You Might Be An Evangelical Reject If…

© “Evangelical Reject” | 2011, Kurt Willems

I wish it were otherwise, but, unfortunately it’s true.  Everything within me resisted this realization.  But, the time has come to admit it: I’m an Evangelical reject.

The more I write the clearer this sad truth becomes.  This blog, as much as it’s served as a place to flesh out ideas I believe to be central to expressing the euangelion (gospel [hence, evangelical]) in our day to our culture, also continues to damage my reputation in the evangelical circles that I run in.

I’ve had friends distance themselves from me because they think my views blindly accommodate for twenty-first century secular culture.  Colleagues question my commitment to the Scriptures.  Past and present church members discuss my heretical views behind my back.  To top it all off, one time, in an angry email, a passage was quoted to me from one of the letters to Timothy that talked about false teachers.  I’m an evangelical reject.  And today, I’ve decided to embrace it.

The question is, what makes this so?  Why do I get accused of heresy on the regular?  Before I get to that, maybe there’s a bit of explaining on my end that’s necessary.  Do I consider myself an Evangelical?  Yes.  But in these interesting times, different people want that word to mean different things.  I am with Roger Olson (although, more tempted to throw out this term than he is) who has struggled with the label recently.  He states:

All labels have their problems and, to be sure “evangelical” is fraught with them.  But I am not giving it up.  Instead, I will fight for it.  To me, it is virtually synonymous with “God-fearing, Bible-believing, Jesus-loving” Christianity.  Of course, that needs unpacking also.

One thing I find helpful when talking to someone or a group with time to listen is to distinguish between the evangelical ethos and the evangelical movement.  I see myself as participating in both, but I am more comfortable claiming the evangelical ethos than I am identifying with the evangelical movement– at least as it is viewed by most people.

So, most of the time, when I say I am evangelical I mean I am a Protestant Christian who believes authentic Christianity requires a conversion experience of regeneration and that faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and repentance for sin are necessarily included in that.

In so far that evangelical means the belief in repentance and conversion into a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, the term describes me.  What I continue to find, is that such a central conviction is NOT enough to appease those who want the term to mean other things.  So, based on my experiences, I want to let you know that: You Might Be an Evangelical Reject If…

  1. You’re uncomfortable calling other branches of Christianity “apostate.”
  2. You worry that those who cling to terms like “orthodox” often do so because they believe it to be synonymous with “Neo-Calvinism.”
  3. You have significant questions about controversial theological “hot button” issues of the days and are some-what comfortable with the subsequent cognitive dissonance.
  4. You’ve been asked to leave a church leadership position for philosophical / theological reasons.
  5. You had a “love wins” sticker on the back of your car before the book controversy was even thought of.
  6. You read theologians from all across the spectrum.
  7. You think that science and scripture both reveal God’s truth in complementary ways.
  8. You think that what we believe about the so called “end times” actually matters for how we do mission today.
  9. You know that living the truth is more important than defending it logically.
  10. You recognize culture wars as pathetic attempts for Christians to grab for power.
  11. You don’t use the word inerrancy to describe biblical authority because its too rigid a definition and a modernist categorical imposition on the Holy Spirit inspired Scriptures.
  12. You think women should do anything BUT be silent in the church. (Can I get an AMEN from my sistas?)
  13. You think that postmodern philosophy helps theology more than it hurts it.
  14. You drink alcohol sometimes (in public).
  15. You endorse someone that has been deemed a heretic by apprising.org
  16. You believe that there are significant parallels between the Roman Empire of the 1st Century and the United States of modern day.
  17. You believe social justice is central to the gospel of the Kingdom.
  18. You throw up a little in your mouth every time someone says that “the rapture is coming soon, so what’s the fuss with taking care of the planet?  Lets save souls!”
  19. You’ve said “I’m not that kind of Christian…”
  20. You considered or actually voted democratic in the last two elections.
  21. You think that African American Activists have valid points when it comes to justice issues.
  22. You have gay friends.
  23. You’ve been in a conversation where the other was appealing more to the constitution of the USA than actually biblical theology.
  24. You’re also an Anabaptist

Question: How would you end the following sentence: You might be an Evangelical Reject If…

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  • http://www.travismamone.net/ Travis Mamone

    Crap, I’m an Evangelical Reject!  The only ones that didn’t apply to me were the one about being asked to step down from leadership (I feel like God’s calling me to serve Him as a layperson), and the Anabaptist one (although the theology has influenced by progressive Lutheranism).

    • Gene

      Without capital punishment, Jesus wouldn’t have died on the cross (a form of capital punishment) and centuries-old prophecy (i.e. Isaiah) would not have been fulfilled. So it begs the question, would Jesus be against capital punishment if it meant His own sacrifice would not have occurred, therefore all humankind would have been absolutely without hope? Just thinking…

      • Gene

        Oops that was meant as a general reply, not to the comment right above it :-)

  • http://twitter.com/craigadams49 Craig L. Adams

    Kurt, I like Roger E. Olson’s  approach to this a lot better than the one you are espousing here.

    It is very natural that people who think deeply and independently about issues are going to find themselves out-of-step with their affinity group(s). That is the price of independent thinking. It seems to me I read an old Tozer piece that talked about how those who sought to be faithful to God would always have to stand alone. Yes, it is an uncomfortable place, but it’s not as if we are the first people who ever had to follow our conscience, our mind, and our heart into a place of rejection or suspicion by others.

    But, these people cannot and should not have the right to define us, either.

    In my case, this happens all the time — as both conservative friends and liberal friends assume I’m on the same page with them, when I’m not. I still remember that it’s the conservative Holiness folks that preached the Gospel to me in a way that I could understand and take hold of — I never heard it in the “liberal” church.

    And, I do not want to compromise my values just because people don’t understand.

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @twitter-16025577:disqus , I agree with everything you just said!  PS – I quote Olson because I do agree with him ;-)

  • Anonymous

    …if you listen to the Fighting for the Faith podcast, watch Dr. James Oakley videos and read apprising.org, but consider them in the same category as The Onion.

  • Tucker M Russell

    Fire in the belly!  Yes!  I made peace with being an evnagelical reject a long time ago.  Welcome to the club my friend :)  

    You might be an evangelical reject if…you believe more in the risen and living Jesus than you do in your own or your church’s dogmas about him. 

  • Jim Papandrea

    Hi Kurt,
    Great blog. I found myself in most of your bullet points, however rather than anabaptist, I went back to Rome. I used to call myself an evangelical. Then I called myself a Catholic evangelical. Then I started calling myself an evangelical Catholic. But I’ve been increasing coming to the conclusion that the kinds of evangelicals who gather at the evangelical conferences I used to go to would not call me an evangelical any more. So now I’m just a Catholic. So I would add, “You might be an evangelical reject if… you accept the historic creeds of the early Church as more authoritative than anything the Calvinists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries ever wrote.” Peace, brother. – Jim Papandrea, http://www.JimPapandrea.com, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001502733705, 
    Spiritual Blueprint: The Blog, http://www.SpiritualBlueprint.net.

    • Anonymous

      I consider your new religious beliefs to be a serious departure from the NT Gospel teaching.   You have take a path that could lead you into the experience of those we read about in Hebrews  chapters 6 and 10.   The Reformation rightly exposed the short-comings of Roman Catholic doctrines by emphasizing the five essential  Scriptural “Solas”.  You would be well advised to quickly return to the Biblical light and freedom of the glad tidings of redemption through faith in Christ Jesus alone.  No more hocus pocus rituals , powerless sacraments or bogus priestly power. Become a reject RC !

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=116508902 Tasiyagnunpa Beth Livermont

    You know, I still don’t know that the magic formula, ‘proclaim’ this thing, is the only way to get to Christ. The Good News is defined a few different ways, but it always has to do with Christ as King and His Kingdom’s availability to everyone who believes in Him. Isn’t believing and living it enough? Though, we know that baptism is the appropriate expression, etc. I don’t see God creating some hard and fast law, though, on how exactly to do it. Seems to me He’s much more interested in people than that. So, maybe I’m a heretic for reals. Don’t really care. I know Who I belong to. :)

  • keith Hebden

    Welcome! 

  • http://twitter.com/sheddmatt Matt Shedd

    I am on board with some of these, not all.  Most evangelicals would not count me as “in” the club.

    I am not premellinial, and I think Scripture teaches that baptism and faithful working out of your faith are tied to salvation (does that make me a works righteousness-ist?!)

    But yeah, fun thoughts!

  • http://www.nearemmaus.com Brian LePort

    I am beginning to think many of us evangelicals are not evangelical rejects, which brings up an interesting point: Why are the rejects?! 

    • http://www.nearemmaus.com Brian LePort

      That second sentence should read, “Why are we the rejects?!”

  • http://twitter.com/jeffreyroop Jeffrey W Roop

    It seems I’m in good company for being an evangelical reject. I’ve had the sneaking suspicion that I was for a long time now. I’m now at a place to move past that. 

    In addition to the point of drinking alcohol sometimes, smoking cigars would be on my list.

  • J. Byas

    You might be an Evangelical Reject If…
    *you say “what does that mean in context” but your friends hear “I don’t believe in the Bible.”
    *doubt isn’t a four-letter word
    *your belief in the resurrection of Christ isn’t dependent on your views of Gen 1-11

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      I agree with your statements… awesome!

  • angie

    Love this!!
    Amen from this Sista in Ministry!

    Also, I’ve had my Love Wins bumper sticker since like 2003 or 2004. I sometimes think of scraping it off because it is too popular now… ;)

    I’m not an anabaptist. I have been thinking more and more why doesn’t it matter if I am even a member of a church. I work at a Presbyterian Church, but my membership is still at the Baptist church I grew up in.

  • http://www.anglobaptist.org/blog AngloBaptist

    One must be rejected to do any damn good anyway. I’ll take it and wear it proudly. Thanks to Cathleen Falsani for pointing me to this article. I’m evangelical. I’m liberal. I’m more interested in Chrysostom than Calvin, but as a Baptist I’ve written publicly about the latter more than the former. It’s an occupational reality. I was ordained by a woman. Can we get an amen from our brothers? 

    Love this post. Thank you for it.

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @anglobaptist:disqus  , thanks for coming to the blog and I am glad to have your thoughts here anytime!

      • http://www.anglobaptist.org/blog AngloBaptist

        You are welcome, and I’ll make regular visits now that I know you’re here!

    • Jonathan Aigner

      Amen!

      • http://www.anglobaptist.org/blog AngloBaptist

        Amen!

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.schroeder Elizabeth Schroeder

    I think I am beyond Evangelical reject but when I became so, I was no longer an Anabaptist.  I certainly feel like an Evangelical reject when hanging out with my family though!  I may be considered a heretic, even, and certainly living in sin.  They just don’t even know what to do with me, even though I did “say the prayer” when I was six.  So, technically, I am saved, according to their theology.  They sure don’t want to claim me as such anymore though….

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      Hang in there and don’t lose heart!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/LTDHQ LTD

    Nailed it, Kurt. Welcome to the club!

  • http://twitter.com/revolution115 Brian East

    Nailed it Kurt. Welcome to the club!

  • Jim

    Kurt,
    Great post. And though I pretty much agreed with all your bullet points, here are a few that resonated:
     1.”You think that what we believe about the so called “end times” actually matters for how we do mission today.” 
    Huge. Unless we frame things historically, we will continue to have more psychedelic eschatology forming an anachronistic ecclesiology, often cultish in nature….a church putting in its future what belongs in its past. 
    2. “You don’t use the word inerrancy to describe biblical authority because its too rigid a definition and a modernist categorical imposition on the Holy Spirit inspired Scriptures.” 
    As David Fitch would say (quoting Zizēk) inerrancy is a false “Master Signifier”; that is, an ideology that people gather around for their identification, creating schism. He goes on to say it is about being “right”, not about the truth; but being in CONTROL of the truth against others who do not hold to inerrancy…that it can produce an evangelical culture that fosters arrogance and exclusion.
    3.”You think women should do anything BUT be silent in the church. (Can I get an AMEN from my sistas?)”
    Dude…my wife said “amen”. I have seen so many men who grow up in churches that feed them a patriarchal ideology, eventually winding up in some sort of spousal abuse, tying their sense of dignity and self-worth to their status as “men” in that hierarchy. (Though you probably saw it, a good case in point is this “You Tube” John Piper video on spousal abuse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFPkN3zKN2s&feature=youtube_gdata_player).

    And then you asked, How would you end the following sentence: You might be an Evangelical Reject If…
    I said, You might be an Evangelical Reject If…
    You imagine that the future of the people of God after Christendom lies not with the reactionary neo-Reformed folks (for all their good intentions) or much of modern evangelicalism but in the convergence of two powerfully creative forces: New Perspective theology and missional ecclesiology. There, I said it

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      Great thoughts Jim!!!!! 

  • http://twitter.com/findo Andrew Finden

    I’m guessing that ‘evangelical’ has a different meaning on your side of the pond…? :D

  • http://twitter.com/mike__friesen Mike Friesen

    I feel slightly accepted and yet still isolated…..

  • http://www.ShawnaAtteberry.com shawna.atteberry

    “You think women should do anything BUT be silent in the church. (Can I get an AMEN from my sistas?)”

    You’ll get a big amen from me on this one. I just wrote a book about women in the Bible called: Women Who Didn’t Shut Up & Sit Down (http://www.shawnaatteberry.com/store). Women who were anything but silent populate the Bible.

    I’ve been an evangelical reject for years, which is why I just went ahead and left the movement a few years ago. It’s much easier to have the evangelical ethos as an Episcopalian.

  • http://thewriter58.wordpress.com Mark Lee

    I am a reject for writing a editorial column in the local newspaper explaining that marriage equality in the USA is a civil right and not subjected to religious censoring. Because of that coloumn i needed to resign for leading youth and young adults and my position as an Elder. I sought restoration after a year and was soundly ignored.

    I am a reject because I love Rob Bells’ book Love Wins and see that he makes some valid points.

