Labels matter. Just think of your favorite brand names… what do they mean to you? How do these brands affect how you see others who wear them?
We tend to associate certain types of people with certain types of brands.
Supreme. Luis Vuitton. Nike. Starbucks. All the way to cars such as Ford, Tesla, or Honda…
The images we associate with these brand names hold weight and enough power to them that they could make or break even the most reputable companies on this list.
Most of us are aware that how we look and/or how others perceive us impacts what jobs we have, what circles we run in, and how we’re treated on a day to day basis…
For better or worse, labels, they matter…
With all of this being said I completely understand why it’s now so odd for me to continue embracing the label “evangelical.”
Plus, there’s very little about who I am that would fall into what’s so many of us would define as an “evangelical Christian.”
A vast majority of us “progressives” when thinking of an evangelical Christian have images of Kirk Cameron or Franklin Graham pop into our heads; or, we’re reminded of their viral declaration of this supposed “war on Christmas”; then, there’s Ken Ham and the creationists; those who believe the Bible to be inerrant, literal, and/or the infallible word of God’s downloaded straight out of heaven.
The label evangelical is now many times associated with descriptors such as hypocrisy, conservativism, bigoted, xenophobic, or anti-gay.
It’s gotten so bad that evangelicals don’t even identify as evangelical anymore.
The Very Brief Etymology of this Word “Evangelical”…
What I mean when I talk about “evangelicalism” is not any form of doctrine or ideological set of beliefs; what I mean when I talk about “evangelicalism” is pointing more so towards a form of a contextualized cultural relevancy utilized by the Church.
So, with the etymology of this word being kept in mind here’re several reasons why I’m comfortable being called Evangelical: