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evangelicals

We are clearly called in the Bible to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before our God” (Micah 6:8), to “love our neighbors as ourselves” (Luke 10:27), and to “defend the cause of the marginalized” (Psalm 82:3). We are called to proclaim the Gospel and to live as witnesses of the love of Christ, not to promote our theological or political agenda. Evangelicals for Marriage Equality: A Response to Our Critics

The rise of the religious right didn’t just change white evangelical politics, it changed white evangelical religion — reshaping the personal and spiritual as well as the more obviously political. We went from being a people centered on and defined by a passion for evangelism to being a people centered on and defined by our political opposition to abortion. The Satanic Panic arose from abortion politics

Speaking for myself as a present-day and former offender, I’d much rather have my daughter or son or grandchild grow up to be a real writer rather than a so-called Christian writer, an actual physicist rather than a pastor using physics as a source for some inspirational sermon example, a firefighter rather than a youth pastor… a news reader rather than having a religion/spirituality TV show. Evangelical and/or Post-Evangelical Christianity, “Progressive” or “Conservative,” Has Snapped My Brain and Yours — We’re Addicts

Evangelicals put a lot of stock in the original languages so you may understand my disappointment. I went on to study not only Greek but also Hebrew and eventually even a little Aramaic. What I now find ironic is that God does not seem to share this evangelical obsession for a perfect record in the original. Megan DeFranza

…I just want to highlight this growing rift between Billy Graham’s son and his grandson. What’s at stake here is the legacy of Billy Graham, which means that what’s at stake here is, in a sense, the future of white evangelicalism in America. The Fall of the House of Graham

Often, the Christian defense of what they believe is their religious liberty is framed as fundamental hatefulness, homophobia, and misogyny, rather than disagreement grounded in morality. Much to the shame of the faith, a few who claim to be Christian really are motivated by hate. Those who disagree with them see little point in engaging with them on these issues, which is understandable, but it’s unfair and counterproductive to extend that attitude to all evangelical Christians. If the evangelical worldview is deemed invalid in the public sphere, then the public sphere loses the value of being public. American discourse will be marked by paranoid conformity, rather than principled and earnest disagreement. And our ability to prophetically speak to one another and to our nation’s troubles will be restrained. Is Evangelical Morality Still Acceptable in America?

The problem with banishing members of the tribe for this thought crime, though, is that it gets everyone else thinking about it too. And now, thanks to those hyper-vigilant gatekeepers and those hysterical fundraisers and apocalyptic political campaigners, everyone has had a chance to think about this a bit more for the past 10 years. It turns out that 10 years is a long time to think about something you’re expected and required to oppose without at some point along the way noticing the utter lack of any convincing argument against it. Gatekeepers are losing their grip

…abortion did not precipitate the Moral Majority and the conservative evangelical platform. Segregation/integration in Christian school education did. The IRS in the early 70s began to apply pressure on Bob Jones University for its discriminatory policies and that governmental action led to a gradual but powerful congealing of forces around — mark this down — not the right to segregate but the invasion of religious freedom. That is, conservative evangelicals defended the right of a Christian school to establish its own beliefs and policies and the government had no right to pry into a religious school’s ways. I distinctly remember this debate creating concerns among evangelicals. It was not until about 1978 that abortion became the rallying cry of the pro-Republican evangelicals. So it was not Roe v. Wade but Green v. Connally that galvanzied evangelicals. Jimmy Carter: Progressive Evangelical President

When some Evangelical magazines and websites wrote snarky things about my participation in my gay son’s wedding, several prominent Evangelicals contacted me in private and said, “You did the right thing.” One told me that the hardest part of his job as a denominational executive was hearing from the parents of gay children who were driven out of churches in his denomination. He couldn’t change the denomination without splitting it, he said, and he was glad that he could retire soon because he couldn’t stand the agony of being part of causing pain for so many gay people and their families. A charismatic leader told me had had performed a wedding in private for his gay grandson. People would be shocked how many people seem to support the status quo by their public silence, but privately aren’t there. Brian McLaren

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