Re: What do evangelicals stand for?

Well I’m a 19th century evangelical born in the wrong century.  Because back then, evangelicals led the movement to abolish slavery.  They led fights for women’s suffrage, for child labor law reform.  They were evangelists and abolitionists.  They were revivalists and reformers, and they took their faith into the world.  Charles Finney was the evangelist of his day, the Billy Graham of his day.  And he invented the altar call to sign up his converts for the anti-slavery campaign.  So clearly it was an activist movement.  And Charles Wesley and John Wesley and the famous Jim Wallis: William . . .  the century beforehand ended the slave trade in Britain – the same kind of movement.  So it used to be a radical thing.  In fact, the word “evangelical” comes from the rood word “evangel” which means good news.  And the text where it appears is in Luke chapter 4.  Jesus’ first gig; His first sermon; His opening riff; His mission statement in Nazareth, his hometown.  And He says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring good news” – the evangel – “to the poor.”  To the poor.  So right from the outset, Jesus said this whole thing is gonna be good news to poor people.  So that’s where it comes from.  Now how do we get from there to when I’m over in Europe, they’re amazed that American religious voice doesn’t think God isn’t American, too, and probably only a Republican who cares only about abortion and gay marriage.  How did this happen?  This distortion, this high judging of the gospel by a religious right?  This book I wrote called “God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It”, the subtitle says it all.  Well a lot has changed now in the last couple of years.  When someone steals your faith you take it back.  And millions of people have taken their faith back from a narrow, parochial, partisan kind of use and abuse of religion to something that can be much more transformational that isn’t religious right or religious left.  Left and right are political categories, not religious ones.  They won’t fit us.  So we have to talk about, you know, what does the gospel say?  What . . .  The kids wear the bracelets, “What would Jesus do?”  That’s a fair question.  So a whole new generation is widening and deepening the agenda now.  And I think some very big things are in store.

Wallis believes that he is a 19th century evangelical.

Related Articles

To save us, half of Earth needs to be given to animals

We're more dependent on them than we realize.

(Photo Lily on Unsplash)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists says our survival depends on biodiversity.
  • A natural climate strategy we often forget.
  • Seeing our place among the Earth's living creatures.
Keep reading Show less

New infographics show how cigarette smokers are socially penalized

There's a high social cost that comes with lighting up.

Sex & Relationships
  • The home improvement company Porch recently polled 1,009 people on their feelings about smoking.
  • The company recently published the results as infographics.
  • In terms of dating, 80 percent of nonsmokers find the habit a turnoff
Keep reading Show less

The "catch" to being on the keto diet

While short-term results are positive, there is mounting evidence against staying in ketosis for too long.

Brendan Hoffman / Getty
Surprising Science
  • Recent studies showed volunteers lost equal or more weight on high-carb, calorie-restricted diets than low-carb, calorie restricted diets.
  • There might be positive benefits to short-term usage of a ketogenic diet.
  • One dietician warns that the ketogenic diet could put diabetics at risk for diabetic ketoacidosis.
Keep reading Show less