    I am a reject because I reached out to the gay community in order to build bridges of reconciliation through acts of kindness and was criticized for becoming liberal.

    I am a reject because I voted of the President in the last election and will do so again in 2012.

    I am a reject because I support the Human Rights Campaign.

    I am a reject because I tell other believers that we need to love other people unconditionally and let the Holy Spirit do His job in bringing conviction.

    I am a reject because I work in an agency that does HIV testing and gives out clean needles and condoms so that people can protect themselves. It is called harm reduction. To my fellow evangelicals it is called inabling sin.

    I could go on because there is so much more…..but you all get the idea.

    Peace and grace..
    Mark Lee Schnitzer

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @0859f26e98811ffd0c247bee14f0c0d8:disqus  , along with some great points (and I do mean great!), I am sorry that your church situation turned out as it did.  Sometimes the students under your care suffer because of dogmatism.  I know this first hand…

  • Jonathan Aigner

    You might be an ER if you…

    …have puked when your pastor says, “The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it.”
    …have read “Sex God” or “Velvet Elvis” in a pew during a sermon.
    …take extended restroom breaks during services.

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @google-b86fcde29a85e78c9e524db83f35dc85:disqus  , thats soooo good! You might need to find a new church ;-)

      • Jonathan Aigner

        Already did, but good advice, nonetheless.

  • http://www.ecksermonator.com/ Jason Hess

    As always, great post Kurt!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesmichael7 James-Michael Smith

    Kurt…I just think you’re hanging around the wrong Evangelicals. Positions such as yours were not only tolerated, they are accepted as equally evangelical at my seminary–Gordon-Conwell, which is a bastion of evangelical thought. Sure we had the David Wells types who decried everything that hinted of postmodernism, but we also had the Sean McDonoughs and Jim Whites who were excellent at holding things in tension and stepping outside box when necessary. What we all held in common, aside from the things noted by you and Olson, was the belief that Scripture was indeed the Inspired and thus Authoritative words of God to His people. But even within that there was significant room for discussion on how exactly it played out and whether such terms as “inerrant” were helpful or not.

    My point is that evangelicalism isn’t as bleak (at least not in my 32 years of experience) as your experiences have led you to conclude.  ;)

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @facebook-837625581:disqus  , you are probably right… I sure hope you are.  And certainly I know some amazing evangelicals.  But, the broader movement… especially the lay portion, tends to have the influence of fundamentalism still quite dominant in my Central Valley. 

      the more I hear about Gordon-Conwell, the more I like it!

      • Anonymous

        If you abandon the fundamentals of the Christian faith and Gospel, you are indeed like a ship without a rudder or a straw blown about by every wind of doctrine.  You are rejected because you have become proud and stupid and unfit for purpose.  You cannot be called a Christian but a heretic and an apostate with regard to the revealed truth.  Such people are like free roaming street dogs who belong to none but themselves. They are puffed up with conceit, bitterness and arrogant judgement. Their morbid craving for controversy and disputes produce jealousy and anger, which only lead to name-calling, accusations and evil suspicions.  Some have their minds warped by sin and have wandered away from the truth. The end is their own destruction, together with those who would follow their counterfeit social gospel, which is no Gospel at all but a palliative service which leaves the root of the sin problem untouched.

  • Bill Graham

    You might be an evangelical reject if you believe most of what we think of as Christianity today is nothing more than an American interpretation of culture based squarely in the middle of the 2oth Century.

    • SmallFlame

      Thank you!! Extracting the true message of Christ from the cultural rags it’s been smothered in… That must be our challenge. Fortunately Brian McL & others have already offered a good start.

      • Alex Keith

        It’s also impossible. The gospel is inextricably tied to a culture completely foreign to our own(ancient palestine, etc), and we are inextricably tied to ours.

  • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

    Love it, Kurt!  I definitely can check off most (though not quite everything) of the points on your list.  I would add: 

    You might be an Evangelical Reject (North American Division) if you hear the word “Patriotism” and you think “idolatry.”

    or its corollary…

    You might be an Evangelical Reject if you are pretty sure there never has been, and never will be, a Christian nation on earth.

    and of course…

    If you have ever stopped to think that if Americans actually followed the 10 commandments (and particularly number 10), our entire market economy and its advertising system would collapse in a smoking heap, then you very definitely might be an Evangelical Reject!

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @dwmtractor:disqus  , awesome as always.  Patriot and Idolatry… that’ll get ya burned at the stake in some circles and using the Communist Manifesto as fodder.  haha

  • http://www.simon-cozens.org/ Simon Cozens

    …you think the Catholics occasionally have something intelligent to say.

  • Alan Molineaux

    …….I am English.

  • http://twitter.com/jarredlawrence jarred lawrence

    Keep up the good work, here’s one more to add to your list:

    * Has been fired from an evangelical church due to “radical” beliefs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510502408 Mike Clawson

      I was going to add that one as well. Many of us don’t just feel like evangelical rejects – we literally have been rejected by the evangelical church, in the form of losing our jobs and ministries within it.

      So as much as some of us might want to remain “evangelical,” it’s often not a choice left up to us. “They” don’t want “us”. And rather than fight over the term (as Olson suggests), I usually feel like maybe it’s better to just let them keep it, while we continue to be faithful to where God is leading us regardless of the label we are allowed to wear.

      • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

        @facebook-510502408:disqus , I can resonate with what you are saying here.  Alluded to your “if” in my post by saying “you’ve been asked to step down from a leadership position for philosophical / theological reasons.”

  • http://blog.rrchapman.us/ Bob Chapman

    …you love Jesus and are gay.

    …you suspect Calvanism is really another term for works righteousness. 

    …you don’t pretend to know the complete answer to what Jesus meant when he said, “I have sheep who are not of this flock” (John 10.16), and suspect Jesus may have meant people we may not recognize as Christians. 

    …you love meeting Jesus as much in the Eucharist and in serving others as in meeting Jesus in Scripture. 

    …you love Scripture but believe that there is at least as much danger in Bibliolotry as transubstantiation, and possibly more. 

    Should I continue? 

  • Dan

    Sorry that the black and white  list promotes more stereo typing than understanding.   I’m the graduate of a good school –  ”TEDs” and still can agree with more than half of this list.  Do you really want to label me?  I hate to be an Evangelical reject and Evangelical reject reject.

    • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

      Wow…an “Evangelical reject reject…” I certainly hope not.  If we start a new fundamentalism we’re not making progress.

      Actually, I have a dear friend at TEDs right now that would certainly agree with most of this list too…and he was one of the fellow-fringe at my last church.  I don’t know how they do it, but from what I’m hearing, TEDs seems not to be too frightened of questions.  What I haven’t figured out yet, is why so many TEDS grads don’t result in more diverse churches…maybe they just mostly move to places I’ve never lived…

      But good on you, Dan.  If we start drawing sanctimonious boundaries around our “rejectedness” please call us out!

      • Mike

        I’m a TEDs guy as well serving in the heart of the Bibliolatry Belt. We were asked to leave my home church just bc I went to TEDs and then I came home to serve those the churches didn’t want. Being a reject here to me is a sign we’re doing what God has called us to.

  • Pat

    You hit the nail on the head Kurt!  And to those who think you don’t understand evangelicals correctly…let them visit western Oklahoma for a week!  I resinate completely with all your points.
    And then there’s this…you might be an Evangelical Reject if you have ever said outloud that sometimes you question whether God really exists.

  • http://scottemery.wordpress.com/ Scott Emery

    …would rather watch a Catholic mass than the local megachurch service on TV.

    …have parents of their adult children that think their kids are part of a cult because they’re part of our house church and don’t attend a “real” church.

    …would rather work with the developmentally disabled (after graduating from seminary) than find a “professional Christian” job.

    …get angry and nauseous when someone wants to be called “Pastor” and his wife the “First Lady” of the church. 

  • Anonymous

    Hi there – first respnse, but you touched a sore spot with me.   I wince every time I hear the word – evangelical, as applied to people in the spot light who need to say something and seem to believe that being an “evangelical” says it all.  They are wrong.

    But then, I am not the judge – I am content to let God judge them according to their fruits.

    What troubles me even moreso is that our pulpits seem to remain mute in the face of the relentless drive of the Evil One to warp the minds of Christians.  More recently, they seem to delight in choosing sides with the those who believe in Hell and those who are still – out to lunch.  At 81 years of age, I know that any day now, I might be heading home and I know for certain, Hell is not my destination.

    I did not know that for the better part of my first 45 years and it wasn’t until years after I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior that I came to the realization the only real problem with Hell is the fact far too many “come to Christ” believing they are headed there if they do not make that decision.  And then they are left as orphans when it comes to a knowledge of the “abundant” life that He has to offer.

    Too many Christians are like my generation that seemed to abhor the idea of sitting in a history claas and listening to some boring professor recite meaningless dates as the “be all, end all” solution to the problems we experience when we try to live a “Christ-less” life.  The same applies to those who “major” in the Old Testament claiming that if you are not knowledgeable in that history, you will never be able to appreciate our Christ.  History is important as it leaves to the rest of us, the opportunities the preceding generations missed.

    By the same token, evangelicals are those who are “gifted” for the very same purpose.

  • http://twitter.com/DStanTheMc David Stanley

    Thanks for the post man.  It’s good to know there are more of us out there.

  • http://twitter.com/DanielCBerman Daniel Berman

    Definitely over 75% of the way there. I thought I was right wing politically and theologically until I discovered that there were people farther right than me. I do my best to read between the lines and ask the questions that nobody else asks. I have actually been called a heretic by someone in the Coptic church. Life is definitely interesting sometimes…

  • Justin Stoner

    I appreciate your passion and point of view, though I don’t often agree with it. Nevertheless, I think there is room for all of us as long as Jesus stays central.

    Having said that, though, there are a couple of points you make that I think have a larger meaning for people who don’t circulate in theological circles.

    I fully understand the origins and intent of the social justice movement. I know how it relates to the Gospel. I’m fine with social justice as a movement within ministry. However, social justice in the political realm is a different animal.  Social justice is a growing movement within society, but unlike in ministry, it is not something that you join voluntarily. It is slowly being institutionalized in public policy and forced on our society.

    I’m all for standing up for the downtrodden in our society. Unfortunately, social justice (at least in the public policy sense) flows to those who scream the loudest, whether or not their plight has any basis in fact. Political forces are manipulating social justice efforts for their own gains, and for the moment this movement is playing along.

    At this point, I cannot distinguish social justice ministries from social justice political movements, and for that reason I trust neither.

    • Jon Cook

      From the other side of the atlanic it seems difficult to distinguish the evangelical right from the political movement and for that reason I trust neither. This is despite the fact that I am probably a reject from the evangelical rejects having just read what it take to be one.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OG7M4OV4CUEJUZ42CO74TTGJEY Rick

    Kurt, I took some liberties with your post :)
    You might be an Evangelical Reject If…
    You’re uncomfortable calling other branches of Christianity “Those poor lost people”.
    You worry that those who cling to terms like “orthodox” often do so because they believe it makes them sound more holy than those around them.
    You have significant questions about controversial theological “hot button” issues of the day and are some-what comfortable with watching the sweat build up on the upper lip of those who know what they believe, but not why they believe it.
    You’ve been asked to leave a church position as a Sunday School Teacher for philosophical / theological reasons such as suggesting that the church should spend at least as much time reaching out to “sinners” than they do entertaining the saved.
    You refused to put a “The End Times Are Coming Soon” sticker on the back of your car even though all your friends at church already had one on their cars.
    You not only read theologians from all across the spectrum, you dare to actually consider their points, do your research and come to your own conclusions.
    You think that science and scripture both reveal God’s truth in complementary ways and you do not pretend to fully understand how it all fits together.  You simply have faith that somehow it does.
    You think that we focus far too much about the so called “end times” and  we allow this focus to divert our eyes from what we should be doing.
    You know that living the truth is much harder than being an “armchair” Christian with fancy words and little action.
    You recognize culture wars as pathetic attempts to misuse Christianity to grab more power for those who seem to care more about their standing among “the people” than they do about their standing with the Lord.
    You don’t use the word inerrancy to describe biblical authority because it’s too rigid a definition. It is a modernist categorical imposition on the Holy Spirit inspired Scriptures which tries to limit our understanding to the most surficial level.
    You think women are the backbone of the church.  In fact, you would say that without the many contributions of women, there would not be a church. (Can you say “Oh yes!)
    You think that just maybe postmodern philosophy helps theology in today’s world be more effective and reach more people.
    You do not drink alcohol in public, not because it is wrong to do so, but because you are a light weight and do not want to embarrass your wife.
    You endorse the right of someone that has been deemed a heretic by apprising.org to have their say because you have actually read/listened to what the person has to say.
    You believe the significant parallels between the Roman Empire of the 1st Century and the United States of modern day include love of power and love of self.
    You believe social justice and personal responsibility are central to the gospel of the Kingdom
    You get a between the eyes headache every time someone says that “the rapture is coming on (insert date here), so what’s the fuss with dealing with our societies’ problems. Let’s save souls!”
    You’ve said “That is not the Christ I follow”
    You considered or actually voted as an Independent in the last two elections.
    You think that African American and other Activists have valid points when it comes to justice issues. However, the issues are more complicated than just this color versus that color.
    You not only have gay friends, you actually believe that the Lord loves them as much as he does you.
    You’ve been in a conversation where the other was misquoting the constitution of the USA and the bible to justify their views.
    You’re also an Anabaptist with strong Mennonite leanings; you are actually a dreaded “Non-Dom”.
    You understand that your life should not be about you.

  • Gouldcrbc

    I don’t even think you’re opening remarks are necessarily defining, as I also believe “that authentic Christianity requires a conversion experience of regeneration and that faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and repentance for sins are necessarily included in that”… and I’m Roman Catholic!

  • Luke T

    This image seems appropriate but very small.  It show’s Jesus rejecting little children in basketball.   This is good for all of those feeling rejected.  

