By that I mean:
- I believe the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God.
- I believe in the Trinity – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – coequal and coeternal.
- I believe in the virgin birth of Christ.
- I believe in the literal resurrection of Christ (and of us) and a real, physical, visible return of Jesus.
- I believe Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only life.
- I believe it is my responsibility to be an evangelist, sharing the good news of Jesus with as many people as possible.
- I believe in all the miracles of Scripture.
- I believe Moses crossed the Red Sea, not the Sea of Reeds.
- I believe in a literal heaven and a literal hell.
But while I consider myself to be an evangelical I often find myself at odds with other evangelicals, mainly on social-issues. So I guess, in reality, I am a contrarian evangelical.
By that I mean:
- I am pro-life. I believe abortion is murder. However, our “all or nothing” approach to abortion laws has not gotten us anywhere. If Roe vs. Wade was overturned tomorrow all that would happen would be the decisions would return to the States, and so really, not much would change. A better approach would be as we petition Congress for stricter abortion laws we also work with pro-choice people to figure out a way to drastically reduce the number of abortions in our country.
- By “pro-life” I mean all human life. I am against capital punishment and it troubles me how quickly many evangelicals want to go to war. I believe we need to talk more in terms of an overall ethic of life. Speaking of war…
- I believe war is, as a last resort, necessary and can be justified. However, hindsight being 20/20, I believe some of our more recent conflicts have not followed the Just War Theory which, in part, is based on Christian principles.
- I believe our country is broke. We need to be more fiscally responsible. We need to balance the budget, but we don’t need to do so on the backs of the poor and disadvantaged. We need to cut spending wastes, and probably need to make cuts across the board, but we must be careful not to harm those who need help the most. I believe, contrary to popular opinion, most people receiving governmental assistance are neither lazy nor free-loaders.
- I believe marriage is the monogamous relationship between a man and a woman. I believe this definition to not only be Scriptural but best for the over-all health of society. I am opposed to same sex “marriage.” However, everyone is created in the image of God regardless of sexual orientation and should thus be treated with respect. I see “civil-unions” as a positive compromise. While I would never officiate such a union, I would not stand in the way of others doing so.
- I believe in the 2nd Amendment. I even think the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting and everything to do with the right to protect yourself from tyranny. I don’t own any guns and I don’t want to take your guns away. However, I believe our country’s love affair with guns and violence has gotten out of control. Somehow we have got to figure out a way to uphold the 2nd Amendment but make owning guns a little more difficult and holding gun owners a little more responsible. I, for one, do not want to live in the Wild, Wild West.
- I think both major political parties are equally good and equally bad, equally moral and equally immoral.
- I believe to the core of my very being that it is our responsibility to care for the widows, orphans, immigrants (legal & illegal) and the poor. At the macro-level, I am to encourage my government to do so. At the micro-level, I am to be personally involved in speaking out for the voiceless and leading my church to do the same.
- While I prefer capitalism over socialism, both are flawed economic systems with their strengths and weaknesses, and one is no more (or less) biblical than the other.
- While I reject the idea of redistribution of wealth I am in favor of redistribution of generosity and a re-doing of priorities.
- I believe social justice is biblical justice and biblical justice is social justice.
- I do not consider myself a “tree-hugger” but I do believe we have a biblical mandate to be stewards of creation.
- I think the United States is the best country in the world and a force for good in the world. I would rather live here than anywhere else. But I also know that is my own ethnocentrism speaking. I do not believe the United States has some divinely given right that makes her better than everyone else. Ultimately, my first citizenship is in the Kingdom of God.
- I think we must stand with Israel. However, standing with Israel does not mean we side with the Israeli government on all issue. We do have an obligation to speak out when they violate their own borders and speak up for the tens of thousands of Palestinian Christians and anti-Hamas Muslim who have been mistreated, persecuted, and caught in the cross-fire.
- I uphold my right to grow and learn and change my opinion on things, but this is where I am at this moment in time.
- In no way do I think I am more “pious”, “spiritual,” or better than anyone else. In fact, quite the contrary. I consider myself to be the “chief of all sinners” and I freely admit I could be wrong. I am simply one person striving to live out my faith in Jesus the best way I know how.
It ain’t easy being a contrarian evangelical.
But I try.
Are there any other contrarian evangelicals out there, or am I all alone?