Thought Question: 10 Things Evangelicals Should Stop

From Efrem Smith

Ten Things I Wish Evangelicals Would Stop Doing –

10.) Act as if justice is simply a social issue and not a biblical one.

9.) Reduce the Christian life to individualism.

8.) Major in the minors theologically.

7.) Stop saying “hate the sin, but love the sinner” when we don’t do it.

6.) Feel comfortable with segregated church.

5.) Confuse political ideology with biblical theology.

4.) Act as if race, class, and gender are no longer issues to be dealt with.

3.) Avoid prophetic preaching.

2.) Missing out on being blessed by women in pastoral leadership.

1.) Ignoring the biblical mandate of reconciliation.

What do you think? Agree or disagree?

Avatar of Jay Guin

About Jay Guin

I am an elder, a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ. I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama. I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.
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12 Responses to Thought Question: 10 Things Evangelicals Should Stop

  1. One thing I wish evangelicals would stop doing:

    Grouping people around vague titles like "evangelical" and accusing them of doing self-contradictory things in circles that don't make any sense.

    I would much rather someone write something in a clear, straightforward manner, i.e., say what they intend to say instead of hiding behind confusing cliches.

  2. Bob Brandon says:

    Love the individual, not the individualism.

  3. David P Himes says:

    There seems to be a somewhat inherent contradiction for believers between community and individuals.

    We are saved by our individual faith, but our response to that salvation is to be focused on others and, thus, be part of a community.

    I do not see a way to separate community and the individual, for disciples of Jesus.

  4. brian says:

    I would love for you do a series on Justice.

    the justice the prophets were talking about including judgment on the oppressor, right? we leave that part out.

    and isn't justice and righteousness the same word in Greek and Hebrew? how can we emphasize care for the poor (which is very important) over other manifestations of right living and being right with God?

  5. Alp36 says:

    I think #5 applies to just about every preacher as well as every elder and member I know. They all think that God must be a member of (a particular American political party).

    And because God is a member of that party we should also support that party in everything they want to do.

    My father told me at a very young age, when I asked why more members of the church did not become active in politics, that there were two professions a Christian should not be – Barkeeper and Politician. After working for a Christian politician for 5 years I can attest that he was correct, at least about politicians.

    I suppose I am destine to swim up-stream all my life.

  6. Grizz says:

    Jay,

    To answer your question, I agree. 10 for 10 on what he included. We might differ on whether these are the very TOP ten things, but on what he includes, I agree.

    Blessings,

    Grizz

  7. Price says:

    I'm with Grizz…

  8. abasnar says:

    Who put this list together surely was not an Evangelical (even though beloning to an Evangelical denomination). So, in a way he is pointing a finger at the Evangelicals urging them to stop doing what he disagrees with.

    There are points that sound valid, but I'd like to know more about the expectation behind it.

    I'll go down the list, point for point to make clear what I mean with this:

    10.) Act as if justice is simply a social issue and not a biblical one.

    What is meant with this? If we are just urged to do good to all people, to help the needy and to serve the poor. I do agree. this is one of the key commands of Christ. It is a sad truth that this has been placed into the hands of the society in general while focussing on preachng the Gospel. But there is a big chunk of the Gospel missing by leaving out Christ's core commands.

    9.) Reduce the Christian life to individualism.

    A valid criticism – not only for the church, but the church follows the trends of society. Fellowship is the alternative to individualism; but also what I would call "corporate obedience". I cant't imagine the author envisions this …

    8.) Major in the minors theologically.

    This is a big statement – but it does not help unless you show what is major and what is minor.

    7.) Stop saying “hate the sin, but love the sinner” when we don’t do it.

    Big brush, too. You cannot generalize like this. Yes, there is hyprocrisy in the churches, but what does he mean? Shall we put an end to church discipline? Shall we stop calling sin a sin?

    6.) Feel comfortable with segregated church.

    We MUST be separated from the world. I'd rather be uncomfortable with a church that isn't, because God's judgement will come on such a congregation.

    If he means by "segregation" making a church for each race individually (blacks and whites) I must agree with him. This is unbiblical.

    5.) Confuse political ideology with biblical theology.

    Amen. Christians cannot be involved in any of the political parties with getting in conflict with God's Word. But maybe that's not what he means with this …

    In fact, my impression is that he is just as political as the "conservatives" (Republicans), just on the "liberal" (Democrat) side.

    4.) Act as if race, class, and gender are no longer issues to be dealt with.

    As soon as a congregation has overcome these distinctions, it surely is dealt with in their specific situation. From then on they should just demonstrate brotherly love-

    3.) Avoid prophetic preaching.

    Hard to imagine, what he understands with "prophetic preaching". I'd say two things: a) Preach the Kingdom; b) Preach from God's Word. If that's not prophetic in itself …

    2.) Missing out on being blessed by women in pastoral leadership.

    A prophetic word for this brother: He wont be recognized (1Co 14:38)!

    1.) Ignoring the biblical mandate of reconciliation.

    Again this is quite a big brush. When the Gospel is preached, dont we focus on reconciliation between God an mankind, and between former enemies?

    But he still thinks that there is racial discrimination. I don't know how it really is in the US. But I think pointing this out in this way (as on his Blog) might be just a way of keeping these distinctions alive – I have mixed feelings.

    In summary (also after a glance at his Blog): Most of his points are a result of his viewing himself as part of a discriminated race (Afro American). This shapes the way he puts his criticism, and in this he is being unfair to many honest Evangelicals.

    Alexander

  9. Skip Gross says:

    One thing I wish evangelicals would quit doing is trying to build churches through events, programs, and catchy themes. Event or program driven churches are only superficially growing and as soon as the event or program ends, the church begins to shrink again.

    Rather we should grow by deeply loving God and deeply loving others.

  10. guy says:

    Even though i agree with the sentiment of some things on this list, i'm just not sure these kinds of things are as helpful as i used to think, nor are they nearly as prophetic as they're made out to be. Such statements just seem platitudinous. It seems to me they simply rouse the home team (like much of what is said by campaigning politicians), but do nothing to welcome or engender discussion with the opposing team. And as Alexander points out, they're vague (in fact, i think they have to be vague to have their intended effect). Seems to me, even some on the 'opposing side' could still agree with these statements just because of how vaguely they're worded, and if they were worded more sharply, they may even fail to unify all the home-team members.

    –guy

  11. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    brian,

    I've not got a series on justice as such planned, but the topic will come up in the Real Restoration series fairly soon.

  12. Chris Pierson says:

    I wish evangelicals would stop making lists that are brief and can be interpreted many different ways and in the end give us a sense of righteousness that isn't of Christ.

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