“Evangelical” is Dead

This is REAL evangelical

This is REAL evangelical

Starting in the early 1990s conservative Christians began to embrace “evangelical” as an identification that sought to unify sectarian oriented Christians from a variety of denominations. It was an odd marker, since many of the more powerful groups were Calvinist and shun true “evangelism” in the sociological sense of an orientation toward proselytization. But, it was better than the spoiled identity of “Born Again” which was sullied in the televangelism scandals of the 1980s (how soon we forget…).

But, just like Born Again, and Fundamentalist before it, the identity of Evangelical is now hopelessly tarnished. This spoiled identity will be cast aside and a new collective identity will have to be constructed eventually.

The problem with sectarian Christians is that their exclusivist orientations (which are definitive of sectarianism) inherently polarize the group(s) against others, and even each other. It’s not a stable basis for much identity, unless the system was rigged to ensure their dominance—like in the deep South for the Baptists.

In five years, all the bad journalists will have to learn a new lingo to refer to backwoods sectarian Christians who think everyone else is going to hell.

 

 

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