June 18, 2003

I'm tired of having the

I'm tired of having the group with which I most identify in this nation continually mocked, misunderstood and slandered. Almost every day I read a comment online or see on TV a derogatory, condescending remark toward evangelical Christians.

To help those who seem to be sensitive to every freakin' miniscule minority except Evangelicals, I offer this list.

Misconceptions About Evangelicals, In No Particular Order Of Importance

1. We are not all members of the "Religious Right". I know plenty of proud leftist who are, nonetheless, Evangelicals. Granted, they are a minority within our community. But, in a disturbing correlation to the larger American society, the leftist have managed to seize control, to a frightening extent, of the bureaucratic centers of power-- our denominational headquarters, our magazines and our publishing houses. I cringed to see that David Englehard, the general secretary of the Christian Reformed Church, my denomination, was a signatory on that stupid What Would Jesus Drive? campaign a while back. Actually, I don't have problems with cleaner cars or mass transit or whatever, I think it's a pretty good idea to conserve when you can, for financial and environmental reasons. But I don't think a church leader should be using his position to promulgate his own partisan views unless the church is very strongly to one side of the issue (like on abortion, to use the most obvious example). Wow, that was quite a meander. On to #2.

2. We are not all Fundamentalists. Fundamentalism relates to Evangelicalism something like Orthodox Jewry relates to Reform Judaism. It depends on the definition, however. If you call "Fundamentalism" the belief that the Bible is the literal Word of God, that God basically moved persons to write, in such a way that each writer retained his own perspective and style but that the original words were indeed infallible, well, that's closer to a definition of Evangelicalism: but I have a feeling most non-Evangelicals would indeed call this Fundamentalism. By this definition, I'm a Fundamentalist. However, my concept of Fundamentalism would be one that treats the Bible as literal to the extent that it refuses to acknowledge the difference between the symbolism of Revelation and the logical prose of Paul. Fundamentalism to me connotates a premillenial dispensationalist eschatology (meaning, end-times theology (eschatology) that believes Christ will come before he reigns on earth for a thousand years (premillenialism) and... well, I can't really describe dispensationalism without writing a lot more than I want to tonight, but this is the part that looks for a Rapture in which all Christians will be taken to heaven, leaving the unbelievers 7 years of tribulation before Christ returns. Suffice it to say, this point of view relies on an overly literal view of prophetic literature like Revelation that reads Western, rational ideas into figurative language that the original, first-century Jewish converts almost certainly read as symbolic. Not that I don't believe events in Revelation will not occur, but more on this later -- getting off-track again.

3. We are not all Baptist or Catholic. This may seem a strange comment, but in the few instances I've seen a church portrayed on TV, it was either Catholic or black Baptist. These are sort of extremes, and there's lots of in-between stuff. While I'm on the subject, it would be nice to see more religion in TV shows. I realize that producers are required to make only shows about twentysomething apartment dwellers in New York City, but it would be nice if they would talk about faith now and then or even pray, or go to church for something besides funerals or weddings. I thought Bruce Almighty was an excellent movie, by the way. I had some theological issues with it (I have theological issues with practically everything to the left of the esteemed French lawyer-turned-Swiss theologian John Calvin and the (infamous) Puritan Jonathan Edwards). Remind me sometime to blog about Puritans, and how they were not all that "puritanical". Oh wait, I don't have any readers. Never mind.

4. Don't assume I would like to take over the government, destroy the Constitution and establish a theocracy. Do you know how many Puritan Calvinists were among the Founding Fathers? Well, I'm not sure either, in that I don't have any exact numbers. But I'm reasonably certain it was at least a majority, if not an overwhelming one. I will try to find some actual statistics on that, but my point is that very few Christians are not overwhelmingly supportive of the First Amendment, even if we think that the ACLU takes separation of church and state quite a ways past the Founders' intent. I have never, ever met anyone who wanted a theocracy. At least, they didn't tell me so. Hmmm.

5. We are not all white. I myself am Asian Indian, although I admit I was adopted into a white family, and I've grown up in a middle-class, white community, and the vast majority of the people in my church are white (and Dutch, to boot, which is like, white beyond white. (The CRC (Christian Reformed Church) didn't even let people dance until recently, and it's easy to see why.) Well, if you're going to hold a stereotype, I suppose this would be the best one. Sigh.

6. Same goes for being middle-class. I live in a middle-class, mainly white neighborhood, but the Christian high school I attended was primarily lower-class Hispanic. I'd estimate 20% Dominican (from the Dominican Republic, not Catholic monks or whatever), 10% Mexican, 10% Some Other Hispanic, 20% black, 5% Asian (woohoo, that's my Ethnic Group!) and the rest (35%) white. A substantial portion of that white group, however, is missionary kids (MK's in evangelical, um, slang) -- they're poorer than any of us, believe me. By the way, you can tell Dominicans from Mexicans, and they get pissed if you confuse them. I assume other Hispanics are distinguishable, too, but I can't really do it. Oh, and I don't speak fluent Spanish, but I think I can tell the difference between Spanish Spanish and New World Spanish. Can you do that? Would a monolingual Hispanic be able to discriminate between an Englishman and an American? Email if you know (even if you don't) so I can be happy I have a reader. Or you could tell me how to get a web counter (I know squat about coding) so that I can obsessively check it every five minutes to see if anyone besides me has visited. Yes, I'm pathetic.

Posted by Tim at June 18, 2003 03:30 AM

Online Forex Trading

http://online-forex-trading.org Online Forex Trading

Posted by: Online Forex Trading at June 14, 2005 04:37 PM

currency exchange

http://currency-exchange-online.net currency exchange

Posted by: currency exchange at June 30, 2005 08:26 AM

pharmacy affiliate program pharmacy affiliate program

Posted by: pharmacy affiliate program at August 18, 2005 01:46 AM

backgammon real money

http://www.backgammon-real-money.com backgammon real money

Posted by: backgammon real money at September 6, 2005 06:29 AM

back gammon

http://www.back-gammon.org Back Gammon

Posted by: Back Gammon at September 7, 2005 07:09 AM

Software Downloads

http://oem-downloads.com Software Downloads

Posted by: Software Downloads at September 12, 2005 02:34 AM

best watches
http://best-watches.biz best watches

Posted by: best watches at September 13, 2005 03:13 PM

casino on the net

http://www.casino-on-the-net.net casino on the net

Posted by: casino on the net at September 15, 2005 07:59 PM

patek philippe
http://patek-philippe.name patek philippe

Posted by: patek philippe at September 22, 2005 08:51 PM

swiss rolex replica
http://swiss-rolex-replica.net swiss rolex replica

Posted by: swiss rolex replica at September 28, 2005 03:38 PM

tag heuer watches
http://tag-heuer-watches.com tag heuer watches

Posted by: tag heuer watches at October 1, 2005 04:26 AM

rolex daytona

https://rolex-daytona.org rolex daytona

Posted by: rolex daytona at October 4, 2005 12:26 PM

tag heuer
http://tag-heuer.name tag heuer

Posted by: tag heuer at October 9, 2005 07:45 PM

Rolex Replica

http://rolex-replica.name Rolex Replica

Posted by: Rolex Replica at October 10, 2005 02:32 PM

rolex dealer

http://rolex-dealer.net rolex dealer

Posted by: rolex dealer at October 11, 2005 09:46 AM

chrono swiss

http://chronoswiss.us chrono swiss

Posted by: chrono swiss at October 12, 2005 06:45 PM

omega watch
http://omega-watch.net omega watch

Posted by: omega watch at October 14, 2005 04:45 AM

hoodia cactus diet
hoodia cactus diet

Posted by: hoodia cactus diet at October 14, 2005 08:24 PM

man watch
http://man-watch.net man watch

Posted by: man watch at October 18, 2005 07:03 AM

hoodia cactus
hoodia cactus

Posted by: hoodia cactus at October 24, 2005 11:42 AM

וילה בטוסקנה

http://www.pianelli-tuscany.com/israel.htm וילה בטוסקנה

Posted by: וילה בטוסקנה at October 25, 2005 08:00 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?