    By the way, there seems to be a lot of embracing the title evangelical reject on this page.  Have you thought about calling yourselves “rejectionists.”  First church of the rejects. 
    Just having fun from a guy who loves inerrancy and orthodoxy.

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @bbfc1e4f56ba39494491adb1be187bd0:disqus , I love this image!!!!!  Also, although I’m not into inerrancy (although, our view of the bible overall is probably more similar than not) but I do consider myself “orthodox.”  Im just not thrilled about how some (not you) have narrowed that definition.  Lets keep the first things first… Jesus!!!!  http://www.thepangeablog.com/beliefs/jesus-plus-nothing-page/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1388514701 Greg Dill

    Yep, I’m indeed an Evangelical reject.

    I would also add these items:

    - You think the Emergent Church has something to offer to the church.
    - You like Brian McLaren and Rob Bell.
    - You’ve been called a heretic.
    - You no longer resonate with Piper, Sproul, or MacArthur.
    - You don’t talk so much about Hell.
    - You don’t support the U.S. wars in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
    - You can care less about politics.
    - You’re a missionary.

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      Great list!

  • Mick Pope

    Damn – I dipped out on being anabaptist, and I can’t vote for Democrats since I live in Australia. Pretty much tick most of the rest. I’m with Olson, I identify as post-conservative Evangelical now.

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @google-fa38dc56bb7de1b1173d1a09a489054e:disqus  , you and I are the same.  I definitely am a post-conservative as described in “Reformed and Always Reforming” by Olson…  Maybe on the more progressive end of the spectrum… but post-conservative nonetheless.

  • http://covenantoflove.net Derek

    Sounds like to be an Evangelical Reject I need to be a Kurt Williems. :) In any case I would probably affirm, or at least consider affirming, most of your list. Perhaps we could add: You know your an Evangelical Reject if you like the Eastern Orthodox Church. :)

    • http://covenantoflove.net Derek

      Scratch the “i”. Sorry.

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      Hahahah! yes. you need to be me to affirm my list ;-)

  • Ian

    Maybe I’m not as learned about how how the modern church works, but my church sounds only halfway Evangelical(we reject postmodernism, we dont trust science nearly as much as the bible and reject evolution, and we dont use the word apostate but were not too keen with mormon or jehovahs witness theology) 
    On the other hand my church isn’t one of those “patriotic” churchs that recommends voting republican and where half of the members are going around talking about consevative poitics all the time. We do think that our endtime theology is signifigant, but i think the only way it effects mission and outreach is to understand that people’s eternity is at stake. We understand that Jesus drank wine (but didnt get drunk). The rapture/ second coming/ apocolypse is coming (soon? thats up in the air) but were still the stewards of this earth and its God’s beautiful creation. Dont trash it. 
    Anyway the point is we could check off some but not all.
    One concern I have is this kind of reponse, “O ya Im an evangelical reject, and I was rejected for His sake! Aren’t I great? (Not sayin anything about anyone in particular) 
     The point isnt to get rejected, but to follow Him even if it means being rejected. People have followed Jesus and been accepted before.
     Im concerned with the obsession with labels such that has risen in the modern church. Heres a scripture to chew on for you guys.
    “Now I plead with you, bretheren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, THAT YOU ALL SPEAK THE SAME THING, and that that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, ‘I am of Paul,’ or ‘I am of Apollos,’ or ‘I am of Cephas,’ or ‘I am of Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:10-13) and it says later in chapter 3 verse 4 “For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal?”
    So lets not get so caught up in “Im an evangelical,” or “Im an evangelical reject,” or “Im a Neo-calvinist,” or “Im an Arminian,” or “Im a Catholic” or “Im a Anabaptist,” because above that we are adopted children of God, and brother and sisters because of it.
    But I guess Protestant schism continues…

    -You think women should do anything BUT be silent in the church. (Can I get an AMEN from my sistas?)
    AMEN!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503079028 Ryan Harker

    I love this. It resonates so well with me! My wife and I have been following your blog for about a month, and we’re loving your thoughts. I especially like the last on your list…”You’re also an Anabaptist…” Thank you!

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @facebook-503079028:disqus  , I am honored that your wife and you are reading.  Honestly, humbling (as cliche as that may sound).  Please keep speaking up and feel free to add me as a friend on Facebook if you would like to connect there as well!  Peace to you and your wife, bro!

  • http://www.facebook.com/hdevoncollins Devon Collins

    And that’s why we are facebook friends… Keep up the good work!

  • http://twitter.com/kirbyct Kirsten Vogel

    I’m an Evangelical Reject!  Also, I’m a girl (okay I’m over 30 so let’s say ‘woman’) and my former pastor called my husband and asked him to have me stop writing about controversial issues of the church on my blog…. that I was slandering “the Bride of Christ” because I said that Jesus was for social justice.  ”You need to control your wife and make her submissive to you!” My husband laughed.  

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @twitter-15184262:disqus , I am glad to have you hangin out at my blog!  Jesus is for social justice and I’m exited that someone tried to shut you up… it means you have something provocative and possibly even kingdom minded to say!!!!  Keep it up!  Please, if you haven’t already, add me on FB and join our Email list (if your interested of course :-) ).  I just added you to my Christian Leader Twitter list.  sounds like you are doing some good work!  Anyway, have a wonderful week and tell your husband he’s a stud for laughing!

      • Darin

        Jesus is for social justice as God defines justice, not as political and cultural systems define justice. Unfortunately, we humans are not very good at distinguishing the two. We think our vision of justice is the Biblical/Godly one. Assumptions like that are so seldom accurate that they can usually be dismissed. Too many Evangelicals, Anabaptists, and/or Christians think they know the mind of God. They don’t. None of us knows the mind of God. I think Paul summed it up well in Galatians 5, ” For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=665989684 Jason Lacoss-Arnold

          Which is not an excuse to do nothing.  We have to act in the manner that we best understand that God wants, understanding all the time that we may be wrong and my need to adjust our stance in the future.  But saying we can’t understand God’s will can be a cop out and I don’t think it will please God in light of Matthew 25 or the Golden Rule or the Two Greatest Commands/parable of the Good Samaritan.  See 
          http://menemenetekeltoday.blogspot.com/2010/11/matthew-25-modernized.html  for instance.  I’m not sure I’ve properly exegeted all of my example points (in fact I doubt that I did get them all right), but I feel the general concept is in line with God.

    • http://www.protestantheretic.wordpress.com Leah Randall

      Kristen…you go, girl. And a big pat on the back to your husband! 
      Me, to my husband when I started blogging:  ”Honey, you know people from the churches we’ve been part of will get mad at some of the things I’ll say. I just don’t want you to ever  say ‘I wish you hadn’t said THAT’.”
      Husband: “Do you intend to write something blasphemous or apostate?” 
      Me: “No.” 
      Husband: “Go write.” 

    • Larry D. McManus

      Social justice can be defined in different ways. It is good to give an able body a fishing pole but it is an injustice to give them a fish every day and turn them into caged pets who soon become unable to conquer the struggles of life on their own. They just sit in their cage, wait for another fish.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.borsay Adam Puma Borsay

    My response to your points turned out to be more lengthy then anticipated.  Read the novel “War and Peace”  aka “My Response” here  http://theologicalinklings.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-response-to-evangelical-reject.html

    • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

      Adam, rather than clutter up your blog with a point of view you clearly would not share, I’ll respond on Kurt’s…I was stunned by the vehemence of your comment:  YOU CANNOT CONTRADICT PUBLICALLY YOUR PASTOR.  A senior Pastor is called by God to be the leader of
      that community.  Outside of clear sin and heresy
      we are called to humbly submit to the authority of those that God has
      called and appointed as the leader.
      Wow!  The pastors I have respected the most have been those who welcomed dialog and even challenge.  They have been confident enough in their faith–and in mine–that they were not threatened by honest inquiry and even loving confrontation.  This, I would submit, is the paradigm we see in Acts 17:11 (the Bereans fact-checking Paul) or Galatians 2:11 (Paul publicly rebuking Peter for holding back from association with Gentiles, once other Jews showed up).   I challenge you to provide the Scriptural basis under which you claim that a pastor is above question.

      • http://www.facebook.com/adam.borsay Adam Puma Borsay

        Dan, thanks for the comment.  Thanks for taking the time to read my response.  Between you and Kurt I have now tripled my average readership, if you don’t include my mother…..My statement comes not from issues of honest inquiry and dialogue on said issues, but out of personal experience in churches that have had schisms created by different leaders on the staff taking up contradictory positions from the Pastor and, mostly behind closed doors, setting up their own little group that likes to grumble and cause dissension. 

        As an associate pastor I take my responsibility of publicly supporting the Senior Pastor very seriously.  I 100% have disagreements with him on a myriad of issues, but I don’t go airing that with every Tom, Dick and Harry that happens to be sitting in the pews.  My senior Pastor is wonderfully approachable and teachable(not that I am often in a position of “teacher” with him)  I have seen churches where different associate pastors decide that they know better about “this or that” issue so they go and build a cohort of elders and other lay leaders to support their position and try to “overthrow” the pastor.

        Perhaps due to my practical experiences I am sensitive to the issue and it caused my response to be read in a tone and manner that was not Kurt’s intent.  If you ran a business and you had an employee who disagreed with how you were advertising a certain product and he approached you about it you would probably have a civil discussion.  But at the end of the conversation you would make it clear that it was important for him to support your decision on what he should do while selling the product.  If he began to talk poorly about you and your ideas while out on the sales floor to other employees and customers, you would probably fire him…..rightfully so. 

        That is how I feel about church leadership.  Outside of sin and issues that are contradictory to biblical teaching, which you examples would be seen as, it is important and biblically accurate to state that we should publicly build up and support our leaders.  Behind closed doors, it is totally important to be frank with perceived issues and to deal with them

        • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

          Let me simply add that I have always supported the leaders that are over me publically.  I never would intentionally create division.  I don’t and never will have any such agenda.

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  • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

    The weird corollary  to Evangelical Rejection, I’m noticing, is The Church Virtual.  I don’t think it’s healthy to allow Virtual to replace the brothers and sisters with skin on (or “incarnated” as you so aptly put it in your comment, Kurt), but I do find it an interesting byproduct.  I, at least, probably never would have started blogging if it were not for the intense frustration of having no other outlet for my biblical studies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1285338429 Jessica Mokrzycki

    Amen about women being anything but silient in church! I appreciate that :)   A lot of times I’ve seen women’s ideas and fervor suppressed and to me that does anything but bring God glory. I went through your list and I think this really helped clarify to me why I’m having trouble fitting in at my church and in my current circle of Christians! Uh oh…I think I might be right there with you! But you know, I think it’s important, first and foremost, to be soaked in Scripture and internally aware and guided by His Spirit. If the impressions and guidance we get from God don’t “jive” with the mainstream evangelicals that many of us know, oh well…I believe God loves diversity and He is joyful at those who are passioante and in love for Him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sconway William Scott Conway

    Evangelicals are no different that any other corporate body of people. Once they organize, one must “cut the mustard” before one applies. Assimilation is required. One must conform, or be jettisoned from the group. Independent minds need not apply.

    My question is, and always has been, how much should we either hide or compromise our dissension for the sake of unity, corporate fellowship and worship, with the visible, corporate, body of believers? Do we just sit in church and cough and gag through the insipidity and superficiality, for the sake of assembling and Christian fellowship and unity?

    We have the diagnosis. Now, what’s the prescribed treatment?

  • Anonymous

    I can certainly relate to what you’re saying, Kurt, though it’s not quite as harsh in Australia. In fact, it’s actually the importing of Driscoll, Piper and Carson to some of our conferences that has made things harder for ‘progressive evangelicals’.

    Some of what you are calling ‘Evangelical’ is what we might associate with Fundamentalism or with aged Evangelicals who grew up on Dispensationalism. We happily have significant influence from English Evangelicalism which is broader, it seems, than the dominant forms in the U.S.

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @ianpacker:disqus , your analysis is spot on!  the US… especially the conservative sectors of the US are quite a bit more harsh than the UK and CommonWealth.  Add the word ‘progressive’ and you get ‘liberal heretic’ in most lay circles.  Not in the academic world as much, but most people don’t live there…  Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

  • Michael Todd

    Sometimes I have friends who are gay, atheist, agnostic, or even Muslim, and get this, we are just friends.  I like them as people, and love them for who they uniquely are.  I don’t even try to convert them.    

  • http://evangelicalcalvinist.com/ Bobby Grow

    Kurt,

    Hello. I thought they already labeled your mood; aren’t you simply an “emergent” Christian? Or the logical conclusion to Evangelicalism?

  • http://lightenough.wordpress.com/ LLM

    Thanks for this post! I am clearly an evangelical reject! And this sister (and seminary student) says AMEN!!!!

  • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com Jas-nDye

    What’s apprising.org?

    Never mind. Enough problems with libertarians this last week. Don’t wanna deal with fundies, too….

    Also, most of those apply (of course I *know* I’m an Evangelical Reject. I had to start a secret fb group just to talk to people…)

  • jreimer

    I apologize if this question is horribly simplistic – but why would anyone be against social justice?  Although I was raised in an Anabaptist home, I’m not really a church-goer and I get my news from NYT and NPR.  Maybe I’m just unfamiliar with “social justice” in this context.

    • Ian

      Because sometimes social justice means “the government can save us”. Social justice on a personal level though is very biblical. When we rely on taxpayers dollars to help those in need, then giving has become an obligation for the giver. It gives people the idea that they dont need to give sacrificially and that they only need to give money.

      • jreimer

        Thank you.

      • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

        Disagree ;-)

        • Ian

          well not to say that its a black and white thing. I just think that a person coming to your door, giving you the help you need and then saying “Jesus is madly in love with you. Can I pray about anything with you” is much more beneficial for a person than a check in the mail.

          • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

            Both might be beneficial it seems.  Bread and prayer… not a bad combination if you ask me ;-)

          • Ian

            Ha Ill give you that one. But I still would rather the church rise up to its calling instead of the government taking its place. As I said earlier I think that when we trust the government to allocate money/aid to the poor, some forget that God wants people not only to give, but to give cheerfully and sacrificially. 

          • Justin Stoner

            I agree with Ian. As one who works in government, I see all too often the attempt to push God out of the picture in the lives of people who are in need.

            Additionally, you would be surprised to see the number of Christian organizations and ministries signing on to legislation try to tell us what kind of light bulb we can buy, all in the name of social justice. It is a slippery slope when you join forces with people trying to force others to live a certain way.

            Again, social justice as a ministry effort is one thing; social justice as public policy in a country founded on freedom and EQUAL JUSTICE  is another thing entirely. 

      • http://blog.rrchapman.us/ Bob Chapman

        It never has and never will. 

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @98afd70101965335fe6e5e6ac8c6b261:disqus , read http://sojo.net for more on social justice and Christian faith!

  • http://boehadden.wordpress.com/ boehadden

    maybe someone has written this already, but I’ll write it anyway:
    1) You might be an evangelical reject if you believe that Christ is actually (not just symbolically) present in the bread and wine.
    2) You might be an evangelical reject if you believe in the four orders of Church governance (lay, deacon, presbyter, bishop).
    3) You might be an evangelical reject if you don’t hold to Sola Scriptura, because Scripture itself doesn’t hold to it.
    4) You might be an evangelical reject if you believe sin and salvation are more about death/life, existence/non-existence than about morality.
    5) You might be an evangelical reject if you reject the idea that the work of the Cross was to satisfy God’s wrath against us.
    :)

    Thanks for the post Kurt!

    • http://boehadden.wordpress.com/ boehadden

      Just realized after reading what I wrote:
      This means I am not only an evangelical reject but a protestant reject… which I’m fine with now, after several years of toil :)

  • Perry

    Your post was spot on.    I haven’t thought of the term “Evangelical reject” until now, but it perfectly describes me.  I would add:
    You have asked to be taken off an ministerial email lists because the groups completely changed the tenor of their debate after the “pro-death” (I’m quoting here) results of the 2008 election..
    You have a bumper sticker on your car that reads “Jesus was not a republican”
    You cringe every time someone uses the phrase “family values” from the pulpit
    You feel more connected with Brennan Manning and Anne Lamott than John Piper and Max Lucado
    You actually read Rob Bell’s books
    You you reject the notion that somehow orthodox Christianity depends solely on how you answer questions of sexual orientation
    You’re angry that the right has commandeered the term “pro-life” while fighting unnecessary wars, promoting the death penalty, ignoring poverty, torturing terror suspects and touting gun rights.

    Shall I go on?

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments…

    • Darin

      some base assumptions here that are patently untrue. The right, whether you agree with them or not, does not ignore poverty. Conservatives give much more to help the poor than liberials do. They just give to non-government agencies. The right does not believe in or promote torture any more than the left does. What each defines as torture is different. Guns have no rights, but according to the Constitution, US citizens have the right to bear arms. That is not a right/left issue.

    • Dwayne

      Some people don’t know darkness from light.. Christians promote biblical death penalty on the guilty murders according to the scriptures; Gen. 9:6 and Rom. 13:4, while liberals protest against that, but promote the death penalty on the most innocent; the unborn. “Guilty! Innocent”; get it?

      By the way, while some innocent people have been executed by mistake, but remember that almost all of those killed by murders are innocent according to the law. The death penalty is a deterrent if used like it should be.

  • OFelixCulpa

    Though I am in a different place from you theologically, I definitely feel the pain you’re talking about in giving up on Evangelicalism.  I recently wrote about it in a set of posts (“Why I Walked Away from Evangelicalism”).  I’d appreciate your take on it if you get a chance to read it.

  • Mike

    First time to this blog and I have to say I’m a fan… I’m an evangelical reject, but we’ve always called ourselves Lutherans. The tricky part is accepting that I’m also a Lutheran reject based on most folks opinions. Good work, keep it up! 

  • Anonymous

    You might be an Evangelical Reject If…

    You reject the evangel, or Gospel itself, like I did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.enns James Enns

    Growing up with my last name in the region I am from, I was expected to worship, think, and behave in a certain way.  I went to a public high school instead of the local private christian school supported and founded by some of my own relatives (attended by both my parents and their siblings, cousins, etc.) because of my great distaste for what I percieved as elitism and  hypocrisy within that community.  I stopped going to the church of my Great-Grandparents, Grandparents, and Parents (though my parents went with me) for similar reasons.

    I realize now that I failed to show God’s love and mercy in my attempt to seperate myself from something I percieved as toxic.  And even today I will admit it is not easy; faults are easier to point out on other people then making attempts to examine myself.

    If I had to classify myself…I am a flawed person, constantly attempting to let Jesus mold me into someone more like him.

  • http://charismanglican.com/ Charismanglican

    You might be an evangelical reject if you want to throw back a shot of rum every time someone says the word “just” during prayer.

    • MDSR

      I’d make it whiskey. Ah first world problems!

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  • http://thewriter58.wordpress.com Mark Lee

    I think that it is interesting that there are some people here that try to soften Kurts’ thoughts  on this issue by stating not all churches or at least not “my” church is like this The reality is, it is so ingrained in evangelical culture that it is generally missed or justified away.

    For example, there are many evangelical churches that say that they love everyone…but if some of those “everyone” come into your church and don’t start to adopt the culture of that particular church they are rejected. The rejection is generally not overt but covert and masked in christian”ese”.

    Other times the non-comformist is approached by the pastor or elder and “out of love” admonished for their unwillingness to “be more like Christ”. Thus, it is the hope of the pastor or elder that guilt or shame may motivate the individual to become more like the “spiritually mature”, who like the pastor have it all figured out.

    Sometimes people are outright ignored.

    I do not think that what Kurt shared is a minor problem. I have at least five friends that have been so hurt by the church and her ”self-righteousness” that they have all but given up on organized church. One considers Buddhism as an alternative, one is teetering on atheism and the others have for now decided to spend time away from the church and heal…..

    Please read the last line again, they are staying away from church TO HEAL. That is a very sad indictment concerning the place that is suppose to be the active body of Christ in the world. 

  • Geebo2b

    What I believe you are describing here isn’t true ‘Evangelicalism’ as you say ; In so far that evangelical means the belief in repentance
    and conversion into a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ through the
    abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, the term describes me. Also that there are deep roots in social justice as an outworking of ‘Evangelicalism”.
    What I have termed this ‘Other Christianity’ is ‘ChristianAmericanism” This is a religion that has blurred the lines between patriotism, American political values, ultra-conservative social values, military might and military force of will’. They have mixed in reconstructionist American History with the Bible. They sell it under the guise of ‘Culture Wars’which has at it’s roots a  of ‘We-They’ dichotomy. The ‘They’ to them are to be trounced politically and or militarily more than ‘Saved’ and the hubris of the group refuses to acknowledge that the ‘saved’ have been lumped into the ‘they’ by their own definition.

    Unfortunately the term ‘Evangelical’ has merged with that ‘other’ religion’ so that I find myself having to distance myself from the term. And yes, those in my circle who embrace all of that view me with suspicion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.griessel Scott Griessel

    Thanks for your post.  I’m one of the long-term apostates, so It’s nice to know your theology is big enough to maybe include us, too.  :-)  Drop by and visit us at Darkwood Brew some time.  Facebook or DarkwoodBrew.org.  We have an incredibly diverse and respectful group who enjoy each others company online and in person, and who are about the journey.  We’d love to keep hearing your voice…

  • Brian Gronewoller

    Thanks for your thoughts on this. I had the same feeling that you did for a significant portion of the last decade. However, I agree with other sentiments in the comments that your blog post is faling to properly differentiate between historical evangelicalism and contemporary fundamentalism, which has, essentially, hijacked the word evangelical. George Marsden’s (formerly of Notre Dame) book “Fundamentalism and American Culture” provides a good history of the development of both groups through the late 19th to the late 20th c.
    When I first came out of fundamentalism, it took me awhile to realize that I was still an evangelical, though no longer a fundamentalist. I have had many friends who have walked a similar path over the past decade. Therefore, I have a feeling that there are more evangelical rejects out there who are actually fundamentalist rejects, and still quite welcome in evangelical circles.

  • Apprising Ministries

    Thanks for the shout out boyz. Much abliged to be deemed worthy.

    • http://thewriter58.wordpress.com Mark Lee

      I don’t think that was in intent…I visited your site and I am saddened that you feel compelled to seek to destroy anyone that does not fit into your narrow view of God. God is bigger than apprising, pangea, piper, macarthur, or any other christian organization, denomination, or “christian” public figure. 
      And on top of that, the grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness found only in Jesus Christ is a tsunami overwhelming the little bastions of incomplete truths and doctrine we humans have constructed to protect our own little interests. Thank God for that and thank God for Jesus Christ and His cross. It is that I cling to alone. 

      • Apprising Ministries

        “your narrow view of God”

        *yawn*

        Try God revealed in Scripture what He wanted us to know about Him so it isn’t “my” view; it’s the Biblical view.

        “God for Jesus Christ and His cross.” Good for you; which God, which Jesus? (cf. 2 Cor. 11:4)

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-VanderHelm/1192227851 Ryan VanderHelm

          “Try God revealed in Scripture what He wanted us to know about Him so it isn’t “my” view; it’s the Biblical view”

          proof texting without any actual text… impressive.

          here’s the thing: when having a discussion with someone about something you disagree about, you have to have two things: evidence and an explanation of how that evidence supports your position. you have successfully done: neither. and until you do so, I invite the viewing public to disregard your posts because they are neither constructive nor helpful in any way.

  • tim f

    I love, and am simultaneously depressed by, and have simultaneously added to the number of comments replying to this post.

    Do you think a lot of these points are specifically American?

    My reaction to the label evangelical was always to say to non-Christians “I kind of am evangelical but not in the American way you think of the term” until recently. More recently I have been owning it, and finding more unity with people who have no reservations at all about the term without compromising on my views on social justice. Maybe I’m just fortunate to have found myself in a situation where I can do that.

  • KristenM

    As a woman and seminary student, who asks the hard questions, reads a variety of theological ideas and opinions, holds much in tension, has literally been called the “anti-Christ” twice, feels like I often live a “dual” life depending on the setting, and who increasingly wonders “where” I belong…a big AMEN and thank you!  

  • Mark Lee

    Of course it is and it just so happens that it is the right view because it is yours. I won’t argue with you….i have been in the evangelical church for almost thirty years, baptist for 21, presbyterian for 8.  I have read hundreds of books from John MacAurther to John Piper to Tim Keller to Rob Bell and Andrew Murray and a multitude of others…..2:7 bible studies, and a hundred other Bible studies. I have gone from fundamental Christianity, to political Christianity and flirted with Charismatic and Orthodox Christianity.  I have come to a place in my Christian life that I believe God has moved me into.
    I trust the Bible as God’s word and I am orthodox in my belief about Jesus, sin, the cross, the resurrection and eternal life. I believe in the same Jesus you do.
     What I do find interesting about people that hold to your particular point of view is that you are unwilling to accept people like myself as a fellow believer, even though I do not question you?
    Well peace to you and grace in Jesus our Lord.
    Mark Lee

  • mark lee

    Ooops….my last post was suppose to be in reply to apprising ministries……

  • Nathan

    Yep, a bunch of those questions have crossed my mind. How did you end up categorizing yourself as an anabaptist?

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @19a764d50326d816ff36ac555c65ba2d:disqus , grew up Mennonite but never was anabaptist.  Writing an article about it this summer.  will post it here as well!

  • http://thewholedangthing.wordpress.com Ben Emerson

    You might be an evangelical reject if you are more comfortable with questions than you are with certainty. I know that probably sounds super cliche but it is one I would add. I loved your list! I resonated with a bunch of those. You sir, have found yourself a new reader!

  • Alberto Medrano Jr

    If you follow controversial Christian musicians such as Derek Webb or Kevin Max on Twitter.

  • http://www.findingfruit.net Jen

    I haven’t been asked to step down from my church leadership position but that might be because we are moving away before people started to understand how “liberal” I am. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/hermit/ Stephen Taylor

    I like what you have to say very much.  The Roman Catholic Church, where I am a hermit, has finally admitted that other people than Catholics go to heaven.  We have just as much name calling and odd extremes as Evangelicals.  You are someone I will have to read often.

  • Jonathan Aigner

    Ooooh, I got another one.  You might be an ER if your church thinks of the Bible as “God’s instruction manual.”

  • Waaaaaah

    You, and me, and so many others of our generation who fit your listed description above are *not* evangelical “rejects”. We’re just the next generation. That’s all.  We are evangelicals whether we or anyone else likes it or not.  We don’t get much choice, unless we make a big break by going full-on Orthodox or Catholic or some other specific tradition or giving up on Christianity altogether.  Of course we’re different from the previous generation; every generation is different from the previous generation.

    We’d do ourselves a favour (and grow up quite a bit in the process, imo) if we quit continually emphasizing our ‘hardships’ of having other evangelicals disagree or misunderstand us (having other evangelicals treat you they way you described is very evangelical, btw).  Do we have some dysfunctional psychological need to paint ourselves as a persecuted minority or rejected or misunderstood, outside the mainstream, etc., etc.?  Why are we so fixated on the idea that we suffer because we don’t fit the mainstream-media-influenced perception of evangelicals?  Because we *like* it!  I think there are several reasons for this, none of them so noble, and once we get over them and move on to better things we, the people around us, and evangelicalism will all be better off for it.

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      Im not sure that we like losing friendships and jobs over this stuff… your response is a bit over the top Im afraid.  But of course, we are free to disagree.

      BTW… this is not only a generational issue, this is a paradigm issue.  I have 80 yr olds affirm me and 20-somthings who question my salvation.

