Monday, March 21, 2016

EVANGELICALS (And Other False Identities)

I Was Just Thinking About - - - 

How do you and the politicians of our day understand and define “Evangelical”? Overall, do we have a sense of what the term means and implies? Would you identify everyone in the church you attend an “Evangelical”? In today's culture, do we and it even come close to knowing and understanding what an "Evangelical" really is? How many Biblical Evangelicals do you know? 

World Magazine has attempted to state a description and offer a definition of this word. A good start are some comments in a column in World Magazine (April 2, 2016 edition). It stated: "Indeed, as a slew of exit polls reported Trump had won the support of at least one-third of evangelicals or born-again Christians across a dozen states by early March, many marveled to see a thrice-married casino owner who uses vulgar language and brags about adultery capturing the support of evangelical Christians.But a critical question arose: What’s an evangelical? For pollsters, the answer seems simple: An evangelical is a person who claims to be an evangelical. Most exit polls apparently allowed voters to self-identify as evangelical or born-again, without any follow-up questions about beliefs or practice. For Bible-believing Christians, the answer is much richer: Evangelical comes from the Greek word for “good news” and conveys one of the core teachings of Scripture: Christ saves sinners. A crucial outflow: The life of the saved sinner shows it. In a 2007 study, the Barna Group asked participants a series of nine questions about Christian beliefs, including whether Jesus lived a sinless life, and if salvation is through grace, not works. Based on the results, the study found as few as 8 percent of Americans may be truly evangelical. That’s far fewer than estimates from other national groups with less stringent measures, and it’s also fewer than what some politicians proclaim.”

The question/issue is the same for defining a “Biblical Christian” (Evangelical).”  If we understand what a “Biblical Christian” is we can also understand what a “Biblical Evangelical” is! Just one starting place is Proverbs 28:13-14, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.” The basic elements are: Confess And Forsake all sin(s)/ transgression(s). Failure to do so places one in the category of those whose hearts are hardened against spiritual verities. 

And then, Romans 10:9-10, 13 is a necessity: “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 

The basics for the “Biblical Christian (Evangelical)” are also clearly stated in II Corinthians 5:15, 17, “He (Jesus Christ) died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised…If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Do these basics define and describe you today. If they do, then you are a “Biblical Christian (Evangelical).” Otherwise, it is a false claim to believe you are a “Biblical Christian (Evangelical).” Consider these things with me!

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