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How To Be A Bad Evangelical

I've written before that I still consider myself an Evangelical based on my theological commitments. Socially, though, not so much. Basically, I'm a Bad Evangelical. And today, I'm going to tell you how you, too, can be a Bad Evangelical!

1. Love God and love others. I put this here to make sure that you actually are an Evangelical. If you don't love God and love others, you might want to check and see if you and God are really on speaking terms.

2. Love and accept gay people for who they are. And to be a really bad Evangelical, study up on the topic of homosexuality because you'll find that God actually doesn't think that gay people are sinning. Not that it's really any of your business if you're not gay, but it's cool to know.

3. Smash the Patriarchy. Remember that women are equal with men, in the home, the church, and society. If that's not the case where you are, then work for it.

4. Work for social justice. Ignore Glenn Beck. Jesus is the one who tells us to help the poor and the oppressed. Find who in your community doesn't have a voice and use yours to speak for them.

5. Punch a Nazi. OK, no, not really (see above - love one another). Unless you have to in self-defense. But, really, fight for racial justice, whatever that looks like in your community. Where I live, that means standing up for the local Hispanic population.

6. Read the Bible contextually instead of literally. For the first 12 chapters of Genesis, this means reading the Creation stories and Flood stories as part of Ancient Near East mythology that's been worked by God to tell us about his character instead of to tell us about science. In Paul's letters, this means understanding the cultural milieu in which he was writing and how he was talking to the men and women of his day.

7. Resist the temptation to try to make our country a "Christian" country. The United States of America doesn't have a covenant with God. No country does. Our country is doing the best we can with separation between the government and our religious institutions. Good Evangelicals these days appear to be trying to fuse the two. Be a Bad Evangelical and remember that our job is to be good citizens of our country and good citizens of the kingdom of God. That may mean sitting out the culture wars - and that's just fine!

So, there you have it! Seven rules to being a Bad Evangelical! Are there any that should be added? I'd love to hear them!!


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