      Finally, this is supposed to be a bit humorous ;-)

  • http://perichoreticlife.blogspot.com/ Michael

    Sign me up! Theologically, I use the terms neo-orthodox and evangelical to describe myself. (Most on each side would never use the other term.) Politically, I refer to myself as a radical centrist (ie I confront people on all sides much of the time).

  • Anonymous

    Kurt, I find myself in several of these, agree with some and disagree with others, and that’s all fine with me. But I can’t figure out how these two can exist in the same list with no qualification:

    * You think that what we believe about the so called “end times” actually matters for how we do mission today.
    * You throw up a little in your mouth every time someone says that “the rapture is coming soon, so what’s the fuss with taking care of the planet?  Lets save souls!”

    The people in the latter bullet point *have* a particular belief about the end times, believe *very much* that it matters, and believe *very much* that it should affect how they do mission.

    So unless you’re going to confine the term “mission” to “X but not Y”, the former bullet point describes those that reject just as much as those that are rejected.

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      I recommend you read more of my posts in this category: http://www.thepangeablog.com/category/eschatology/

      • Anonymous

        OK, I read all of the posts on the first page of that category (back through the March 15 response to the J-Mac quote).  

        First, let me sincerely commend and applaud you for not participating in the snark, hyperbole, and straw-man-ishness that appears in much of the corner of the blogosphere that holds to similar eschatology.

        Second, let me say that for about 95% of what you wrote, I either agree with it or recognize that you have made a valid point that needs careful consideration.  Again, with the latter, you distinguish yourself from many who believe similarly to you.

        That said, I don’t find any answer to my question in these posts.  I see (and agree with many of) the points you make about why the nausea-inducers are wrong.  But again, these people have a belief about eschatology and believe strongly that said belief directly affects how they do mission (where their primary outworking of “mission” is evangelism). Whether or not said belief is right or wrong is not relevant to my question.

        So unless you’re going to say that their definition of “mission” is invalid, they fit the former bullet to a “T” — and hence the cognitive dissonance.

        • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

          YES! That is my point.  Many who have read this blog for a long time already knew what I meant.  Mission changes depending on eschatoloty.  If you say, this world is not my home I’m just a passin through… you get the rapture escapism that leads to a distrust of environmentalism and social justice issues become secondary.  If you believe that God’s intention for creation for him to heal, restore, renew, bring healing… then these are the kinds of things you will focus on.  Mission (how it is shaped and defined) matters greatly.  Being a “pan-millenial” is a weak argument here just as being a premill person who believes God’s plan is to blow up planet earth as we escape to a non-physical bliss called heaven.

          Second, My “throw up in the mouth” is the outworking of eschatology that leads to the wrong kind of mission.  I hope that connects the dots.  Eschatology ought to lead to a missional theology of New Creation, not of doom and destruction / save all the souls we can cause these old bodies and this old planet doesnt matter…

          Hope that helps.  For a great article on this, go here: http://www.leithvalley.org.nz/Resources/NewHeavensEarth_Wright.pdf

          That article was foundational for my journey.  Also, for more depth, read Surprised by Hope by NT Wright!

          • Anonymous

            My last sentence today (which you say is your point) is pretty much the same as my last sentence yesterday.  Were you trying to be more like Jesus and not give a straightforward answer?  ;-)   (That, btw, is totally good-natured, not snark. I love the fact that He did that sometimes.)

            Thank you for clearing that up, but I can’t say that I agree.  To be sure, there are those who hold to a traditional eschatology who totally ignore the Biblical mandates for man to steward creation and to pursue justice.  But it’s not an either/or.  One doesn’t have to embrace a different eschatology to give environmental and justice issues their proper weight.

            For that matter, one can perfectly align — from a purely eschatalogical angle — with Jenkins/LaHaye (can it get more traditional?) and not be “escapist”.  Can the two often go together?  Certainly.  But one does not automatically lead to the other.

  • Jimmie Rew

    My fellow christian brother, may I say I feel your hurt and sadness by how those who supposedly were friends and co-workers reacted to your faith and views. I have felt and recieved the same rejection as you and others here, so I assume that I am an Evangelical Reject myself. My thoughts about it Kurt, is that if we have worshiped and acted as we believe God would have had us to minister towards Him and his loved humanity, then we have nothing to be ashamed of.  May I say to all of us here, God created us as individuals and saved us with His redemptive mercy and love. We should take what God has given us as talents and abilities and reach out unto humanity with the Love that only our Lord Jesus can give.  May God bless you Kurt and all who are members of your blog now and in the future…..Thank you and the Lord for allowing me to know that I am not alone anymore.

  • LT

    So how would a person  know if they have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit? 

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      Relationship is the key word.  A person who experiences Jesus’ Spirit in them cannot be the same.  It is completely subjective and evidenced by the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit.

  • Anonymous

    … you’ve said “I’m not that kind of Christian, AND I’m not the kind of Christian that usually says ‘I’m not that kind of Christian’, I actually mean it.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1375834394 John Wood

    Question: How would you end the following sentence: You might be an Evangelical Reject If…1)  You walked out of  “Young Adult” Sunday School when the teacher told you that biting your fingernails was a sin;2)  You enjoy a cigarette during your bible study at home;3)  You want to explode listening to one or more of the more popular “televangelists” in their daily plea for funding their hate.The list could go on and on and on.

  • MARY ABRAHAM

    You might be an Evangelical Reject If you are at peace with your self.Evangelists need  ’burning’  issues all the time to feel counted!

  • James Preston

    Awesome post.  Loving what I am seeing around the world as more people are awakened to the Heart of God!  Even if it means the religious only get more ridiculous!  In light of all this, and in my experience, here’s my suggested sentence:

    How would you end the following sentence: You might be an Evangelical Reject If… you find Christians are the ones who debate & argue with you more than any other religious groups.

    LOL.  Thanks Kurt.  Good to find you on the net.  Not sure how you find me.  :-)

  • http://twitter.com/JamesPrest0n James Preston

    Awesome post.  Loving what I am seeing around the world as more people are awakened to the Heart of God!  Even if it means the religious only get more ridiculous!  

    In light of all this, and in my experience, here’s my suggested sentence: How would you end the following sentence: You might be an Evangelical Reject If… you find Christians are the ones who debate & argue with you more than any other religious groups.

    LOL.  Thanks Kurt.  Good to find you on the net.  Not sure how you find me.  :-)

  • Matt

    This smacks of self-congratulation. Like hipsters taking down big game at the local Denny’s. The rejection seems to be a two way street, and it’s not clear that more of the traffic is coming from the opposite lane.

    You have some fair criticisms, though make in a self-aggrandizing fashion. The problem is that you mix essentials with inessentials. You impose you’re own cultural criteria over against those you perceive to be true of other evangelicals.

    When I face rejection, I like to think it is because of my beliefs. Sometimes I need to consider that it might be because I behaved like a pompous ass.

    • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

      @9be286504ab677449af3a32df9d53d20:disqus , calling someone (even if indirectly) a pompus ass deconstructs the criticism you imposed onto me as a person.  Also, oddly enough, those who have rejected me always add (“Kurt’s such a nice guy, but his beliefs are so wrong.”)  I was using a bit of a tongue-in-cheek tone to get a bit of a laugh… not for self-congratulation.  I write to encourage people who have been on similar journeys.  Based on 90% of the comments and personal emails I’ve recieved, your perception of me is quite in the minority.  Not fair to assume what you have here.  Either way, I hope that you continue to seek the Lord in your own spiritual journey.  Peace.

      • SAM

         I think that you both have valid points…every Christian is on their own journey.  I am at point that I agree with a lot of your views Kurt.  However, I also find that many people in my church who I a disagree with now were at one point some of my greatest teachers and advocates and helped me grow to get to where I am now.  I believe that each person has a place in God’s workings and that I am just at a place to move into the community and work toward social justice and be in a different church.  All the members of my current church have a different calling and will continue to be the people that god called them to be within this church.  I disagree with much of their “motives” but appreciate their hearts and intents and feel that they have as much “good intention” as I do.

        • gilesblankenship

          Wow, @aa1608d1df3964339ae22429c3084823:disqus . Thanks for that perspective.

    • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

      Matt, the crazy thing about this list, is that the components of it aren’t chosen by Kurt or other ERs.  They’re reasons that have been given by “orthodox” Evangelicals, for why they have determined us to be outside the boundaries of OK.  You’re right that essentials and inessentials are mixed.  Tell that to the people who’ve drummed many of us out of leadership or teaching positions…it was THEY, not we, who confused the importance of these issues.

      Do hipsters get far too self-congratulatory some times?  Absolutely.  Is the Emerging movement sometimes irritatingly “hip” instead of driven by the gospel?  Yes again.  However true those generalities may be, I can testify that you’re mis-diagnosing Kurt here.  And I, a decidedly un-hip guy from the generation that could (almost, not quite) have been Kurt’s Dad, and yet who have been warmly welcomed by Kurt and his generation, am a pretty good example of how wrong that accusation is.

      It is true that rejection comes from many sources and not all of them are holy.  I would caution you, however, not to paint with quite so broad a brush.

      • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

        @dwmtractor:disqus , you might be more hip than you think ;-)

    • Hel

      Matt,  way harsh.  At first, I thought it was funny, and that was because i saw my own tendency toward being a pompous ass in your comments. ironic that we humans actually make ourselves  look much like what we’re criticizing.
      I don’t necessarily agree with all the things in the list as they are written, and some of it i don’t think i understand fully, but for the love of Jesus man, get some etiquette.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ian-Hutchinson/608373664 Ian Hutchinson

    There is a wonderful breath of fresh air blowing through the evangelical church &, after 50 years as a fairly ‘orthodox’ evangelical, I feel I can breath again as an ER. The God I now see in Jesus is an infinitely greater one than many evangelicals feel comfortable with in the deterministic theology that has strait-jacketed the church for centuries. An irony I’ve found in some blog responses is that they now appeal to the ‘traditional interpretation of the atonement and hell’. That’s exactly the response of the Roman Catholic Church in attacking Luther & co.! Thanks for the post Kurt. Exciting times are upon us.

  • Brian Metzger

    Found your blog via Scot McKnight’s.  Your post and list have helped me feel a little less crazy  and I thank you for that!

    Somebody may have already added this: You might be an Evangelical Reject If you ask questions you don’t already know the answers to.

    • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

      Actually, Brian, that’s quite a profound point.  Add my vote to including it on the list.  You might even add a corollary…asking a question that you’re not sure we’re even supposed to have answers to…or being comfortable that questions other Evangelicals ask may not have valid, certain answers.

    • Emccollum

      Brian–As a 65+ year old woman who grew up in & continued for 40 yrs. in a very condervative, traditional church of Christ, I so identified with your thoughts on questioning. I recently left that “c of c” that only asked questions that everyone there  knew would be answered with strict “c of c” answers–and there were always answers! I’m now at another c of c that is not threatened or fearful of asking questions for which the answers may be uncomfortable or unknowing. 

  • LoreleiHH

    As a “far-left, bleeding-heart liberal Christian heretic” – AMEN!
    Your sista…

  • Pingback: You Might Be an Evangelical Reject If… (Rejects - Readers' Edition) | the Pangea Blog

  • http://www.facebook.com/tamara.schroeder1 Tami Schroeder

    Amen from a sista!!

    That post resonates very much.  I can affirm much on it.  I would add: You might be an ER if… you’ve ever been reprimanded for preaching the Gospel because you’re a woman.

    This is my first time to your blog, so I don’t want to step on toes, but I hope you can receive this in the spirit it is given…

    “You think that what we believe about the so called “end times” actually matters for how we do mission today.”

    This is *exactly* what evangelicals say.  And when I first read it, I was confused.  That’s an evangelical line, why would you be rejected for believing it?

    Then I noticed that you seem to have a low opinion of chialists.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but are you saying that if Christians aren’t preterists (and forgive me if I am mis-labeling you) then we won’t care about our stewardship of the earth or social justice?

    Again, please do correct me if I’m reading you wrong.  I felt by your responses and post that you are the kind of guy who can take a little constructive criticism.  So I felt free to point out what I see as a contradiction.

    Blessings! 

  • http://twitter.com/DanMcMonagle Dan McMonagle

    Good post.  If I’m not on the “evangelical reject” list, I may be soon — I’m just getting going on my blog and haven’t really thrown out the controversial stuff yet.  I’m sure I’ll get there soon enough.

    I’ve been dealing with doubts/questions for a long time (~27 years?) and one thing that’s nice is that now, at least we have a venue where we can talk about issues.  For a lot of years, I just kept my mouth shout when I had questions cross my mind, because a) I didn’t want to get labeled, and b) I wasn’t sure I was right.  It’s nice to know there are others out there that have questions yet still consider themselves to be solid believers. 

    Good stuff…..

  • Jacob Michael

    You’re also an Anabaptist, haha love it!

  • Laurie White

    Try this one…
    You might be an ER if you think that gay marriage isn’t the biggest threat to the instutution of marriage.  You might not even think it’s a big threat, but maybe you think materialism and indebtedness are.

  • Bob and Lloyd Peacock

    If you are an evangelical reject, gee then I must be ONE TOO, Amen….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=163800401 Carson T. Clark

    Miniblog #70: Is American Evangelicalism’s Culture “Shifting” Rather Than “Changing”?
    http://bit.ly/qgkDwd

  • http://healingstepst.tumblr.com Ashley Taylor

    If you are being rejected, then you must be doing something truth based.

    • Ian

      Must? What about tyrants and genocidal maniacs? I don’t think rejection and truth based endeavors always go hand in hand.

  • Anonymous

    OK, I’m everything but the last one!  Where do I sign up as a card-carrying Reject?

  • http://twitter.com/RsquaredComicz Justin Martin

     Wow this is great, thanks for sharing! Bring a graduate student and one who appreciates science, that statement about science and scripture going together really hit home for me.

  • madamspeaker

    Here is a loud, loud amen from a Sista!  Love this!

