Why I Dropped the Label Evangelical

For those of you who are Christians, do you use another label to describe what type of Christian you are? I used to. I wrote for the Washington Post today about why that changed: Why I am ditching the label ‘evangelical’ in the Trump era

For years, I have called myself an evangelical. I don’t fit the profile of an average evangelical, a subcategory of Protestant Christian, if I look at a recent survey from the Pew Research Center. I live in Connecticut. I have voted for both Democrats and Republicans. I have a master’s degree, as does my husband, and our income is higher than the majority of evangelicals. But I do line up in terms of many evangelical behaviors and beliefs. I read the Bible and pray regularly. I believe in heaven. We go to church as a family.

In the past, I cherished the term “evangelical” because of its literal meaning. It comes from the Greek word euangelion, which means “good news.” An evangelical, etymologically speaking, is a bearer of the good news. I love that.

Christians have debated the usefulness of this label for years, and the critiques and concerns have only become more prevalent since the presidential election. In a recent post calling for an end to the term “evangelical,” theologian and writer Scot McKnight details the ways evangelicalism has become identified with Republican politics. Indeed, 80 percent of self-described white evangelicals who voted in the 2016 election supported President Trump, and that group’s support for him remains strong….

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