You Might Be an Evangelical Reject If… (Rejects – Readers’ Edition)

Over the past two weeks this post has gotten so much attention that I had to share with you some of my favorite responses.

Here is what you said to answer this sentence: You might be an Evangelical reject if…

  • …if you hear the word “Patriotism” and you think “idolatry.” (Dan Martin)
  • …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.  (Adam Whitley)
  • …you believe more in the risen and living Jesus than you do in your own or your church’s dogmas about him. (Tucker Russell)
  • …you accept the historic creeds of the early Church as more authoritative than anything the Calvinists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries ever wrote. (Jim Papandrea)
  • …you think the Catholics occasionally have something intelligent to say. (Simon Cozens)
  • …you love Scripture but believe that there is at least as much danger in Bibliolotry as transubstantiation, and possibly more. (Bob Chapman)
  • …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 (J. Byas)
  • …You don’t quote a bunch of dead theologians. (Watchman [@ Jesus Creed])
  • 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.  (Mark Lee Schnitzer)
  • …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. (Jonathan Aigner)
  • …you might be an Evangelical Reject if you have ever said outloud that sometimes you question whether God really exists. (Pat)
  • …your definition of being “pro-life” doesn’t end in the womb (Stevemvcf [@ Red Letter Christians])
  • …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. (Scott Emery)
  • …You understand that your life should not be about you. (Rick, aka Dad)
  • …you aren’t comfortable being called a missionary and often use other descriptions like volunteer at _____ or worker with _______. (Juliane [@ Red Letter Christians])
  • …You think the Emergent Church has something to offer to the church. (Greg Dill)
  • …you’ve been told that you were slandering the bride of Christ because I wrote on a blog that Jesus is for social justice by our pastor.  The pastor then called my husband and said “You need to control your wife and maker her submissive to you!”  My husband laughed. (Kirsten Vogel)
  • I *know* I’m an Evangelical Reject. I had to start a secret FB group just to talk to people. (Jason Dye)
  • …you understand the word ‘repent’ to mean ‘to change your mind, change your course’, not ‘to scrape your face on the ground repeatedly at the feet of a faceless God who forgives you if you beg hard enough. (LightByGrace [@ Red Letter Christians])
  • …if you are more comfortable with questions than you are with certainty. (Ben Emerson)
  • …if you reject the idea that the work of the Cross was to satisfy God’s wrath against us. (Boe Hadden)
  • …you are going to the Wild Goose Festival this week. (Pam W [@ Jesus Creed])
  • …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. (Perry)
  • …if you want to throw back a shot of rum every time someone says the word “just” during prayer.  (Charismanglican)
  • …you’ve been in a conversation where the other was appealing more to atheist Ayn Rand than actually biblical theology. (Drew [@ Red Letter Christians])
  • …if you listen to Christian radio stations to hear opposing viewpoints.  (Grace [@ Red Letter Christians])

If you didn’t respond before (or have a new one), I invite you to do so now.  How would you finish that sentence?

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

    Yep, it’s official . . . I’m an evangelical reject!  Although I do happen to frequently quote dead theologians, although I tend to quote Barth, Bonhoeffer, and Yoder.

  • Gordy

    … you believe that even though you are no longer an ordained minister you can still do something vital and effective for God’s Kingdom aka you know you are not damned even though you ‘left the work’.

  • http://twitter.com/gregjeffers Gregory Jeffers

    …you’ve ever said “it depends what we mean by ‘innerancy.’ If we mean the Bible is a blue print, a rule book, or a how-to manual, then no.”

  • koinonia

    As an English Evangelical who is also one of those dirty complementarian, Calvinist types, this running analysis of an ‘Evangelical reject’ amuses and disturbs me in equal measure. I have never, ever experienced a single Evangelical congregation that has been “afraid to explore” (quite the opposite), whereas the ‘Evangelical Academy’ (speaking as an academic studying for a PhD in theology at a secular university) has varied in its willingness to debate certain topics evenly.

    I can appreciate, and can even be grateful for, the desire to reject rejection (so to speak). I also acknowledge that many Evangelical Christians can be jerks.

    But I do not believe this sort of post is the right way to achieve reconciliation. How, exactly, is this list of grievances any different from the pharisaic attitude of some of my own theological kin, who are so quickly accused of thanking God that they are not like the sinners? I would take massive theological issue with many of the presuppositions here (even if suggested in jest, no truer a word is spoken, as they say). But that’s not important.

    What’s important is that you don’t ‘reject rejection’ by mocking those who you say rejected you. That’s just false piety.