  • Maddy10mr

    Hey… I just realized I am one, too :)

    And regarding your questions: You  might be an Evangelical Reject if… you read Patheos.com!!!

  • Credfernjr

    It’s helpful to remember that what passes for an “evangelical” today is an aberration of the term.  I pondered on that shortly after  Obama was elected and I found myself rejected by a segment of the faithful.  Here is is: http://charlesredfern.com/2008/12/02/how-could-you-possibly-vote-for-that-man/

  • http://jeffkclarke.com Jeff Clarke

    Great blog, Kurt. I’ve often felt like an Evangelical reject myself at times. For some reason, I often find myself siding with those pastors, theologians and writers who are all too often pushed to the margins, i.e., good friend and theological mentor, Clark Pinnock, Greg Boyd, Roger Olson, Stanley Grenz, etc. I do not hold to strict inerrancy as most would prefer, I’m Pentecostal (that’s a whole other issue), I’m post-conservative (to borrow a term from Roger Olson), and I’m fairly close to Open Theism.  :0

    So you see, you’re not alone my friend. Not by a long shot.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/ Kurt Willems

      @c6755633cdddd1edea65bc58773cd6cb:disqus , I share the same influences you list above with you.  Pretty much, your whole comment fits me except that I am not a pentecostal formally.  I am however a charismatic Anabaptist.

    • Ken Anwari

      “Pushed to the margins”. I like that.  I prefer the position “marginal evangelical” than a “reject”.

  • Cathybitikofer

    YMBAERI….you are pro-ALL-life, from pre-birth to old people, to enemies, to convicted criminals, and pretty much let go of needing to decide who it’s OK to kill for  reasons of comfort, protection, revenge, and convenience.

  • http://culturalawakening.wordpress.com Stan

    I didn’t read all the comments because, quite honestly, I got bored reading all these ridiculous labels and blah blah blah.  So, maybe this was brought up, maybe not.  Where does Jesus’ prayer about unity for His followers fit into this?  Are any of us supposed to be truly “proud” of the fact that you are no longer in unity with some part of Christ’s followers?  Do thoughts like this, while understood because I have been abused for my beliefs as well, only serve to divide us further rather than to find common ground around becoming more like Jesus and growing into His glorious image?  I guess my opinion is that a blog like this just serves to divide us further and to solidify us more in our corners, rather than to bring us together on issues and topics that we can actually agree on.  Maybe that’s an idealist way to look at it, but I’m kind of an idealist/optimistic person, so…

    On another note, I still vote Republican.  =)  Sorry.  =)  The original “social justice” people were Republicans, and I don’t think they’ve strayed so far that we should just give all “social justice” glory to the Democrats.  But that’s another issue.

    • Vawright

      i don’t get the sense that he’s GLORIFYING in it (unless, the people that decry that others are heretics are in the same boat), but he is being honest that he doesn’t think like them. unity doesn’t require people to abandon their viewpoints, and that applies on both sides.

  • http://www.future-shape-of-church.org/ Edward Green

    Ten years ago these would have all have applied to me but in a UK context. I know I am not an Evangelical now because I reject modern Evangelical Conversion Soteriology, seeing salvation as an ongoing process like the Catholics, Orthodox and plenty of other Anglicans like Wesley and Lewis. Saying that prayer doesn’t get you saved …

    Of course in the Apostolic churches we have exactly the same issues to fall out over as Evangelicals, and I tend sometimes to see Evangelical Protestants not so much as Apostate but as missing out on some pretty big essentials of faith …

    The saddest thing however is how the term Evangelical has been hijacked in a way that excludes so many people who historically were part of the movement.  

  • Fed up

    You might be an evangelical reject if you reject the truth of what being a true Christ-follower is…..and most from this camp is exactly what they have done…

  • David Knapton

    I have found a term that explains my views! awesome. an other great article here Kurt. I just found your site today, and I am adding it to my favorites.
     
     

  • Christopher Doyle

    You might be an evangelical reject if you reject the common belief that the  and amendment is in the Bible and you question capital punishment. I actually picked up a political flyer one time from a national party that fields presidential candidates that said the 2nd amendment right to bear arms was contained in the Bible. And for years I thought that in order to be a Christian you had to pro-life AND pro-capital punishment. I never thought of the dissonance. It just does not make sense to me that Christians could be opposed to some kind of gun control. 

  • Russ

    Fyi, Richard Mouw and Nicholas Wolterstorff are Neo-Calvinists. Mark Driscoll is a New Calvinist. I assume you mean the latter?

  • Brian

    sounds like you don’t like us evangelicals. I’d be interested in dialogue, but question your own commitment to actually loving a dispensationalist

  • L_fournelle

    Amen from a ‘sista’ !

  • Juan

    I am also an Evangelical Reject and I simply cannot go back to thinking and believing the way I used to do, even if the pressure from friends and the “church” is making life a little lonely. Once your eyes are opened to the reality of relationship with Christ, there is simply no going back to doing, thinking and believing the old way. Everything I  once thought, did and believed for “religious” purposes simple became irrelevant and nonsensical. It is good to  hear from other people who feel and think the same.

  • Jo

    While I agree that it is important to find your own voice of worship to God, I think it is very dangerous to develop an ‘us’ vs ‘them’ mentality in relation to ‘evangelical rejects’ and non-’evangelical rejects’.
    Jesus said that ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined.’ (Matt 12.25) He said this after claims that he was driving out demons on behalf of Satan. Are we not dividing the kingdom of God against itself in tearing down followers who have different priorities?
    Yes, it would be okay to challenge them about this, but in a private setting face-to-face is much more appropriate than discussing their heretical views behind their back, as you say you so hated when they did to you? Read Matthew 18:15-20, in which Jesus describes the God-pleasing way to deal with conflict.

  • Leggs1959

    You know the true history of Halloween and allow your kids to go out trick or treating.   You don’t ignore the fact that Christmas trees were a Druid tradition long before they were a Christian tradition.

  • Icanmakeamess15

    The only title that actually matters is Christian, and that is a follower of Christ. A Christian does what the Lord commands throughout the Bible and is committed to The Way. Some of your topics are not supported by the Bible. Please read the Bible and take what is says literally. That is how God intended us to read it. Keep your opinions and ideas out of it. Do you not think our perfect, omniscient God considered how our society would be different today when  He breathed His Word? Read the Bible, be baptized, do what God asks, and be a Christian.

  • http://twitter.com/DavyG51 Dave Goddard

    Oh crap! There is now a label for whats been going on in my Journey. I suspect I am
    in the class of  “Evangelical Reject in the making” according  to your list  in a UK context. Is there a badge? I am nearly ready to “come out” and am finding strength by being surrounded by some most excellent rejects.

  • Anonymous

    yeah…that sounds about right. i guess i’m an “evangelical reject,” that’s just fine with me. i think traditional evangelicalism, for all it’s good points, got quite a bit wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting. You’ve embraced the heart of what most of us mean by “spiritual but not religious.” You call it “Evangelical ethos but not Evangelical movement.”

  • http://twitter.com/JlamarCrowder Jeremy Crowder

    I’m a United Methodist which provides freedom to move between labels. Recently I went from being a supporter of Herman Cain for President as a Campaign leader to deciding to go Democrat. I’ve lost lots of followers on twitter but on the plus side I’m at peace finally not feeling convicted about my politics not matching what I believe the Bible teaches on economics. We need to love each other and uplift each other we all don’t need to think the same.
    Jeremy Crowder- Lay Leader Huguley United Methodist Church active on the Methodist Forum at CARM and Family Values Forum on Politico.

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  • http://www.revtrev.com RevTrev

    It looks like I’m an evangelical reject too…although is that just another label?

    You might be a evangelical reject if…you realize “truths” you’ve been taught and have subsequently taught others  just aren’t in the Bible. 

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/ Kurt Willems

      Lovin’ that @revtrev:disqus ! Looking forward to partnering together on something!

  • Cassie Bradley

    Haha! I love this! And you get a big “AMEN” from me!!! I remember when I was in middle school telling my mom, “Wow, I’m not even in high school and I’ve already been kicked out of a church!” I think that should be another “You Might Be An Evangelical Reject If.” Haha. I am only 24 and have not held a leadership position in church but have experienced simply having knowledge of God’s ACTUAL word and questioning contrary things preached in churches will have you shoved out the door pretty quickly. Not to mention actual having a heart for the people who NEED Jesus rather than being too “holy” to hang out with sinners, lol.  Any time someone is truly operating out of a place of knowing the heart of Jesus it will create friction with those who are operating out of their own heart’s desires rather than a heart wholly given to God and His purposes.  Thank you for sharing! I will try to keep up with your blog!

    Cassie Bradley
    http://www.JesusLovesTheLittleChildren.wordpress.com

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/ Kurt Willems

      Thanks @9795f77a50697fc6085c45919ed4078c:disqus !!!!!!!!!!!

  • robbio413

    Read the article, read all the commentary, and being an anti-hipster kind of guy (by design less than by choice) I am posting my thoughts months after everyone else has moved on to other things.
    The thing that stands out about “the list” is that it is decidedly accurate in it’s depiction of “the church” today. Additionally, it carries with it a tone of self-congratulatory condescension. As if voting for a democrat REINFORCES your coolness. I ask, why should my political views reflect in any way on the condition of my relationship with Jesus Christ?
    By creating this list of things that you view as being central to being a reject, aren;t you reinforcing the division in the Church that is…quite honestly….sin itself?
    An interesting point in Boyd’s “Repenting from Religion” is that the original sin is judging God (thus judging humanity).
    Although I agree, as a non conformist by nature, with your points I think we need to move more towards unity in the Church and shy away from tribalistic fragmentative, “us versus them” thinking.

  • TCDavis

    Heritics are those who think differently.  They threaten the insecure, but leaven the lump.  Does it matter what tribe we belong to?  One thing matters:  loving.  1 John 4:7.

  • https://creativeharmonies.wordpress.com/ Lew Curtiss

    According to your list above, I flunk as an Evangelical.  Apparently I’m too broad a thinker and believer.  As a sample of where I flunk, I’m especially drawn to;
    You read theologians from all across the spectrum.You think that science and scripture both reveal God’s truth in complementary ways.You think that what we believe about the so called “end times” actually matters for how we do mission today.You know that living the truth is more important than defending it logically.You recognize culture wars as pathetic attempts for Christians to grab for power.
    And may I add a personal item?; You might be an Evangelical Reject if… you’re an artist whose work falls way outside of the stories in the Bible.

  • Earon James

    This article really helped me. I constantly find myself resisting the pressure to fit inside someone’s ideological and theological box. I see a very disturbing trend developing within the body of Christ where we have these camps being formed that look with fear and suspicion on all others who are not exactly like them. I too sir must be an evangelical reject!

  • http://www.protestantheretic.wordpress.com Leah Randall

    Super post, Kurt. Here’s an “Amen” on the comment about women not remaining silent. And as I recently told Jon Zens when he and his wife were visiting with us in North Carolina…I used to call myself a Methocostal (Methodist/Pentecostal), but now I know why I never “fit in” in any of the organized churches I’ve experienced: I must be an Anabaptist. I read your July 12 post about your blogroll. I’ll privately message you with my links and you can decide whether you wish to link my blogs. Meanwhile, I’ll be following you on Twitter and looking you up on Facebook & G+. I’ve already subscribed by email because the things you write about are just too good to miss.  

  • http://feathertail.dreamwidth.org/ Tachyon Feathertail

    If you’re gay.

    Or asexual.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=605180852 Ann L. Whalen

    You might be an Evangelical Reject if your circle of heretics is wider than your circle of brothers/sisters in Christ… 

  • Karen Jimmy

    Sheesh…I’d best be looking over my shoulder then… :/

  • Jonathan Goldwire

    I just discovered this blog! I’m pretty sure I’m treading the line of becoming an Evangelical Reject. I was scared at first, but I’m loving it now!

  • Keaton Brownstead

    I am experiencing many of the same changes in my life, and a subsequent alienation. How could I respectfully tell my more conservative friends to “not worry” about me? Sometimes it seems as if their worldview limits them to only being able to think that I need to pray more, or I have a sin blocking my judgment, because of their tendencies to have an “us and them” outlook.

    I thought only a Sith delt in absolutes?

    My last church even went as far to claim authority to not let me “cancel membership” until I was “better.” The mania is only self-perpetuating, as everything I say or do will only be held to the regard of that guy who went off the deep end…

  • Caroline W

    Loved this piece, so glad to figure out what was going on!  Kirsten, our pastors must have been reading the same manual about getting the little woman under control… I was working as a midwife in the Amish community when my then- husband was instructed women are to be keepers at home and I better be kept at home or else!  He laughed and we were excommunicated

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  • Coreysharpe

    By using the word “reject,” you’ve provided yet another obstacle inhibiting the much needed dialogue between traditional evangelicals and Christians with ‘post-modern’ sensibilities.  Many have experienced much hurt by the narrowness of many evangelical churches, and this article seems to be a line in the sand, when authentic dialogue is what is needed. 

    BTW – Many of the bullet points apply to me, but I refuse to use the self-pitying term “reject.”  I choose instead to pray for unity in the church, and seek spirit led ways to accomplish that.

  • Darin

    Anabaptists were certainly apolitical in their early history until WW2. And for good reason. aligning one’s self with a political agenda or ideology simply isn’t the way to follow Christ. Our mission as Christ followers doesn’t change and is not advanced by political posturing. We are to be a counter cultural community, offering those in the political system a different way of approaching life. This alternate way does not choose political sides. We should not be trying to change our culture through politics, but through lifestyle as taught by Jesus and his followers throughout the last 2000 years.

    I am not an Evangelical reject. Insead, I have rejected Evangelicalism as it is currently modeled in western culture. I do not need nor seek their approval for my life, my theology, or my ministry.

