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Posted: 8/26/2004 8:02:51 AM EDT
I keep hearing this word, Evangelical. I remember it meaning to evangelize or go door-to-door teaching about Jesus.

Now it seems to describe a branch of the Christian church that is ultra radical, militant and characterized by those that fall on the ground, roll around and speak in tongues, folks that are “silly with Jesus”. Being raised a conservative Christian I find these acts disturbing and far too commonplace to be the hand of God. The bible mentioned the above but it was not common or ordinary. Talking with people that go to churches like these it seems one or two parishioners collapse during the course of every church service.

What does the term mean to you and is this normal?
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 9:03:00 AM EDT
Wow. Pretty broad brush you have painted with there...

Evangelical is a term used to describe the various churches that believe in the Bible as absolutely true and absolutely authoritative on the things of God.

This definition includes several denominations and theologies, but the basic premise all of them agree on is that:

The Bible was divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit and reflects the Holy Spirit's words to the world. As such, it is infallible.

Evangelicals believe that the Bible means just what it says.

As to your other charachterizations, I ask you to examine the book of Acts. Would you describe the Apostles as being "silly with Jesus"? On the day of Pentecost, the 120 in the upper room they were filled with the Spirit, speaking in tongues, and worshipping God.

Men looked at these people laughing and worshipping and thought they were drunk. Peter said that these people were not drunk, but were full of the Holy Spirit. The very same signs (tongues, joy, etc) were repeated with EVERY FOLLOWING baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The manifiestations of the Holy Spirit bring about joy and laughter and tears and various other things. Remember that when the Spirit came upon David that he danced before the Lord with all his might, and embarrassed his wife? Remember that John the Revelator fell before the feet of Jesus as a dead man? Sometimes the Spirit can work upon someone to the point where an ordinary onlooker would think they were drunk. I have seen folks go from hysterical laughter to bitter tears and back again. If I didn't know the person I would think they were drunk.

It is true that there are people who just fall over and act a fool and that the Spirit has nothing to do with it. It is true that this is found in a lot of churches. It is true that in the name of not quenching the Spirit that many congregations do not properly rid themselves of nonsense like that.

But that is the counterfeit to the real. I cannot make a fake 20 dollar bill unless there is a real one. The existence of the counterfeit, cheap, man-made substitute that many people indulge does not lessen the reality of the genuine work of the Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit is not limited to these manifestations as many people think, but sometimes they do occour.

I would remind you that no man who truly served the Living God was ever a moderate anything. Christ looked at the Pharisees and called them urns full of dead men's bones. He said that anyone who would follow Him must take up his own personal cross and loose his own life. He said that if anyone who wouldn't forsake houses, lands, or even family for the sake of Christ would be rejected by God.

Peter preached with fire and passion, and stood against the assaults of the religious leaders. He preached the truth and did not waver, even unto the point where he was crucified for his preaching.

Paul preached righteousness and liberty with such zeal that he was hated by the religious leaders who beat him almost to death on occasions, and stoned him almost to death on other occasions. All of the Apostles except for John were killed, and he was exiled. None of them compromised.

The early Christians faced almost certain death at the stake, or in the colluseum, all because they refused to compromise and worship the emporer.

The Christians did not attack people with violence, and they did not work evil in the name of Christ. But by the same token they did not love their lives unto the death. They held fast their confession of faith, and did not relinquish Christ or stop preaching the Gospel even under penalty of death.

That is hardly a moderate position.

It is impossible to stand for truth and righteousness without being militant. Jude urges us to contend earnestly for the faith that was once delivered to all the saints. Paul says that if any man preaches any other gospel, let them be accursed.

Jesus was not a moderate. Jesus was the most inflexible, unrelenting, unwavering person who ever lived. He never compromised on matters of truth and righteousness a single time. How can people who are supposed to conform themselves to Christ's example do any less?

Christ always preached the truth in love, but He nevertheless preached the truth. A true Christian can do no less.

Link Posted: 8/26/2004 9:09:36 AM EDT
Of or pertaining to an Evangelist.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 9:16:44 AM EDT
It means....Change the channel Honey!
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 9:19:39 AM EDT
Evangelical --> religious people who don't take no for an answer.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 9:22:22 AM EDT
When I hear "eveangelical", I think of Christians who actively seek to promote their faith. It was called "witnessing" in the church I grew up in.
You asked for MY definition. I have no clue what it really means.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 9:24:36 AM EDT

Oh, wait, evangelical, not evangelion

Link Posted: 8/27/2004 12:16:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 2:59:55 AM EDT
I'm a chemistry professor at an Evangelical college. I do not have an Evangelical upbringing, but a Christian one nothing the less. I went to a Catholic high school. As you can guess, I'm a little bit of an outsider.

I would loosely define an Evangelical, based on observation, not authority, as someone with a conviction to spread the faith, live a Christ centered life, and believes that the Bible is enerrant.

I have had long conversations with Faculty about that last point as I am most certainly not a literalist.

There are many exceptions, but most believe that the Bible is enerrant meaning their is nothing wrong in the Bible. Most believe that the Bible is subject to interpretation. Most believe that the Earth is more than 6000 years old. Biology is taught out of a standard pre-med text (Campbell). Creationism is not a part of the Biology curriculum, although it is covered in other classes. We have students admitted to medical schools every year and have a good reputation with science graduate programs within 250 miles and have 4 recent grads in Graduate School at the Medical College of Georgia in the area of molecular biology, genetics, and immunology.

