A good friend asked me the other day why my harshest critiques — at least on my blog, Facebook and Twitter — are reserved for evangelicals? And why I rarely if ever critique liberal churches, mainline churches, etc?
Why do I critique evangelicalism?
Because I am an evangelical.
I critique from within the community of faith — not attacking it from outside.
I challenge my brothers and sisters to embrace grace and gospel; to model the radical inclusivity of Christ; to live out their faith with Kingdom values as followers of our King.
I also critique evangelicals because the stakes are higher.
To be honest, I do not care if elements of the LGBT community or liberal press are hostile towards Christians. It matters not to me at all. Welcome to the diaspora… where we are foreigners and aliens on mission together.
But when evangelicals attack, exclude, condemn, bully and brutalize… I believe there are eternal consequences. And this matters a great deal to me. So I challenge it.
Maybe if I was a mainline liberal (in terms of theology), I would reserve my critiques to mainline liberalism. But I am not — so I will leave that to someone else.
I am an evangelical. So I will call evangelicals to be the church God intends us to be. And I will criticize, challenge and chastise accordingly… because Jesus desires His Bride to be pure and righteous and full of justice and compassion and mercy and grace…
Part of the problem for me, is that I went along with the “party line” against LGBT folks for so long… and many people got hurt. I know LGBT folks who today are not following Jesus because of the damage done by well-meaning but terribly-wrong evangelicals. My critic voice is part of my penance.
And so I will continue to call out in us (as evangelicals) those areas that need to be called out… praying that we (as evangelicals) would heed the call and seek increasing justice, compassion, mercy and grace in the name of Jesus Christ.