

 

Another term I have heard bandied about is "reform" (reformed). I think that could roughly be applied to any non-literalist. I dont' think it's too useful.

I might agree with the terms: liberal, moderate and conservative. Oh gosh then we are going to be figuring out what they mean. :-)

 

--des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cynthia,

 

It's all Philip Yancey's fault ya know!

 

Him and CS Lewis!

 

Him and CS Lewis and Jim Wallis.

 

Him and CS Lewis and Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo.

 

Him and CS Lewis and Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo and ... :P

 

I love it when people think outside the box and so teach me to not only think outside MY box, but to quit boxing so many dang things!

 

Aletheia :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought that Sojourners were liberal/progressive?

 

Jim Wallis is a Liberal Evangelical Christian. Pretty cool huh?

 

He is taking the term "Evangelical" back from the Fundementalists, he says.

 

Here's a quote:

Later in the day, my friend Tony Campolo called and I told him what Falwell had said. Tony is a Baptist preacher and as evangelical as you can get, but he will not likely be voting for George W. Bush. Imagine that. We agreed the next time either of us is in a debate with Falwell, we will name him for what he really is - a fundamentalist who has stolen the word evangelical.

 

I'm looking forward to reading Tony Campolo too.

 

Aletheia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BrotherRog wrote:

 

"But alas, this is impossible as none of those original author's are with us today. Granted, the Holy Spirit aides us in reading the Good Book, but NONE of us can ever claim with 100% certainty that we are reading it with the "author's actual intent." Hence, the variety of legitmate (and not so legitimate) interpretations. "

 

 

That IS PRECISELY what I believe! :) That is what i was trying to say when I said i question the fundamental's discription of "The Bible" is withOUT error and how i said no one knows the orginal manuscripts and all we can do is learn about Greek and Hebrew as best we can.

 

des:

"But, I have found that very few people in the pews of most churches have any grasp of the statement of faith of their denomination."

 

SO true. I usually have to get out a person's own denominational books and show them what their own church has stated. They are usally shocked and sometimes can't accpet it.

 

 

"I think that liberals *could* evangelize, but almost always feel that their way isn't the only right one. It is a little hard to evangelize (ie verbally) if you feel that you don't have the only way."

 

Well, it's not for me. I like to spread the Gospel the Progressive way NOT because I FEAR getting my butt zapped off at Armageddon if I don;t or fear of going to hell..but because it gives me a great feeling to help people come to believe that the God of Christianity is NOT a bigot.

 

"Another term I have heard bandied about is "reform" (reformed). I think that could roughly be applied to any non-literalist. I dont' think it's too useful.

I might agree with the terms: liberal, moderate and conservative. Oh gosh then we are going to be figuring out what they mean. :-)"

 

 

It does work, these 3 terms.:)

 

AletheiaRivers

 

"Jim Wallis is a Liberal Evangelical Christian. Pretty cool huh?

 

He is taking the term "Evangelical" back from the Fundementalists, he says."

 

I have great respect for the progressive message that Jim Wallis is trying to get spread. But..and this is just my personal view...I don;t understand this passion amoungst moderates and progressive Christians to take the term "Evangelical" back as their own...when i feel that it's meaning has already been sullied.

 

It's kind of like to me, how JW's have taken the word "Theocratic" as their own and I have come therefore not to like it because of how the Jdubs have come to discribe it. I would not want this word as my own.

 

"Later in the day, my friend Tony Campolo called and I told him what Falwell had said. Tony is a Baptist preacher and as evangelical as you can get, but he will not likely be voting for George W. Bush. Imagine that. We agreed the next time either of us is in a debate with Falwell, we will name him for what he really is - a fundamentalist who has stolen the word evangelical. "

 

The blurring of the lines between Evangelical and Fundamental back in the 50's was no accident. Documents show that this was a premeditive merging to give the far right more nunbers voice and to 'try' and appear more respectable and 'seem' more mainstream.

 

And because of this..I think moderates and Progressives should join forces. The Evangelicals and the Fundamentals have joined forces...therefore the Moderates should join with us and NOT the Evangelicals who are already bed fellows with Fundamentalists.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

des:

"But, I have found that very few people in the pews of most churches have any grasp of the statement of faith of their denomination."

 

 

Did I say this? Gosh, I don't think so. Maybe I said it. I don't remember saying it. Maybe it was late. :-)

 

>Jim Wallis is a Liberal Evangelical Christian. Pretty cool huh?

