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Define evangelical Christian for me please

sueinphillysueinphilly Registered User Posts: 4,207 Senior Member
I don't understand what the difference is between a regular Christian and an evangelical Christian.

I barely understand the difference btw Catholic and the rest of the kinds of Christian (baptist, lutheran, etc.)

In a prior post of mine, I referred to wanting "freedom FROM religion". I want to clarify. I don't want to hear about religion in relationship to all the other things in life. IMO, religion (or lack thereof) is a PRIVATE matter. I don't care which one you are. I don't want it to influence the LAW and my everyday life.

I'm tired of religion being shoved in my face.
Post edited by sueinphilly on

Replies to: Define evangelical Christian for me please

  • lealdragonlealdragon Registered User Posts: 3,204 Member
    I think you already defined it.
  • SBmomSBmom Registered User Posts: 5,725 Senior Member
    Evangelizing = spreading the word.

    (Or, If an evangelical wrote this, "spreading the Word.")

    They can be Lutheran, Methodist, etc. It isn't a denomination.
  • sueinphillysueinphilly Registered User Posts: 4,207 Senior Member
    so what makes someone a non-evangelical. they just do 'religion' in private?

    I gave up on religion when I was told that being kosher meant I couldn't have cheese on my burger because 5000+ years ago someone made it a 'rule'. And that to be a Jew who had a cheeseburger made you 'this kind of Jew' vs 'that kind of Jew'. At that point I just became a child of the universal God of mankind, the generic God :-)
  • lealdragonlealdragon Registered User Posts: 3,204 Member
    I'm not an Evangelical Christian, so maybe it would be better for them to tell us the definition.

    From a non-Evangelical's perspective, I have no problem with anyone trying to 'spread the word' about whatever they believe in. It's the HOW that matters. As with any group, some are nice and respectful and others are not. Whether it's the bible, saving the environment, vegetarianism, or whatever, generally people are ok with it if done respectfully; it's when people try to impose their beliefs on others who don't want it that it becomes intrusive.
  • StickerShockStickerShock Registered User Posts: 3,781 Senior Member
    Sue, for someone who is so adamant that religion be a PRIVATE matter, you sure do post about it a great deal on a PUBLIC message board.
  • sueinphillysueinphilly Registered User Posts: 4,207 Senior Member
    the "how".

    YES. that 'how' means keeping it far far away from the law.

    IOW, you can agree that abortion should be legal knowing that you would never get one based on your PERSONAL belief.

    Separation of church and state... not incorporation of, as some politicians would like to impose on us.
  • sueinphillysueinphilly Registered User Posts: 4,207 Senior Member
    Private in "out of the law", I have no problem with a discussion that I Choose to engage in.
  • lealdragonlealdragon Registered User Posts: 3,204 Member
    I agree about separation of church and state. I, like you, have rejected organized religion (though I have a strong belief in a Cosmic Creator) and I don't want to be told what I should believe or have laws passed based on a book that I consider only a history book.

    However, I disagree about abortion. Abortion is not a religious issue, even though it's often painted as such, primarily because many anti-abortion (not necessarily synonymous with 'pro-life') people are religious.

    Abortion is a human rights issue.
  • sueinphillysueinphilly Registered User Posts: 4,207 Senior Member
    there's a whole other thread for that discussion :-)

    Not going there!
  • lealdragonlealdragon Registered User Posts: 3,204 Member
    OK, but you are the one who brought it up. ;)
  • lealdragonlealdragon Registered User Posts: 3,204 Member
    Getting back to the original topic, it's going to be difficult to say much else without offending those who classify themselves as Evangelicals. Although, I don't recall anyone on cc describing themselves as such, though I'm sure there are plenty here who are. It would be interesting to hear from them.
  • HisGraceFillsMeHisGraceFillsMe Registered User Posts: 4,782 Senior Member
    I'll throw in my two cents as a Christian.

    Evangelism (to my knowledge) is not a denomination. I go to a church that is Nondenominational, meaning just like it sounds, we don't really follow any of the denominations. Not to be confused with Interdenominational, which pulls a little from each.

    Anyway. This is largely my church's belief on Evangelism:

    "Spread the gospel, and if you have to, use words."

    We don't do that whole "I'm only going to love you if I can turn you into a Christian." We don't shove our religion down your throat.

    Basically, our hope is that by living the best life we can (from a Christian standpoint ie sinning as little as possible, studying the Bible, praying often, etc.), people will notice that something is different about us and ask us what it is.

    With my close friends, I'm a little more open about my faith. I talk about it with them often, and every once in a while I'll invite them to come to church with me...but if they say "no", I don't press them on it. I understand how it feels to have someone try and press religion upon you, since I've only been Christian for three years.

    On a separate note, I'm all for separation of church and state. One of the best things about America (IMHO) is that we can worship any God (or gods, or lackthereof) we choose, any way we choose. I also believe that abortion needs to be legal. I would never get an abortion, and I would explain to my friends why I thought they shouldn't get one (although I would support them even if they did decide to get one), but as a woman and a feminist, I have a VERY large problem with the government telling me what I can or cannot do with my body.

    Anyway, back to the point. Some may disagree with me, but that's my view on Evangelism. Most Christians are Evangelistic, simply by going on missions trips, spreading the word to friends, etc. It doesn't have to be going door-to-door and forcing people to believe you.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Super Moderator Posts: 14,612 Super Moderator
    An Evangelical Christian believes in helping others to believe as he/she believes. It is the evangelical's mission to bring others to Jesus. The non-evangelical is not motivated by a need to convert as he/she lives a Christian life.

    Here is a simple example: A young evangelical woman I know went on a trip to Nepal with other youth. They talked to people they met about Jesus & how belief in Jesus would make their lives better. That is all they did on the trip. A non-evangelical would probably not see the point to making that long, expensive trip simply to talk.

    Christians believe in the same Bible, but they have many different ways of interpreting what the words in that Bible mean. For this reason, separation of church & state makes sense, even if you believe we are a Christian nation.
  • sueinphillysueinphilly Registered User Posts: 4,207 Senior Member
    thank you for the explanation. I didn't really get it before.

    I watch too much politics on tv ;-)
  • kelsmomkelsmom Super Moderator Posts: 14,612 Super Moderator
    Grace's post reminds me that there is more than one way of looking at things! Her evangelical beliefs are different than the evangelical beliefs one sees front & center in the world of politics. My explanation was really unfair to people like Grace.

    Jimmy Carter is an evangelical Christian. In office, he did not attempt to make others believe as he did. His strong Christian beliefs did guide his actions, but he did not try to pass laws that would impress his religion on the American public.

    Mike Huckabee wears his evangelism a bit differently. I think that is what many today view as the typical evangelical Christian ... right or wrong, that is what is associated with the term in politics today.
This discussion has been closed.