Oh, I still believe. I believe God has come into our brokenness, walked among us in the person of Jesus Christ, and through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus we are offered new life. God heals our brokenness and invites us to join the work of salvation in this world. I believe I am called to share that Good News with all of Creation. And so you might want to call me evangelical--which comes from the Greek word which means Good News.
But don't call me Evangelical. The other day as the news organizations reported the results of the Iowa Caucus, they used the term Evangelical in the same manner they use the terms Democrat or Republican. One person even went as far as to create the term Teavangelical--the marriage of the Tea Party and Evangelicalism. Evangelical has become a political party.
Now the term Evangelical has been hard to define in the past century. There are those who would tie Fundamentalism to Evangelical. But one could be Evangelical without being a fundamentalist. Being evangelical at one time simply meant that you believed in sharing the Good News (probably an over simplistic view of the term) but denominations and theologies have attempted to lay claim to the term. They all wish to be known as the ones who care for the lost and bring the Good News.
But now the term has been hijacked by politics. Somehow Evangelical means being against abortion and homosexuality, being for small government, and voting conservatively. But no where in Scripture do I see the Good News being described as those things. I don't see Evangelical being described as large government, and regulations on businesses either.
It seems we have traded the Good News that God has come to dwell with humanity again, bringing healing and love, peace and hope to our brokenness for the American Dream. We have chosen to bring the Kingdom through political parties, when it came in a Savior who gave up his own rights and loved us with his life. Instead of following in the Savior's footsteps, having the same mind as Christ did and being like Christ, we have followed politics, the American Dream, and a list of things to believe and stand for and attempted to vote the Kingdom into existence.
America's dreams and news, as good as they are, are not good enough. And so if being an Evangelical means bringing the good news of America, I must ask you to not call me evangelical. The Good News of Christ is so much bigger and better. And it doesn't come through a political party or through violence. It doesn't come through a list of rights or the constitution. The Good News comes when we the people of God allow the Spirit to transform us into the image of Christ. The Good News is God has come, walked among us, and made a way for us to be whole again. That is the news I choose to proclaim!