He is taking the term "Evangelical" back from the Fundementalists, he says.

 

 

Yes, I think it is cool. I'm not sure that liberal/progressives are really up to this though.

I would like to be. I've found some people who are excited by the Still Speaking campaign of the UCC church. Sure it is not evangelism the way the conservatives think, but it is reaching some people who have been turned off by Christianity (or at least organized Christian churches) or hurt by churches.

 

I understand the point, it is the very point that the term has been used to imply fundamentalism. However, I think maybe we should concentrate on terms like Christianity.

The media, even liberal media, has taken the term Christian to mean fundamentalist.

If you say to someone you're a Christian, you have to qualify it don't you?

 

 

--des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"And because of this..I think moderates and Progressives should join forces. The Evangelicals and the Fundamentals have joined forces...therefore the Moderates should join with us and NOT the Evangelicals who are already bed fellows with Fundamentalists."

 

"Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions" (Romans 14 - in my brand new New Interpreter's Study Bible - thanks

for the recommendation, it is great)

 

The messages that I value in christianity and progressive christianity is inclusiveness, openness to other's opinions and radical compassion. That's what Jesus was about to me. God is big. God is good. God is personal. God wants a relationship with us; and there is a wonderful reality to be experienced there - the love that surpasses knowledge. That's my version of evangelism... :>

 

Let's not stoop to the level of the people who are defining christianity in a narrow or hateful way. That is exactly the problem. I understand all to well the urge to put down or even demonize groups that you may perceive (and that I do perceive) as having a phenomenally negative impact on the things I hold dear (God, country, family, planet, society... there is no end to this list), BUT, to do that makes us what we purport to distain.

 

Jesus is about radical compassion. Grace (ahhhhhh, the joy, the peace of grace) cannot be earned, even by belief. I believe that we are called, especially now, to act in grace and love and compassion... towards everyone. To try to be Jesus to others. It's hard enough without anger and contempt.

 

I so respect Jim Wallis for bringing the message of liberal evangelical christianity in such a way that people can hear him. He comes across, even in writing or on TV as a God-filled man. The more people of faith can do that and put God first, the more we will be able to discuss big issues.

 

In Christ all things are possible.....

 

Cynthia

Edited by Cynthia
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Des

 

However, I think maybe we should concentrate on terms like Christianity.

 

Exactly. I think where Fundementalists and others want to create clear distinctions between "us and them", we should do just the opposite. I'm trying to respond to "exclusivity" with "inclusivity".

 

To do that I'm reading and learning. And as I read and learn, I'm realizing I'm not so different from many of these people at all.

 

It's not so much that progressive Christians hold opposite views on every single belief that conservative Christians have, but that conservatives by and large are "exclusive" and liberals are "inclusive".

 

I'm finding that interpretive wise, I agree with much (not all) of what Evangelicalism espouses. I agree with a lot of Catholicism. I agree with a lot of Judaism. Heck, I'm finding I agree with many of the scriptural interpretations of the JW's again! :blink: I NEVER thought I'd say that!

 

Cynthia

 

my brand new New Interpreter's Study Bible

 

I'm jealous! I have a brand new NOAB and I'm STILL jealous! <_<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jesus is about radical compassion. Grace (ahhhhhh, the joy, the peace of grace) cannot be earned, even by belief. I believe that we are called, especially now, to act in grace and love and compassion... towards everyone. To try to be Jesus to others. It's hard enough without anger and contempt.

 

Preach it, Cynthia!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Des:

 

"However, I think maybe we should concentrate on terms like Christianity.

The media, even liberal media, has taken the term Christian to mean fundamentalist."

 

Saddly it IS SO true. Infact. Soon I am going to start a thread here intitled, "Evangelical=Christian Non-Evangelical='Cult'?

 

"If you say to someone you're a Christian, you have to qualify it don't you?"

 

Yes, especially we end up HAVING to do this with basically the whole Liberal Left. Many are so burned by their past Fundamental Christian upbringing that they are bitter and suspicious of ANY thing that is considered Christian. So much so that adding the words "Liberal" or "Progressive" to the word "Christian" does not even seem to help. To me, these Liberals are SO pestimistic about ANY theist-themed form of belief that even when you reasure them that you ARE a Liberal or Progressive and that you too againist are fighting aginsit the Far Right....they won;t stop looking at you like you are lieing, like they believe you are really a spy for Jerry Felwell, trying to trick them into becoming a Conservative or something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Des:

 

"However, I think maybe we should concentrate on terms like Christianity."

