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The Remnant Evangelicals

April 7, 2014

I have read a number of blog posts recently about an exodus of Christians from the evangelical denominations to mainline denominations. The issues they cite for their decisions are not only valid, but quite compelling. The issues are varied, but the underlying issue is the leadership, more specifically the talking heads of the denominations under the evangelical flag. Their “my way or the highway” attitude has turned many away. The talking heads present themselves as the highest authorities on Biblical interpretation and anyone who disagrees with them is wrong. Again, I understand why people are leaving.

The thing I have seen that disturbs me is the negative attitude towards those of us who have chosen to stay in a denomination which is identified as evangelical. Not all of us subscribe to the ideas of the major figureheads of the evangelical-political movement. For example, I find myself agreeing more with Peter Enns, Walter Brueggemann, and Gregory Boyd than I do John Piper, Al Mohler, and Russell Moore. In other words, I theologically lean towards the former and not the later. So why do I stay in the camp?

I stay in the camp because I believe there is still a difference to be made. There are still people learn wanting to learn and grow. There are still young adults who need better than previous generations received. There is a place in these denominations for pastors and teachers who are willing to challenge people to think independently, to research what they are taught and ask difficult questions. I am not saying you should challenge the authority structure for no reason, but you should verify everything taught and preached to you. Learn the material for yourself.

What am I asking those who have left the evangelical camp? Consider your words carefully when you critique those of us who have stayed behind as a remnant in the evangelical church. We are teaching and preaching to people. We are asking people to think and research for on their own. We want them to verify the accuracy of our preaching and teaching. We ask them to service the communities around them, and to love the stranger and the downtrodden. We are a group who is teaching grace, mercy, and hope. We would like to hear the support and encouragement from those who have moved on to other denominations. After all, we are all still working to further the kingdom of God.

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