According to Wikipedia “Evangelicalism is a worldwide Protestant movement, maintaining that the essence of the gospel consists in the doctrine of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ‘s atonement.” The truth is something else. Let me rephrase: Evangelicalism is a worldwide Protestant movement, maintaining the essence of personality cults consisting in the doctrine of profitable empire-building in order to control mentally damaged certainty addicts.
As old Schaeffer family friend and once leading evangelical Kenneth Kantzer, once put it, the name fundamentalist had become “an embarrassment instead of a badge of honor.” So leading evangelicals of the day (1940’s to 1970’s) went for a re-branding. They settled on the term evangelical or neo-evangelical to bring a little intellectual respectability to their faith in Bronze Age magic.
Today I’d say the same about the name evangelical. It’s an embarrassment.
Today the word evangelical means this:
Climate change denier, who doesn’t accept science but believes Noah’s Ark really happened (Creation Museum)
Hater of women who wants to strip them of the right to buy contraceptives (Wheaton College)
Believes in the Bible as a magic book rather than in following the Jesus who denied his days’ scriptures in favor of empathy–the Torah and The Law–every time he mentioned them … and who broke all the religious rules of his day… (Read my new book if you want to understand my take on Jesus-as-the-first-humanist)
“Progressive” evangelicals who know they aren’t really evangelicals at all, and who long since quit drinking the v-e-r-y dumb Kool-Aid, but keep the label (you know who you are) so they can stay in a very profitable club… and still speak on the Christian college and seminar circuit… in places like woman-hating Wheaton and gay-hating (we love “them” but they just can’t work here) Gordon…
Here are some suggestions for re-branding:
Bible Worshiper thus Jesus-Denier (Christianity Today neural-pathways-damaged editors just love HELL)
Jesus Victim (every “Christian” — and Fox-News-watcher, who believes there is a vast liberal conspiracy against them)
Genitalia Hermeneutics Panty-Sniffer (Gordon College president-if-you’re-gay, you’re out-lets check for telltale stains!)
Or— and this re-branding maybe is a bit too long… but I like it so stay with me on this…
…Or something like that…
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Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace