Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has taken away the “evangelical” in the label and replaced it with “gospel.” His preference now is to be labeled a “gospel Christian.”
We’re into labels, but sometimes we don’t get a choice. In our culture, “evangelical” is something that was put into place to separate some conservative theological Christians from “fundamentalists.” Then, it has become a moniker used by media and pollster to try and describe a “voting bloc.”
He pointed to the conflation of “evangelical” with an election-year voting bloc. He noted polls don’t distinguish between churchgoers and those who self-identify as evangelical but who “may well be drunk right now, and haven’t been into a church since someone invited them to a Vacation Bible School sometime back when Seinfeld was in first-run episodes.”
Even for “evangelicals” it has become too broad. We’ve become more “cultural” than “Christian” in many ways.
I think I may join him. This election is drawing out such nastiness, even among people I would consider Christian in some way, I’m done aligning myself as a voting bloc. I don’t hate people for one thing. I don’t blame others (especially the marginalized) for issues I may be facing. I don’t have to have someone to target and intentionally put down to be able to put forward ideas that would make our nation run better.
I will also not be “scared silent” anymore, as Moore puts it. There is too much poison in the atmosphere and it has reached a point of grief for me. It doesn’t mean I’m not “politically active.”
What it will probably mean is I won’t be your token statistic anymore.