I've said all of this to add some perspective to this conversation. I'll add that some of the local churches are alot more conservative. When I finished my post-doc and was hired here, I was very apprehensive about what it would be like.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:12:09 AM EDT
Of the dozens I've known, they've attended some very different churches and had very different beliefs, but lack of critical thinking seemed to be the only common denominator.z
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:15:10 AM EDT

When I hear "eveangelical", I think of Christians who actively seek to promote their faith. It was called "witnessing" in the church I grew up in.

& Evangelical --> religious people who don't take no for an answer.

Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:25:13 AM EDT
Some very enlightened opinions here.

Nice to know that a couple of kooks can so easily paint everyone belonging to a certain ideology or belief system as complete loons.

Just like gun owners. Anyone who would want to own an AR-15 is obviously evil or mentally defective, right?
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:30:26 AM EDT
it doesnt mean anything to me, but theres what it means to dictionary.com

e·van·gel·i·cal ( P ) Pronunciation Key (vn-jl-kl, vn-) also e·van·gel·ic (-jlk)
Of, relating to, or in accordance with the Christian gospel, especially one of the four gospel books of the New Testament.
Evangelical Of, relating to, or being a Protestant church that founds its teaching on the gospel.
Evangelical Of, relating to, or being a Christian church believing in the sole authority and inerrancy of the Bible, in salvation only through regeneration, and in a spiritually transformed personal life.
Of or relating to the Lutheran churches in Germany and Switzerland.
Of or relating to all Protestant churches in Germany.
Of or relating to the group in the Church of England that stresses personal conversion and salvation by faith.
Characterized by ardent or crusading enthusiasm; zealous: an evangelical liberal.

Evangelical A member of an evangelical church or party.

Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:34:58 AM EDT
Nice to know that a couple of kooks can so easily paint everyone belonging to a certain ideology or belief system as complete loons.

perhaps if those of that certain ideology and/or belief system would only look in the mirror once and a while.

What amazes me more is that someone can lay their whole life in the hands of a book written by man................. speaking of kooks

Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:41:32 AM EDT
I think of Benny Hinn, the Bakers and TV "preachers" either that or the JW's and Baptists coming by trying to pimp their religion.

They usually leave unhappy and thoroughly insulted.


Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:47:06 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:54:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 3:55:33 AM EDT by EricTheHun]
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 4:08:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gilfrd:
I think of Benny Hinn, the Bakers and TV "preachers" either that or the JW's and Baptists coming by trying to pimp their religion.

They usually leave unhappy and thoroughly insulted.


As a man who has many a family member in the ministry, few people are as annoyed as I about many of the TV preachers. A lot of what is out there is pure bull, fleecing the flock for the purposes of enriching themselves.

The most shameless at the moment is Robert Tilton. His little book "How to get rich and have everything you have ever wanted" is just horrible. Jesus Christ never used the benefits of the kingdom to try and entice sinners into repentence.

If God becomes nothing more than a means for gratification of fleshly lusts, then He is not your savior. Theologies like that turn God into just another means (albeit slightly elevated in morality) to the end of getting whatever I want. This is unacceptable, and denies the gospel of Take Up Thy Cross and Follow Me....

So yes, there are kooks and loonies out there. The mistake many make is thinking that these kooks and loonies are representative of "evangelical" Christians. If you REALLY want to know what an evangelical Christian is SUPPOSED to be, try reading A.W. Tozer or listening to his sermons. (They are available online)

I dare say no man who ever lived had such a dim view of the kooks as A.W. Tozer, and that no man ever spoke more to the reality of being an evangelical more accureately than him.

If you read his works, you will begin to see what evangelicals are SUPPOSED to be, and then you will have an accurate measure to judge rightly. That, however, takes effort. It is much easier to just blanketly dismiss everyone because it requires nothing more than ignorance to do so...
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 4:12:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:
Of or pertaining to an Evangelist.



Link Posted: 8/27/2004 4:20:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 4:22:16 AM EDT by gilfrd]

Originally Posted By EricTheHun:
Posted By gilfrd -

I think of Benny Hinn, the Bakers and TV "preachers" either that or the JW's and Baptists coming by trying to pimp their religion.

No one is more thoroughly disgusted with the antics of folks like Benny Hinn and the Bakkers, and others of their ilk, than fundamentalist Christians, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with 'Baptists', per se.

They are some of the finest folks I know. If, after declining to discuss Christ with these folks, you actually tried to talk firearms with them, they'd probably be right at home in discussing what they had in their safes!

But, if you wish to have their enthusiasm for their beliefs cloud YOUR better judgment, well...

They usually leave unhappy and thoroughly insulted.

Yes, I can well imagine.


Someone is being an asshat, and that's for certain.

Eric The(GraciousToEveryoneHeMeets)Hun

Hey, I don't come to their house and sell MY crap, why would I want these unsolicited people coming by mine? If you are religious, fine more power to you... just leave me out of it.

I do not want to talk to these people at all, not about their God or their guns, I simply do not care what their interests are, if I did, I'd ask them.

My better judgement is not clouded by these pimps at all, I believe what I believe and that's that.

I don't have a problem with any one religion never said I did, heck I was raised Baptist and Episcopalian... but then saw the light.

Who's being an asshat? One who tries to mind their own business or the ones who try selling crap door to door interupting me and my family?

Link Posted: 8/27/2004 4:24:34 AM EDT
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