 

AletheiaRivers

 

"It's not so much that progressive Christians hold opposite views on every single belief that conservative Christians have, but that conservatives by and large are "exclusive" and liberals are "inclusive"..."

 

Precisley!

 

"I'm finding that interpretive wise, I agree with a lot of Catholicism. I agree with a lot of Judaism. Heck, I'm finding I agree with many of the scriptural interpretations of the JW's again! I NEVER thought I'd say that!"

 

I agree 100% again! :) For example:

 

Catholics= Saint Fancis= the first Eco-Friendly Christian.

 

Contemporary Evangelical Protestantism= "Seeker-Sensitive approuch to worship= no stuffy formal dress codes, use contemporary music and mehtodists to spread the gospel. (Hey, I am ALL for that! Just as long as theirs no hidden agenda to use good music to "Hide" intolerant exclusive beliefs of hellfire threats!)

 

Jehovah's Witnesses The Church of God of Abraham Faith= Holds the moderate/Progressive interpretation of the word Hell meaning GRAVE and NOT an eternal place of fire torment. Rejects the belief that Jesus will literally burn this earth up and rapture the good. Believes that church and State should stay seperate which complaints Jim Wallis' message.

 

 

HOW WE CAN USE THESE CONSERVATIVE RESOURCES TO SUPPORT PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN BELIEFS

 

 

We can actually use the above Conservative faith group's resources, their publications to support some of our Progressive views like Catholic Encyclopedias ( I found them very helpful in research) the words of St,Fancis or Mother Teresa, quotes from Evangelical "Seeker-Senstive" churches..to promote the belief that different people approuch faith different and that ONE-SIZE does not always FIT ALL, And you can actually use JW's and Abarham Faith (Restoration Fellowship)online resources to help give Scriptural support against hellfire threats or to help prove that Jesus will not burn up this earth. One Abraham faith online resource shows that the King James Bible alone contains over 2000 translation errors...This helps the Progressive Christian belief that the Bible is NOT withOUT errors. Also JW's now have their NWT Bible online on their offical site, where you can type in a preicse Scripture, Chapter and verse and it oddomatically pops up..

 

Ironically, like Progressive Christians..all '3' of these Conservative faith groups have also come under fire by the Far Right Fundamental Protestant as NOT being "REAL Christians" and so they have constantly had to try and defend themselves...Because of this is why they have made lots of resources avai;able for bibical research. They may indeed use them to support their conservative views..but I have found much sucess in using these precise same conservative resources to support Progressive Christian views. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Soon I am going to start a thread here intitled, "Evangelical=Christian Non-Evangelical='Cult'?

 

Why don't you post your opinion in this thread? Discussing the labels and how to get past them is why I started the thread.

 

It might help the thread last longer. Threads die such quick deaths on this board because new ones discussing the exact same thing get started, which shoves the old thread off the board.

 

Just a thought.

 

Aletheia

 

PS: SOME Evangelical individuals might consider other Christians as being cults. But by and large, I am not getting the impression that Evangelicals as a group are like that.

 

Am I wrong? Am I being too open-minded? Anyone?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PS: SOME Evangelical individuals might consider other Christians as being cults. But by and large, I am not getting the impression that Evangelicals as a group are like that.

The textbook definition of a cult would be an identifiable group that severely misunderstands or distorts an essential Christian doctrine (usually involving the nature of God), and then claims that this unique view is the "true" Christian faith to the exclusion of all others. Examples of modern-day cults would be Mormons, JWs, 7th Day Adventists, and Christian Scientists. The reason they are considered cults and not different denominations is because they distort uniquely Christian doctrines as opposed to internal issues that are up for debate.

 

"In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a definition of CULT that I found. It included the definition DCJ used. It's interesting what groups use that definition.

 

In religion and sociology, a cult is a group of people devoted to beliefs and goals which are not held by the majority of society, often religious in nature. Its marginal status may come about either due to its novel belief system or due to idiosyncratic practices that cause the surrounding culture to regard it as far outside the mainstream.

 

As typified by many of the widely-publicized North American cults from the 1960s and later, the quintessential modern cult is thought to be religion taken to the extreme, usually characterized by high levels of dependency and obedience to the cult's leadership; by separation from family and non-believers; and by the infiltration of religion into nearly every aspect of daily life.

