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   Unfortunately, “evangelical” has recently come to mean different things to both Christians and non-Christians.

   So where to start to understand this?

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Tradition, tradition…

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   We’ll go the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) first. “Traditionally, evangelicals have held to a remarkably resilient set of common core beliefs” utilizing 4 central tenets “to provide a consistent standard for identification of evangelical belief.”¹

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   Their list:

   (1)  The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.

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For all 4 use the DOOR.

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  [MORE]

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   (1)  The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.

   (2)  It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.

   (3)  Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.

   (4)  Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.

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    One wonders, given today’s political climate, how soon publicly declaring these will become considered offensive to minorities (of one kind or another) and be considered a hate crime. Since most “outsiders” (and many insiders) would be hard-pressed to say just what an evangelical is, this may be why this hasn’t occurred widely already.

   One example of confusion, according to the experience of Dr. Mark Young, is that years ago when his family lived in Poland, if a person said he was a “Christian” that was considered being a Roman Catholic; being an “evangelical” meant being a “Lutheran.”

   Words change with time. Some changes are unfortunate, however.

   Sadly, today we are being so confused by current events, that “racism” is also becoming redefined–by people who should know better–as simply “not agreeing with my beliefs about anything.”

   Back to where we started.

   According to Dr. Young, “Whether we admit it or not, evangelicalism is now seen by the broader culture as more of a political brand than a gospel movement.”

   Further: he says in the new book, Still Evangelical? Ten Insiders Consider Political, Social, and Theological Meaning,

“The evangelical identity crisis is a self-inflicted wound. We have chosen to make our political identity more important than our gospel identity. And we have chosen to pour our resources and our reputation into a mission of far less importance than the one for which we were created: making the gospel of Jesus Christ a compelling presence in our society. And that is to our shame,” [color ours]

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   ¹From Engage Magazine (Spring 2018, Vol. 6, No.1) of Denver Seminary. The NAE definition is based on the work of David Bebbington in Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730’s to the 1980’s. Other particulars on Young’s book are not cited. Mark Young has served as President of Denver Seminary since 2009.