  • TCDavis

    The last Beatitude is your consolation, friend.  Walk on!  I’m a retired Presbyterian pastor commissioned as an Interfaith Peacemaker.  Am learning that mystics of all traditions–those who put more emphasis on spiritual experience than on dogma–are very much in concert.  If your family kicks you out, acknowledge the sadness of parting and walk on.  You’re still in good company!

  • http://twitter.com/qotbpaul Paul Charles

    You might be an evangelical reject if…you’re intent on using the brain that God placed in your head. Ooooh….too close to the line?
    My apologies for never having read this before. I appreciate your thoughts sir. Hope you’re well!

  • http://www.sacredmisfit.com Sarah

    Crap.  I might be an Evangelical reject.  But I don’t want to be…  :-(

  • helene

    I’m new to the blog. Interesting reading.  How does discernment work to help a person know in what way/ways God wants to direct their life?  How can one know God’s will for the knowledge and wisdom He’s given them? Do they write? speak? chill? is it clear when it needs to be?  

  • Anonymous

    I’m new to this blog. It’s hard to find a good blog, and I’ve basically been like a stalker on the one blog I find interesting. Lot of great topics to comment on and learn about here. I can identify with many things listed above, and It’s been difficult to have a sense of belonging for me not necessarily because of other people though. Some of my own issues get in the way.

    I’m hoping to learn some good things from the folk here and thank you for taking the time to help us learn. helen elaine 

      

  • Ronaldsteed

    : ) welcome to the Episcopal Church!

    • Helenecombs

      this is an Episcopal church? i don’t know anything about them. i was under the impression that this was a  nondenominational blog. 

  • Heather G

    I’m an evangelical reject because I find myself really appreciating a lot of Atheist positions, and think at times they are much more sane than most christians I know – even though, I don’t for one moment doubt the existence of God.  And I don’t have a problem with this.

    • Lew Curtiss

      Heather – I agree with you.  I am amazed at how many of those who hold God at arm’s length are less bothered by God than by Christians themselves.  Like you, I find I’m often very bothered by how Christians act out their lives.  I’m sure that you’d agree that all believers foul up, but it seems to me that our lives as witness to God’s love, forgiveness, and transformation get trampled somehow and we can often do more damage than Godly good.

  • Sherwood8028

    The problem started when we started to call one another, evangelicals.  Sounds nice, but nothing like using His name for our identity.

  • Joel

    This is a terrific piece. So what if you’re not evangelical. You are comfortable with your beliefs, and, unlike the average “christian,” you stick to your principles in the face of adversity. You’re the kind of religious dude an atheist can look up to. 

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  • Greg Jones

    I have ‘been there and bought the t-shirt’. I used to be one of those evangelicals. The axis of transformation came to me from embracing a different perspective on the inspiration of Scripture (I moved from plenary to dynamic, as defined by this article: http://www.crivoice.org/revins.html)

    As I read through the points of this article, the only one that struck me wrong was “You considered or actually voted democratic in the last two elections.”

    I don’t see the connection between being an evangelical reject and believing in big government. With that said, I do agree with Diane who said:

    “I guess I actually enjoy ambiguity and the fact that there are some
    things we may never know. I’m frequently in trouble with my more
    comfortable friends who have it all figured out, socially, politically,
    and theologically…”

    So in regards to politics, although I vote for smaller Government policies, I do take a more nuanced approach, claim to be an independent, understanding that the danger is in the extremes of both sides and that politics is a side show, since the greatest transformation comes not via legislation but via spiritual transformation.

    My question though is, why is Ginghamsburg so successful when typical mainliners are reporting shrinkage?

  • http://nomorediaperbags.wordpress.com/ nomorediaperbags

    My husband and I are in the throws of rejecting evangelicalism right now as we are finding peace in Catholicism.  I’m struggling a bit with bitterness as I come out of spiritually abusive situations, but I am excited about the Gospel and Christ for the first time in a long time…

  • Anonymous

    Hi Kurt,
     You might be an evangelical reject if: 
     #You point out Jesus said: “Moses and the prophets they testify of me”, and John’s gospel begins in the beginning the WORD….Jesus is God’s word in the flesh, therefore: The old testament is not the “old covenant”, and is NOT done away with.
     #You make God’s word through Jesus, Moses, and the prophets in scripture, your authority, instead of just one Roman/Jewish/Pharisee/converts personal letters, and the doctrines gleaned from them.
    #You preface comments with: Umm.. sorry to be a ecumenical wet blanket, in this warm and fuzzy, happy rapture, material prosperity,  or sin tolerant  Jesus love fest, but didn’t Jesus say…
    #You always recommend reading Foxes book of Martyrs** as the best historical evidence there may be some problems with keeping “traditions”.
    #You point out every Christian for 300 years kept God’s Sabbath, until a group of men, at the council of Laodicea “claimed” the Sabbath for “Christians”  had been moved to the opposite end of the week, the day of the sun god, Baal.

    ** http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22400/22400-h/22400-h.htm

  • http://whispersonthejourney.wordpress.com/ SarahK

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only reject out there. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/joshkelley Josh Kelley

    You might be an Evangelical Reject if you consider John Piper and Brian McClaren to be equally extreme, on opposite ends of the spectrum!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-C/76805515 Sarah C.

    With the exception of the anabaptist bit, AMEN!  God had a heck of a lot more to say about use of money and the poor than he did for the various sundry political issues the extreme right likes to harp on about.  And it takes a willful blindness of the scriptures, their context, and content to see in them any advocating for unequal relationships between men and women.

  • Barb

    My husband and I were told we were unlikely to be selected as missionaries because I was NOT SUBMISSIVE ENOUGH. My husband’s reply: “It’s none of their damn business. It’s between her and I and God.”  Love that man.

  • Steve

    hmmm, I might be one, although some things on the list don’t apply to the UK! I’m ‘worried about’ by some, mainly certain family members, but go to a church that would call itself evangelical. No trouble yet at church, so maybe they haven’t noticed! And I read the book ‘Love Wins’ and wondered exactly when the controversy was going to come, then I got to the end without finding it. That comment in itself might be enough to tip the balance, but I really do mean it! I have a sneaking suspicion that haters of the book not only haven’t read it, after all reading a book that you might not agree with could even be a sin itself(!) but their main problem is that they just don’t think the author is boring enough to be a real pastor… Although that also rules out many of the OT prophets plus many of the famous Christians from history. Many are liked by 99.9% of Christians, but only because they’re no longer here to cause the kind of trouble/embarassment they caused in their lifetimes!

    Anyway, I think seriously that I don’t care about labels & although I don’t agree with a lot of the same things listed in your post, some people with those views are actually still better people than me, so as someone said in a post on Rachel Held Evans’ blog, I can definitely learn from people I don’t agree with, and not just from their mistakes but from the things they have right as well…

    Thanks for the blog, good stuff.

  • Jheppner

    Glad I found you, Kurt! A friend recommended your site. I am somewhat in the same boat with friends beginning to question my authenticity as an evangelical Christian. Things kind of took off when I wrote a defense of Love Wins in a letter to the editor in our local paper. I am very much on the same journey as you, only I turned 65 last month. It takes a while for some of us! I am in trouble for posting ten blogs in a row proposing that we reboot the Gospel without reference to hell as an eternal torture chamber. Find my blogs at http://www.MySteinbach.ca (Local Blogs/Edgework). I will be following your blog with great interest. My son graduated from Fresno four years ago.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/ Kurt Willems

      @1ae9426fe1e23f718498b84dd3a3ec64:disqus … thanks for “Finding Me!”  I appreciate your wonderful comment.  And yes, Love Wins is wonderful.

      Also, did your son go to Fresno State or Fresno Pacific?  What a small world.

      Finally, I hope you come back to the site.  If you are interested, the email list is a great way to stay connected.

      Peace.

      Kurt

  • Charlottedean27

    You happen to believe that God loves everyone.

  • LoveFiercely

    this had me smiling thank you.  shalom

  • Nathan

    So let me get this straight,
    Even if they rarely use words like “apostate,” theological liberals are NEVER guilty of denying the right hand of fellowship or golden-rule Christian love to those who think differently on them (especially on such all-important issues such as loyalty to the left wing of the Democratic Party)?  [#1]
    It is only Calvinists (of any subtribe) who are concerned for theological orthodoxy? [#2]
    People in some church contexts are never pushed out for being insufficiently liberal? [#4]
    ALL evangelicals can be fairly characterized as people who only read folk from a narrow theological range, and that theological liberals  (and self-consciously progressive seminaries) are NEVER guilty of such myopia? [#6]EVERY instance, without exception, of Christians trying to defend the most vulnerable among us, the preborn, from being mercilessly slaughtered is nothing more than “pathetic attempts for Christians to grab for power,”  while ALL efforts by Progressive Christians (like Jim Wallis, et al) to seek to advance the Kingdom of God primarily through the coercive arm of secular government demand our unquestioning, unnuanced enthusiastic loyalty as “central to the gospel of the Kingdom” and key matters of “justice”? [#10, 17, 21]  And your making this distinction has nothing to do with secular, partisan loyalties?  
    There is NEVER a situation in which any women (or for that matter, any men) should be silent in church?  [#12]  
    Harold Camping is a very fair and representative standard-bearer of Ameican evangelicalism today, and there are no significant numbers of US evangelicals (like Rick Warren or the National Association of Evangelicals),  who believe in caring for God’s non-human creation?  [#18]
    Progressive Christians have a monopoly on love for gay people, as no supporters of biblical teaching on sexual morality have glbtq friends and relatives who they deeply love and want God’s best for? [#22]
    I really don’t want to come across as rude, but is the above really what you meant?  

  • ruth perry

    Re: #12–AMEN!!!  :)

  • Jarretjames

    I think we are in a great place of church history, as people aren’t just accepting things passed down that only 100 years old…but challenging it, and re-shaping it.  I love your post Kurt…count me in the reject club.

  • Kbsagert

    The following items really resonated with me: 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22.

  • Jheppner

    Those who think outside the acceptable boxes will have to accept that there will be a dissonance with many of the people in our churches whom we love and appreciate. I am feeling it right now ever since I posted ten essays at http://www.MySteinbach.ca/Local Blogs/Edgework in which I deconstruct the traditional understandings about hell. It seems that is a hotter button than others. I have come to understand that in the evangelical mind, hell is right at the center of things. It is even more central that salvation, because hell is what created the need for salvation. So I understand why people feel threatened if one eliminates the idea of hell as an eternal torture chamber for tens of billions of people. Yet, once having deconstructed the traditional notions about hell, there is no way I can go back. Some of my good friends are not trying to brand me a traitor to the evangelical cause – I guess an evangelical reject – because I am over estimating how “deep and wide” the grace of God might be. 

  • Sue Morgan

    Oh my goodness my husband and I are cracking up! I read each one and we both laugh and raise our hands. The only one we can’t get our heads around is voting for a democrat in our district because they all support abortion. But the rest are fantastic and we are Evangelical Rejects.

  • http://www.facebook.com/traceysays Tracey Grimes

    You might be an Evangelical Reject If……you’re anxious to introduce your unbelieving friends to Jesus, but not to your Christian friends. :) ”the world will put you in a box,religion will put you in a bubble,you were born to be free,climb out!”climbingoutblog.com

  • HisBeauty4Ashes

    This is interesting, and many points hit home…number 21 does indicate to me that  ”Evangelical” in this blog really means “White Evangelical.”  I encourage you to explore more of these Black activists, as well as Latino, Asian, Native American activists and perspectives, especially regarding the intersections of faith and race.  (and, as a side note, the concept of “normative whiteness.”) As a black woman, I do feel my voice is silenced within Christianity as a whole, or simply relegated to being “secondary,” if that makes sense. 
    Additionally….though we grow weary and frustrated with other Christians who we feel misrepresent Christ, we must remember to keep them in prayer and treat them with the same love we give to the marginalized…perhaps God has not yet opened their eyes to the reality of life in Christ we hope for.

    Always enjoy reading your thoughts.
    Blessings.

  • http://twitter.com/davewasson Dave Wasson

    Well…that’s settles that.

    *Walks to the fridge. Grabs a Hopslam. Comes back to his seat.*

    So, do we, like, make a flag now or something??

  • ZDENNY

    You stated, “To love one’s neighbor is to foster safety.  When our actions, words, or cultural setting forces people into hiding, something needs to be overhauled by love. ”
    I find that a person’s definition of love is the determining factor of how they end up theologically.  

    If you believe that love is essentially a feeling, you end up in the liberal camp.  The way a person feels is more important that truth.  In fact, most liberals don’t believe that truth is even a part of Christianity as it is merely a way of feeling.

    If you believe that love is a law that a person’s comes to know through the Word of God, then you will end up in the conservative camp.  This was the example of Christ who gave His life as a ransom for many.  Jesus was not shooting for the feelings, he was presenting a truth to the mind that had the power to transform the inner life of man.Your statement that “love is to foster safety” is no where in the Scripture and certainly not presented in the N.T.  I can see that you are an evangelical reject in this sense because you have rejected the Word of God choosing instead to define things within the realm of your own personal feelings and thoughts.I hope that helps because you are not an evangelical reject!  The fact is that you are simple a person who has rejected truth as being the expression of love in this world.  I know so many people caught up in cultural liberalism which they then blend with Christianity and it really distorts the gospel in a really big way!

  • Disheartened liberal christian

    My former pastor told me I should consider finding a new church when I told him I found the political flyers that were handed out in church (specifically telling us who we should vote for and who we should not vote for) and the pelting of anti-abortion rhetoric from the pulpit offensive.  My mother and her friends walked out in the middle of services on more than one occasion over the abortion issue – especially after “fetus dolls” were handed out in one service.  Whatever happened to talking about God in church instead of politics?  I have yet to find a church in my area (St. Louis) where I really feel comfortable as a thinker and as a woman.

  • http://twitter.com/abhutchison Amy Hutchison

    I disagree with a lot on this list.  As a (sorta-kinda) staffer at North Point, I see a lot of things on this list that North Point accepts, although they are one of the most famous evangelical churches in existence today.  I think the danger comes when we start making these generalizations about evangelical vs. mainline…  even scarier when talking about evangelical Methodist.  Evangelicals these days are being equated with fundamentalists, and that’s a really scary line for those of us who are one and not the other.  

