Reflections on Evangelicalism #1


In the last month I’ve submerged myself in to Christian culture. I returned to bible school to finish off my BA. I’m even living in a dorm. I really like it and I’m very at peace with where I’m at.

I think that part of my purpose here is to get a closer look at how evangelicals think and act. So far I’d say that evangelicals act more than they think. I consider myself an evangelical theologically. I believe that scripture is the only reliable source of revelation and I feel that the church lost its way not long after the last apostles died. It is our duty to rediscover the heart of following Christ while putting aside the thoughts and traditions of people.

I have a strong bias against churches that carry on ancient tradition. Because of the fallen nature of humanity I believe that it is impossible for us not to distort, compromise, and generally screw things up. The only source of revelation I trust is the bible.

Your average evangelical would likely agree with me. What evangelicals don’t see is that they are neck deep in the ways of the world. The evangelical church has become the McDonalds of spirituality. Instead of making disciples of the world we are selling faith to consumers. Instead of equipping people to make their own spiritual meals, we feed them systematic processed theological “TV Dinners”. How many times have I endured sermons calling me to pray more, work more, do more, love more, care more, read more, or commit more? You would think that after watching the church become increasingly powerless in society that we might realize that what we are doing isn’t working.

What works to bring hungry people in to McDonalds will work to bring people in to our buildings and events. It won’t make disciples of Jesus Christ. Coming to Christ is like buying a cell phone. You pick your plan (find a church), sign the contract (accept Christ in to your heart). From here on in you pay a certain amount each month (attend conferences, watch 100 Huntley Street, read the Prayer of Jabez), and use the service (get counseling, have a great worship experience, expand your borders).

In Acts we see Spirit empowered disciples turning the world upside down. Perhaps its time for us to consider the idea that they were tapped in to something we aren’t. Perhaps we need to humble ourselves and seek the Lord for the answers to our powerlessness. 1Corinthians tells us the Kingdom is not in word, but in power. If we aren’t walking in power, then are we really servants of His Kingdom?

Faith isn’t a contract by which God serves us, but a contract in which we serve Him. Faith itself isn’t merely giving intellectual assent to a list of doctrines and moral boundaries. It’s relying on the grace and the power of God to gain understanding, to have our hearts and minds transformed, and to empower selfless works of service.

  1. #1 by Marc Vandersluys on March 4, 2004 - 5:45 pm

    You “have a strong bias against churches that carry on ancient tradition.” What other kind of church is there?

  2. #2 by Leighton Tebay on March 4, 2004 - 9:34 pm

    Marc:

    This post is 2 1/2 years old. My opinion has changed.

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