4 Factors That Define an Evangelical Christian

Proclaiming that we are evangelical has taken on a new, unflattering meaning in culture today. While the term was once used to describe those who believed faith required conversion of the heart and assent of the mind, and were devoted to sharing the gospel with others, “evangelical” has come to mean “narrow-minded,” “fundamentalist,” “intolerant,” and “hatemonger.”

Anthony Blair, president of Evangelical Seminary, writes in Christianity Today that it is time to give “evangelical” a new definition. We must offer the world an evangelicalism that is bold, broad, beautiful, and confident.

1. Bold

Stop letting fear get in the way of sharing your faith. Instead, boldly proclaim the kingdom of God!

Blair writes, “Our core proclamation is that Jesus is Lord of all and the divine Lover of our souls. Like the woman at the well, we run excitedly to our neighbors, even (or especially!) those who have marginalized us, and we joyfully invite, ‘Come see a man who knows everything about me… and loves me still.’”

2. Broad 

As we boldly share our faith with our neighbors, let it be done with broad love. We are called to be a people of love and grace. Offer this incredible love with a serving heart.

“We cannot with credibility proclaim a gospel of love and grace if we are not people of love and grace. We dare not offer a God of reconciliation and peace if we are persistently unwilling to be agents of reconciliation and makers of peace,” Blair says.

3. Beautiful

The picture of God’s love that we offer our neighbors is beautiful. As the world struggles in chaos and evil, the beautiful love of God is steadfast.

Blair writes, “God is love, and that such words reflect a deep, painful commitment. His beautiful love permeates a broken world so that we are slowly, sometimes imperceptibly, conformed to his beautiful image.” 

What is perhaps the most beautiful aspect of God’s love is its ability to reach us in our darkest times of suffering, pain, and darkness. These worldly things cannot separate us from His love.

4. Confident

As evangelicals, we should not have a lack of confidence, as our confidence comes from the Lord.

“This confidence that is nourished by the realization that such grace has been wonderfully present in those who came before, upon whose good work we today merely add another layer,” Blair writes.

We can do the Lord’s work, knowing that we are capable of doing amazing things for the kingdom through abilities that are not our own.

Crosswalk.com editor Ryan Duncan wrote, “For many people, we will be the closest thing to Christ they will ever see. If we wish them to understand the true meaning of the word ‘Evangelical’, we must first redeem it.”

And we can redeem our faith by being bold, broad, beautiful, and confident in Christ.

Read Original Article Here

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Ted Cruz’s Evangelical Problem

By rights, Ted Cruz should be locking up the evangelical vote in Iowa.

Donald Trump is a mainline Protestant who barely goes to church. Ben Carson’s 15 minutes of fame is over. Marco Rubio’s faith journey has taken him from Catholicism to Mormonism to evangelicalism and back to Catholicism.

By contrast, Cruz is the real deal, on paper anyway. He’s a Southern Baptist born and bred, a preacher’s kid. He announced his candidacy at Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell, and has made the rounds from pastor to evangelical pastor. No one has a better record in Congress on the social issues.

And yet, in recent polls, Trump all but matches Cruz for evangelical support in the Hawkeye State. Then on Tuesday (Jan. 26), Jerry Falwell Jr., the current Liberty president, endorsed Trump. What gives?

Cruz has enemies. A radio spot from a super-PAC called Americans United for Values might as well be titled “Ted Cruz, Hypocrite.” In it, two women complain that Cruz won’t make gay marriage a priority, contributes less than 1 percent of his income to “charity or church” despite being a millionaire, has a wife who works for Goldman Sachs and took a secret loan from the same Wall Street bank.

Talk about New York values!

But an ad like this begs the question. There’s got to be something more that’s made a lot of evangelicals wary of throwing their support to Cruz, and I think I know what it is.

In the recent Republican presidential debate, Cruz gave his testimony, and (as he notes) he gives it all the time. But the conversion story he tells is his father’s, not his own.

Evangelicals hate hypocrites as much as the next Judeo-Christian, but what they really want to experience is a fellow sinner explaining how Jesus turned his life around. Instead, Cruz gives them: “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, / That saved a wretch like Dad.”

Read Original Article Here

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A note from GoodFishBadFish: Dr Michael Brown, respected and reputable host of “Line of Fire” stated that he has a first hand knowledge of Ted Cruz’ salvation testimony which does include coming to faith in Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour and walking with Him since. Let’s hope Mark Silk, the author of this article hasn’t been exercising the spiritual gift of assumption, which I find is all too often found in Christian circles.