  • guest

    you may be a evangelical reject if-you hold any kind of respect for culture outside your own… perhaps.

  • Sparklepower

    HAHA! I’m an Evangelical Reject! I now have a label! What I’d been telling people was something convoluted like “Well, I’m a die hard Christian….but….I’m not like a lot of other Christians. I’m actually kind of a flaming liberal….kind of….”

  • Ryancook

    At Regent college in Vancouver that does not describe “Evangelical Rejects” but rather describes Evangelicalism in general. My guess is that you been caught in the cross-hairs of a peculiar form of american-fundementalist-evangelicalism? 

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/ Kurt Willems

      Actually Ryan… your experience in Seminary is similar to mine. The problem is that in conservative evangelical churches… that doesn’t translate into the common experience of the broader culture of the pews.
      Kurt Willems
      the Pangea Blog – Subscribe in one step!
      Facebook – add me!
      Twitter – follow me!

  • Larissa

    I’m late coming across this blog post, but I’m a REJECT just the same.  I wasn’t always, but as I mature in Christ I learn it is less about rules and appearance than genuine love and action. Some of the items on your list went over my head, lol, but the ones I understood I definitely am. LOL

    http://www.blogarissa.com 

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  • Peter Harding

    I think 19/24 shows that I’m clearly an Evangelical reject. I found this a really helpful blog. Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/morgan_trotter Morgan Trotter

    Much of what you describe is amenable to mainline Protestantism. Having moved toward evangelicalism out of Protestant liberalism, I find emergent evangelicalism somewhat amusing (and also dismaying) because of the way in which those embracing it feel as if they’re doing something new and bold that’s never been done before. To them I want to say: visit a mainline church and you will probably feel very at home. I did not (and do not) feel at home there, which is why I left the mainline and embraced a more traditional evangelicalism instead. I think the “new” more liberal evangelicalism is just reinventing the wheel. Take a long hard look at where Protestant liberalism has ended up and you probably have there a picture of where the new evangelical liberalism will likely wind up as well. No thank you.

  • Matt

    If…..your church asks you to keep quiet the fact that you believe Jesus taught nonviolent, enemy love.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/ Kurt Willems

      So true!

  • S.D. Kelly

    I’m an evangelical reject many times over, and as a fellow rejectee speaking the truth in love, I take issue with the phrase “throw up a little in your mouth” and the term “sistas” in this context. For obvious reasons that have nothing to do with theology and everything to do with good sense. Carry on with your progressive whatever-isms, but by all means, refrain from writing “throw up in a little in your (or my) mouth” again. An injunction that stands now and extends into eternity, should you make it into heaven. ;)

  • MIke F

    I’ve never felt so good being a reject!!!

  • Sarah

    :-) AMEN! As a pastor’s daughter, I have asked questions about such subjects many times and been told that I was “taking that verse out of context.” or thta ” that just isn’t the accepted understanding. While I have to admit that I have, on occasion done so, I have never been able to understand why such questions weren’t “allowed.” I have actually been told in a bible study that I was taking an analogy too far by asking about who the farmer sowing the seeds was supposed to be (Luke 8). It is a pity that in order to understand issues like gay rights and other “controversial issues,” I was forced to go outside the church and find out for myself. I got myself in a lot of trouble in my 20′s because no one would discuss issues with me that were outside the Christian norm and I went looking for the answers myself. If we just had more Christians who were not afraid to tackle such subjects and were open to honest discourse about them, I think the church would thrive more.

  • Michelle Langley

    Sounds to me like you know the Father. “They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.” John 16:2

  • Bexter

    you forgot to mention, on the list of you are an Evangelical Reject, if you speak up for Palestinian human rights and against ongoing bulldozing of their homes, construction of illegal settlement building in the Westbank & blockade of Gaza by Israel… etc. etc. etc…

  • Kimberly

    Well I had already suspected as much but I guess I am a Evangelical Reject for sure. I had to check out #15–I wasn’t familiar with that site. Turns out my entire nightstand stack is on their hit list. Now I know where to look for new authors to explore….

  • disqus_m3cFFuCzeS

    You might be an evangelical reject if you still think Jimmy Carter rocks!

  • Greg Dill

    Here are a few more:

    You appreciate religious-themed movies even though they may not be biblically accurate.
    You find more of the Gospel story in non-Christian movies than you do in Christian movies.
    Duck Dynasty doesn’t resonate with you.
    You agree that most Christian made movies are horrible.

  • SusanRogersStLaurent

    This is really good, Kurt. I’m to a point in life where I don’t really give a rip about labels or categories anymore. Once I started asking questions, I felt like I kind of got put in the Other category in some ways, and I like it out here! One of my FB friends had a post that kind of sums it up for me: “The cheapest way to get the feeling of closeness, togetherness, and family is to make an ‘other.’”

  • Carey Penney

    Forget ‘Like’ I LOVE this!!

  • Anonymous

    I’m very curious about which part of Ian’s statement you disagree with — even the follow-up comments don’t really clear it up for me.

    Ian has drawn a very necessary and accurate distinction. The vast majority of those that believe in social justice *do* see it as “the government can save us/them” rather than an issue of Biblically-mandated personal responsibility. Neither agreement nor disagreement can affect that fact.

    What’s more disappointing, though, is that many who *initially* see it as a Biblically-mandated personal responsibility somehow come to the conclusion that they must adopt the (wrong) definition of the majority in order to get anything done. This is, in effect, an incredibly low view of God, as though He can’t do anything without the help of at least 5 federal institutions.

  • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

    Well, representing nobody’s views but my own, I would submit that this fairly common “conservative” objection makes a fairly significant categorical mistake.  While correct in pointing out that government is not necessarily the sole, or primary, means of addressing justice issues, and likewise correct that our personal behavior/giving/focus needs to be oriented toward justice, the assumption that these two are somehow mutually exclusive makes no sense.  My own perspective is that, whatever the means, a Godly view of justice *also* must take into account the outcomes.  So for example, though (IMO) the Bible takes no position one way or the other on tax-funded social services (unless you count the levitical tithe going in part to support the poor–Deut. 14:29), nevertheless when we plan our tax policy (or investment strategy or business plan), I believe we are required to take stock of how that policy will affect those whom God cares about with special focus…the widow, the orphan, the stranger, etc.

    “Social Justice,” therefore, is not merely a question of how we vote, but that does not mean it is not ALSO a question of how we vote.

  • Anonymous

    Dan, you attribute to me a heck of a lot that I didn’t say. If you’re going to hang me, at least let me give you some more rope. ;-)

    To simplify verbiage (and so I’m not repeating the same phrases over and over, when one word will suffice), let’s use the following generic, non-political terminology to refer to certain groups.

    Dog: Someone who (at least) starts with seeing social justice as a Biblically-mandated personal responsibility

    Cat: Someone who *solely* believes that social justice is achieved through government salvation

    James (generic name) is a dog. James’ beliefs *lead* him to espouse certain political views/parties/stances/etc that may more closely align, in certain instances, with cats than with the other dogs in James’ life. While I may disagree with how James got from point A to point B, or even believe that there were some illogical leaps there, the fact that he even bothered to take the journey is commendable.

    Keith (generic name) is also a dog. Keith looks at the cats and sees that sometimes the end results of their actions in areas of social justice have positive outcomes. Keith immediately and unquestioningly aligns himself with the cats. When challenged by other dogs, Keith quickly points to the fact that he *is* a dog, and therefore concludes that “it’s all good”.

    I’m carping about Keith. And seeing as how you’re espousing careful consideration, I think your statements do the same thing, because Keith put no consideration into his process. He saw some “ends” and came to the conclusion that the ends justify the means.

  • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

    LOL BrendtWayneWaters, I see where you’re coming from, I think.  I agree with your criticism of Keith.  I would add one more example, hoping I don’t do injustice to your hypotheticals:  Ryan, who also considers himself a dog, but whose perspective is that government policy should *never* take into account the social justice issues, because his strict-constructionist views are that government should provide for the common defense only.  Ryan, beyond a visceral belief that all cats are inherently evil and secretly desire the emasculation, if not death, of all dogs (for that matter, all non-cats), actually winds up advocating for a lot of policies that have outcomes that are deeply counter to social justice, and along the way forgets his initial “doggish” tendency to grant that a social justice mandate even exists in the Bible.

    Ryan is the guy I’m calling out…and I know a lot of Ryans.

  • Anonymous

    I hear ya. And yeah, Ryan needs to be called out. And you followed the hypotheticals perfectly.  Let’s beat it into the ground a bit further.  ;-)

    Lee is a dog, too.  Lee buys some of the cat-like views, but for the most part, remains pretty dog-like.  The Ryans in his life, of course, give him crap for hanging with the publicans and sinners.  But sadly, as eager as Keith is to work with the cats, he wants nothing to do with Lee because Lee somehow doesn’t qualify.

    Keith will (rightly, perhaps) scoff at the FWD: FW: Fwd: email he gets from his aunt that says that he needs to pass it on if he loves Jesus.  But he’s certain that Lee doesn’t really love Jesus because they disagree on how this all plays out.  Keith may hand out some bread, but in the long-run he’s no less ineffectual for the kingdom than Ryan.

    BTW, Ryan has a big chalkboard. ;-)

  • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

    OK, I’m officially confused, but one thing I know…I’d enjoy sitting down to discuss (even argue) politics and faith with you in person, and we’d walk away agreeing we are brothers!  Peace!

  • Anonymous

    I bet you’re right (about walking away agreeing we are brothers).

    Let me try to take one more stab at what I’m saying, but we’ll remove some of the generic nature. Ryan is obviously (overly) right-wing and needs to be called out. And there are a lot of Ryans out there.

    However, there are also a lot of folks out there — call them birds just to further the pet metaphor — who have somehow decided that unless you subscribe to some/many/all left-wing stances, then you can’t really be interested in social justice. (I use those slashes to indicate that there are different levels of birds.)

    Not only is that not so, but it’s self-defeating. Let’s say that Ryan starts to recognize the error of his ways. But the birds tell him (by action, if not necessarily word) that he must totally embrace all of their stances if he’s truly interested in social justice — it’s all or nothing. And Ryan isn’t ready for that, so he ascribes his doubts about his ways to bad anchovies on last night’s pizza, turns around, and becomes further imbedded in his wrong beliefs. Had the birds allowed for middle ground, Ryan may  have changed his stance/vote/etc over time. Now there’s no way he will. The birds have done themselves no favor.

    This is not even taking into account the Biblical mandate regarding our Christian brothers. Galatians 6:10 says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Ryan is missing the first half of that mandate. The birds are missing the second half.  

    Jesus doesn’t tell us to get our act together before coming to Him. So where do the birds get off having higher standards than He does?

  • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

    I’m 100% with you on this Brendt.  The experience you’re describing is both unacceptable in the church, but wholly believable.

    Perhaps because I attend mostly Evangelical churches, my experience has been the opposite…call me a chipmunk maybe…who feel strongly compelled by issues of financial and social justice, and am called out because of some of the other issues that the birds also endorse.  The fact that I call out the birds as well gets me no points with the red end of the dog spectrum…in fact they openly state that nobody who ever supports any cat could possibly be a Christian.

  • Anonymous

    I have attended evangelical churches all my life. I know the Ryans very well.  Heck, I probably was a Ryan for a long time.  So to some extent, this was a parable about my life/journey.

     I live in (1) a conservative county (2) in the South. Ryan is kinda the default among professing Christians around here. More specifically, I live outside Atlanta, which is incredibly blue.  There’s not a whole lot of middle ground around here.  We’re basically crawling with Ryans and birds.

    I am very thankful that I have a pastor who cares so little about what the birds think/say that he doesn’t even acknowledge their existence; rather he just wants to obey the Bible.  We’re starting to launch some very substantive outreach programs to the community (i.e. not the flimsy stuff you’d usually think of when you hear “outreach”). And I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that there are some Ryans in the congregation whose hearts are going to be turned.

    And the birds will just have to deal with it.

  • TC

    James,

    I had to read your post twice just to make sure you said Gordon-Conwell. I thought I was hallucinating. When did you go to Gordon-Conwell? Because it must have been a much different school than the one I’m attending now. The Gordon-Conwell I’m attending is a Neo-Calvinist mecca where N. T. Wright was called a heretic in my Modern Theologians course and Intelligent Design was taught in Systematic Theology I. Social justice has been pejoratively called “political activism” and denounced as a distraction from “the Gospel.” Inclusivism is vehemently denounced. And in Church History since the Reformation, entire lectures were devoted to John Calvin with every superlative imaginable ascribed to him. No mention of Arminius. He didn’t merit a mention. No Remonstrants, no nothing.

    Sorry bro, but Kurt is right on the money with this post. I wish it weren’t true, but it is.

  • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

    @facebook-837625581:disqus , I will be interested in your response…

    Thanks for your kind comment @ad7da4a2debd769b5b4c3823f551f953:disqus !  If you end up needing to find a new school, we’d love to have you at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary next year ;-)   http://seminary.fresno.edu/  I’ve had a great experience there!

  • TC

    Today I had a good conversation with a fellow Gordon-Conwell student, and it became clear that his experience at the South Hamilton campus has been much different from my experience at the Boston campus. So, it appears there are indeed two Gordon-Conwells. My apologizes to James. From this brother’s testimony, there does seem to be much more theological diversity on that campus.

    Thank you for the invitation to Fresno Pacific. From what I can gather from reading the website, it looks and sounds like an excellent school. But it’s possible my Anabaptist witness is most needed here in Boston.

  • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

    @facebook-6405559:disqus , thanks for your thoughtful comment here friend!

  • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

    @2fd54e03a4ca4887e91e75ea55d7057b:disqus  , thanks for these raw thoughts friend…