 

Since at least the 1940s, the approach of orthodox or conservative or fundamentalist Christians was to apply the meaning of cult such that it included those religious groups whose bibles or practices deviated from the orthodox King James Bible and its interpretation by orthodox Christian teachers and practitioners.

 

 

1) "Beliefs and goals which are not held by the majority of society" - That would make Christians in general a cult.

 

2) "Novel belief system" - Could again apply to Christians in general when compared to the rest of the world.

 

3) "High levels of dependency and obedience to the cult's leadership" - Ya mean like JESUS?

 

4) "Seperation" - Doesn't fundementalism teach "double seperation? (Def: separation not only from non-believers, but also those who refuse to distance themselves from non-believers.)

 

5) "Infiltration of religion into nearly every aspect of life" - This could include Fundementalists, anyone who is devout, most Jews, most Muslims.

 

I find it amusing that a particular sub-group within Christianity has decided that other certain groups are cults, when by defintion, Christianity itself is a cult. :rolleyes:

Edited by AletheiaRivers
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Watchman's "BLEEP" aka "CULT!" List

 

Progressive Mormon Reverend Gary Robert Buchanan wrote:

 

"It has been brought to our attention that the Fundamental Protestant group, the Watchman Fellowship, Inc., appearing on the worldwide web, has an "index" via its online magazine, The Watchman Expositor, entitled "Watchman Fellowship's Index of Cults and Religions."

 

So who makes the Watchman's "BLEEP" list? or that is, "CULT" list?: Roman Catholicism, Judaism, Liberal Christians [and Progressive Christians], Buddhism, Islam, Church of the Second Advent, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses Church(es) of Christ, Unitarian-Universalist Churches, Christian Science, Shintoism, Taoism, the Baha'i Faith, Native American religions, Seventh-Day Adventism, Sikhism, Jainism, and various others, including a vast number of smaller religious and philosophical groups too numerous and diverse to list here.Basically, any religion, or person who does not embrace the Evangelical Protestant's interpretations of the Bible. One of their biggest issues is any group or people of faith who are unitarians bibical or otherwise.

 

 

The Reverend Gary Robert Buchananwrote:

 

"As a Christian, and as an American, I do not believe the Watchman's Index reflects favorably upon Jesus, his spiritual message and the church, or our Founding Fathers, their vision and the nation. Technically, the Watchman's List is a roster of "cults and religions." Therefore, any religion may appear on the list simply as a "religion," and not necessarily as a "cult." However, note should be made of the religions that do not appear, that is, those agreeing with the "Watchman Fellowship Doctrine," a credo also made available on their Web site.If you find this religious bigotry troubling, then please let the Watchman Fellowship know how you think and feel; because, if you are not a member of that organization and/or in conformity with their creed, then you, your family, loved ones and associates may possibly be on their list."

 

What do you think of this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh boy! An opportunity for a history lesson!

 

Before the late 1800s, all Christians were considered to be "evangelicals." But eventually two camps arose. First, the "modernists" were those who embraced modern advancements, and I believe they also tended to be "post-millenial." Then there were the later termed "fundamentalists" who wanted to protect Christianity from the errors of modernity. They tended to be "premillenials."

 

Their eschatological orientations are important. "Post-millenials" tend to be those who look at history as progressing toward the Kingdom of God. Hence, they were predisposed toward embracing new developments. "Pre-millenials" believe that the world is going to hell in a handbasket and new developments can't be trusted, and therefore rejected them. Eventually, this would all erupt in the 1920s.

 

I think the term "fundamentalism" came from the debates between the "fundamentalists" and "modernists" in the 1920s. A key text for understanding would be Liberalism and Christianity by Machen. As a church historian who studied the phenomenon defined it: fundamentalism is "militantly, anti-modernist, American evangelicalism."

 

For the record, the five fundamentals that fundamentalists believe that one must believe in order to be a Christian:

 

1. Plenary inspiration of Scripture

2. Virgin birth

3. Diety of Christ

4. Sacrificial Atonement

5. Bodily Resurrection

 

The neo-evangelicals were basically fundamentalists who decided that fundamentalism had to be upgraded...a bit (version 1.1). This is your basic conservative evangelicalism today. They were the "progressives" of their day who came out of the "fundamentalist" camp.

 

 

A bit late in the conversation. But my 2 cents...for now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service