21st Century Evangelicals

It’s a new day. During the 20th century Evangelicals spent more money spreading the Gospel than ever before. We printed more Bibles, built more Bible schools, seminaries, hospitals, and camps than in any other century. We now have more television stations, radio stations, missionaries, bumper stickers, t-shirts and churches than ever before. We did a great job spreading the message that the Bible is the Word of God, Jesus is the Son of God, and that all of us need to be born-again. One would think we should be headed into a positive future.

But as every political campaign and, sadly, too many sermons remind us, if we get off message, we lose. 20th Century Evangelicalism got way off message. Now our gods are attendance and money, our core aim is maintaining a good reputation, and our message is some strange amalgamation of Old Testament Law, New Testament grace, and the most recent cultural trends. As a result, we are powerless, mediocre, and many of our so-called bishops and apostles are nothing more clouds without rain.

It’s time for a 21st Century Evangelicalism to arise. But it can’t be the message of the 20th Century made cool with graphics, videos, jeans and goatees. Simple iEvangelicalism or Evangelicalism 2.0 won’t do. I believe 20th Century Evangelicalism is known as a hate group by so many because. . . we actually became a hate group to many. We don’t need a repackaging, we need to discover our New Testament center. We need to start again, and evaluate the New Testament in light of current realities and revisit our purpose in Christ. The focus of this blog is to contemplate the central themes of Evangelicalism– theologically, socially, and structurally– and suggest some New Testament revisions. Many of these ideas we have explored at the Roundtables on Life-Giving Leadership, which are springing up around the country. My intent with these blogs is a life-giving journey. My prayer is that this journey causes us to become exactly what Christ intended, an authentic body of believers, all gratefully redeemed.

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8 thoughts on “21st Century Evangelicals

  1. Michael says:

    Right on Ted. We must become living epistles.

  2. Ted, I’m glad to read your post and I endorse your heart and vision. I too was part of the 20th Century model and fell and broke down. For me the future is found in going back to the message of the Kingdom, you know the things Jesus said when He introduced the concept in his synagogue. I’m being put together as I learn to love God and love our neighbor as I love myself.

  3. Hi Ted…Glad to see you are blogging…It is a wonderful way to spread what the Lord lays upon your heart.. Love ya Darrell

  4. BTW Great blog 🙂

  5. Thanks for this Pastor Ted. We are so excited to be a part of this powerful Life-Giving Movement! Keep on spreading grace my friend.

  6. Victoria says:

    I remember telling my husband that you could always spot an evangelical because they had a goatee and a starbucks in their hand. Re-teaching the need for restoration will embraced by so many but dare I say that also many will dig their heels in and reject it. Well, that sounds very NT to me!

  7. Pastor Ted, I count myself as one of your supporters, although I am a free thinker, I appreciate what you are doing with your life. I was a 20th century Evangelical, the hate that is all to evident and the life and faith crisis prompted me to be an agnostic. Nevertheless, I do appreciate your blogging. Good luck, I will check in from time to time. Ben.

    • mharmon1960 says:

      Benjamin, all believers are agnostic in that if we had irrefutable proof, we wouldn’t need faith. Doubt is not sin, doubt is the basis for faith. Brother, in the 80’s, I was right where you are, and I think I may understand a little of how you might feel. What I had to do was to shut out what the world was saying and even shut out what my church was teaching, I got alone with God and poured my heart out to him. It took almost six months for me to realize that God had been speaking to me all along. I empathize with your situation and pray that you will not let the doubt drown out your faith.

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