Thursday, February 25, 2010


Evangelicals are an interesting lot. They also get a large amount of bad press, so I thought I'd come to their aid and clear up a few things.

The problem is that there is a great aversion among the general public to people forcing their opinions on other people. Usually this doesn't actually translate to forcing anything. Rather, it is a euphemism for "They think I'm wrong!" We, sadly, live in a world that believes the logical fallacy that all viewpoints are equally true, and that if you have the audacity NOT to believe that all viewpoints are equally true, you are forcing your opinion on people.

By the way, I call it a logical fallacy because it is. All viewpoints cannot be equally true. It's impossible. It's closely related to the idea that something is true for you because you believe it. Sadly, as much as I may believe the sky is green with red polka dots does not make it so, even for me. But I digress.

Evangelicals. There are several factions of them that take it too far. The Westboro Baptist Church comes to mind (I will not link to that horrific website. Google it if you're curious), as do the many crazies who stand on street corners, damning all they see to a fiery eternity. These are not the evangelicals I would have you think of. Think of the quieter evangelicals. The ones who cling to their faith and truly believe that you should believe in it as well. The ones who may have argued with you (for the record, they shouldn't have) over Christianity's validity and grew increasingly frustrated as you refused to convert. I have been that evangelical. We are seen as a bit pathetic and misguided. Why can't they just let people think what they wish and leave everyone to their own beliefs? Why do they have to insist that everyone believe as they do? What judgemental people!

Here's the scoop on that. Most evangelicals are not aiming for judgemental. They ascribe to a belief that, for one, claims inherently to be the only way to salvation. There is no way around that claim in Christianity, and it is made, not by Christians themselves, but by the cornerstone and deity of the faith! Christ did not claim to be a way, or even the best way. He claimed to be the ONLY way. For two, they are commanded to tell other people. Not asked, not suggested. Commanded. For three, you have to understand the way the evangelical sees the world. The evangelical see themselves (or should see themselves, if they are honest) as a sinner whose only salvation was Christ. Therefore, they look around at the world and see a world full of people headed for a terrible, horrific fate. To an evangelical, it's as if the whole world is dying of cancer, and they have been handed the cure, but no one will believe them. An evangelical feels like they are screaming "This doctor cured me! He gave me the cure, and I don't have to die! I'll take you to him! He can cure you too!!" and everyone else just says "I don't see this doctor. I don't believe you!" as they continue toward a painful death, trying myriad other cures that do not work or work for only a little while, when the true cure is so easily given. Try for a moment to empathize with how frustrating that must be, for someone who truly believe in only two roads, and sees the majority of the world headed down the wrong one.

The evangelistic spirit does not seek to be right, or to "win" by converting X amount of souls. Yes, there will be those whose pride gets in the way and who debate with you and lose sight of the message, but cut these some slack. By their own admission, they are not perfect, only forgiven.

Sadly, today's evangelical finds little opportunity to proselytize loudly. In today's world of "believe what you will, but leave me alone", the mere mention of Jesus's name is enough to shut down the communicative channels, sometimes permanently. Most have been reduced to being "lifestyle witnesses", living well and hoping someone will someday ask.

I am a terrible evangelical Christian. I struggle with the daily life of someone who strives to be like Christ. I struggle internally with my faith. But I know the road I am on leads to paradise, and I wish you were on it with me. To all those I have not done a good enough job of telling this to, forgive me.

This post is dedicated to Daniel Ian Rosoff, for whom I did not do enough. For him, I was and am burdened with a love that is as close to Christ's love for humanity as I ever care to come. I pray constantly that someone better than I will show him the way to Christ.

It is also dedicated for Kicae, for whom I did just enough. I look forward to the day I see him again, and we will need no interpreter.


  1. Good post! It's hard to find a balance between coming on so strong that you push people away and not saying or doing enough isn't it?

  2. Thank you! It truly is a difficult balance.