    If you love my ‘type’, don’t then berate it on the internet by using crude observational ‘comedy’. 
    - How is it fair or Christian to mock the prayer habits of someone you disagree with? 
    - How is it fair or Christian to mock Dr. James Oakley (White) by suggesting an equivalence between his ministry and the publication of The Onion (implying that one LAUGHS at his work)? (One may not find his system convincing, that is one’s prerogative, but he still does a LOT of work for Christ and IS orthodox.) 
    - How is it fair or Christian that because one has an affinity for dogmatic discourse and reference, that one does not have an even greater affinity for Christ risen and reigning? Didn’t that sort of Schleiermachian schtick expire about 100 years ago?
    - How is it fair or Christian to imply that it is less than admirable to quite “dead theologians”? (You mean, like *The Apostles*?!)
    - How is it fair or Christian to berate an Evangelical’s dependance on “dead theologians” and even suggest that they are guilty of “Bibliotry” (a confused charge in the best of moments), and at the same time light-heartedly infer that it’s ok to joke about reading Rob Bell *during* Church?(!)

    Listen, don’t get me wrong. I *know* that various different people have contributed towards this, and that there is no one suggestion. And I *know* that the sentiment may be comic. But it isn’t funny. It’s passive aggressive. And if we’re REALLY interested in reconciliation between Evangelicals of varying conviction, then why – oh why – is this sort of tribalism acceptable?

    Shouldn’t the fight be against the NOTION of party lines, rather than ACROSS them?

    From where I’m standing, you’re doing exactly the same thing that you’re saying has happened to you.

    I’m an Evangelical academic who believes in the basic Biblical cogency of the TULIP acronym, and I believe in Complementarian gender roles. I firmly disagree with many of the perspectives here, and as an academic, I aim to make my stand against them.

    But I don’t reject you. I just disagree with you. I may be frustrated with you, as a family member would be frustrated with another. But I don’t reject you.

    So please, don’t reject me.

    • koinonia

      (I feel it should be said as well, in the name of candidness, that I have gone the OTHER direction. Although creedally and missionally Evangelical, I was also systematically Arminian, ecclesially Anabaptist [with strong Emerging/gent affections], and hermeneutically liberal. 

      It is therefore a prayer in my heart that I do not become embittered towards those of my former ‘clan’, who have rejected my outlook and I theirs. It’s all about the sanctifier!)

    • http://www.susiefinkbeiner.wordpress.com Susie Finkbeiner

      You have made some excellent points. You’re correct, the Church needs to figure out how to live as one body. We can’t do that by shredding our own flesh, regardless of how we feel betrayed or hurt. I’m so guilty of doing this. So very guilty.

      If we look to Jesus we won’t feel rejected. And if we remember that we will be spending eternity together, well, maybe we ought to figure out how to agree to disagree. Because some of us will be wrong about certain things. And others of us will be right. We need to extend some grace to one another.

  • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com Jasdye

    … you’re looking at this list and think that Kurt should’ve cleaned up the copy. ;o

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

    You don’t quote a bunch of dead theologians.

    and

    You think the Emergent Church has something to offer to the church.

    These are my two favorites. Of course, I’m a bit biased. ;-)

    Peace,

    Greg (aka Watchman)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=573740541 Steve Thorngate

    …you’ve squirmed through multiple funerals at which sadness was deemed inappropriate but altar calls were not.

  • http://openmindedconversations.blogspot.com/ jshmueller

    You’ve been reminded for the umpteenth time that you don’t preach enough about the end times and the rapture, and when you do, you still don’t preach what they wanted you to say.

  • Anonymous

    …if you think both theism and atheism have flawed views of God.
    …if you think Peter Rollins has some good things to say regarding Christianity.

  • http://togodallpraiseandglory.blogspot.com/ Jonathan

    Thanks for including me, friend.  This is a real source of grief and frustration for me.  Keep up the good work.

  • Brad

    . . .you go to a Sunday morning service and see that a small percentage of people are  “serving”
    or
    . . .you go to a Sunday morning service and Temple Worship breaks out.
    or
    . . .you go to a Sunday morning service and hope the fog machine breaks.
    or
    . . .you go to Sunday morning service and wonder why the Pastor keeps calling Sunday the Sabbath.
    or
    . . .you go to Sunday morning service and walk into a mall before entering the “sanctuary.”
    or
    . . .you go to Sunday morning service and shower immediately after getting home.
    or 
    . . .you go to a Sunday morning service, enter the “sanctuary” and wonder why it’s not an auditorium
    or
    . . .you go to a Sunday morning service and can’t get to the actual service because the line to the restaurant and eatery is too long and crowded.

    these are not about theology per se – more the culture we inhabit of which I am as if not more guilty as the next person.

  • http://twitter.com/CrystalLewis Crystal Lewis

    Well, I guess I’m an Evangelical reject. I’m okay with that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=648288472 Scott Equality Bell

    …if you’re gay and not ashamed, and you still follow Jesus Christ.

  • Anonymous

    First time commenting

    You might be an evangelical reject if you use numbers above 10000 to measure things other than money, roads or the number of people in the world

  • Zmockbee

    Boe Harden, Christ did satisfy God’s wrath against sin. Come to the catholic faith.


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