The term “evangelical” has, unfortunately, become short-hand for politically conservative Christians. USA Today asks if the word can recover.
Will the word continue to drift into a pejorative realm with “fundamentalist,” losing the meaning forever?
Can it be “born again” with a renewed emphasis on what being an evangelical means and what it doesn’t mean?
I see no way to recapture the terminology. It has become fastened within society’s lexicon and apart from those who claim the title, most hold a negative view of those associated with it.
What was odd or at least telling about the USA Today article was their method of restoring the term seemed to coincide with evangelicals becoming more liberal or shifting toward the Democrats.
To me, the way to bring back the actual meaning of the term is to downplay any and all connections to politics and focus on the doctrinal teachings common to all evangelicals.
It’s not that evangelicals should not be involved in politics or allow their faith to influence their voting, but they should realize that politics are of secondary concern to evangelicals – especially since the term means “messengers of the good news” of Jesus.