You might be an evangelical if (by Mollie)

April 29th, 2009 Post by

The Rev. Tom Chryst has an awesome post to help you see how much you’re under the influence of evangelicalism. He’s taking suggestions for additional examples:

YOU MIGHT BE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF EVANGELICALISM IF:

You believe it’s important to be “Christian First, Lutheran Second”

You would rather have lunch with James Dobson than C.F.W. Walther

You believe the Great Commission is the central point of Christian teaching

You think that many Lutherans are too concerned about Doctrine

You’ve ever called someone a pharisee for defending a point of biblical teaching

You think that different Christian teachings needlessly offend people

You prefer to say “close” rather than “closed” communion

Your idea of close communion means that Christians from other denominations are probably “close enough”

You say things like, “we’ve just gotta get the young people involved at church”

You don’t see why an organ is more appropriate in church than a drum set

You prefer Group Publishing to CPH

You prefer Youth Specialties to Higher Things

You prefer Focus on the Family over Issues, Etc.

You think churches that are shrinking in size MUST be doing something very wrong
or
You think churches that are growing in size MUST be doing something very right

You think Lutherans believe “pretty much the same” as non-Lutherans

You think crucifixes and private confession are “too Catholic”

Your prayers contain the phrase, “Lord, we just…”

You repeat the mantra, “everything happens for a reason”

You think congregations should be “mission outposts” not “maintenance stations”

You believe the “marks of the church” include: stewardship, servanthood, and political activism

You think Confirmation is as important, or almost as important, as Holy Baptism

You believe that Holy Communion is between you and God, but has nothing to do with your neighbor


Categories: Mollie Hemingway Tags:




Rules for comments on this site:


Engage the contents and substance of the post. Rabbit trails and side issues do not help the discussion of the topics.  Our authors work hard to write these articles and it is a disservice to them to distract from the topic at hand.  If you have a topic you think is important to have an article or discussion on, we invite you to submit a request through the "Ask a Pastor" link or submit a guest article.


Provide a valid email address. If you’re unwilling to do this, we are unwilling to let you comment.


Provide at least your first name. Please try to come up with a unique name; if you have a common name add something to it so you aren't confused with another user. We have several "john"'s already for example.  If you have a good reason to use a fake name, please do so but realize that the administrators of the site expect a valid email address and also reserve the right to ask you for your name privately at any time.


If you post as more than one person from the same IP address, we’ll block that address.


Do not engage in ad hominem arguments. We will delete such comments, and will not be obligated to respond to any complaints (public or private ones) about deleting your comments.


Interaction between people leaving comments ought to reflect Christian virtue, interaction that is gracious and respectful, not judging motives.  If error is to be rebuked, evidence of the error ought to be provided.


We reserve the right to identify and deal with trollish behavior as we see fit and without apology.  This may include warnings (public or private ones) or banning.

  1. Jen
    April 29th, 2009 at 14:48 | #1

    I think I scored a 4.

  2. Ariel
    April 29th, 2009 at 15:37 | #2

    Oh man…I REALLY don’t like reading these things because there are so many in my congregation that would match these. I feel depressed now :(

  3. Steven Bobb
    April 29th, 2009 at 17:56 | #3

    One of my pastors is a “perfect” evangelical. :-(

  4. April 29th, 2009 at 21:47 | #4

    Ummm .. I scored a 1 .. I answered “yes” to the first one, because to be a Lutheran IS to be a Christian.

  5. April 29th, 2009 at 21:50 | #5

    You believe “I can convert someone to Christ”.
    You believe Balaam’s ass had a ministry.
    You believe the pastor of your church is a CEO or manager.
    You believe church services should be designed to appeal to the “unchurched”.
    You don’t like to refer to some people as “unrepentant sinners”.
    You believe that law should never be spoken in the presence of “seekers”.

  6. Ariel
    April 30th, 2009 at 07:37 | #6

    Jim, I think that first one is the worst one, and the most harmful.

  7. Elnathan the younger
    April 30th, 2009 at 08:08 | #7

    Great post as well as the comments. I wonder how of the LCMS.inc, pastors, teachers, bureaucrats, elected officials, etc. will understand most of the jibes.

    Again, great post! I’m going to share this with my bible class as soon as my kevlar clergy shirt arrives.

  8. Bill
    April 30th, 2009 at 10:14 | #8

    You prefer Sunday after Sunday (after Sunday) the songs of the Newsboys or the Baby Praise CDs to remove emphasis from the church calendar or weekly readings.

    You dread that one sermon a year about sin and the pastor best not mention death and the devil even if Jesus is the victor.

    Your church trims a weekly reading or two [perhaps even the gospel lesson] and your pastor finds it easier to preach on a Psalm with a cool illustration (or accompanied by a video) rather than on one of the weekly readings that remained.

    The parables are about what you need to do, rather than what Jesus has done for you.

  9. April 30th, 2009 at 10:15 | #9

    You believe that chanting the liturgy is “too ‘Katolisch’”.

  10. Steven Bobb
    April 30th, 2009 at 11:11 | #10

    Please, Please-Maybe Norm-we need all these complied so that we can distribute appropriately. THANKS!!! So very true and so very sad.

  11. Bubbles
    April 30th, 2009 at 11:29 | #11

    Liturgical sticks.

    Liturgical swaying.

    Clown ministry.

    Woman pastor.

    Unfortunately these are all real, and all at one church.

  12. Quinn M
    April 30th, 2009 at 13:12 | #12

    You use phrases like, “How many do your worship on a Sunday?” (The correct answer is one, BTW)

    You compare notes with other Christians on “how many people you’ve led to Jesus.”

    You complain that the Pastor’s sermon was too much about Baptism and not enough about “Life application.”

    You don’t see the problem with Liturgical Dance.

    You want to watch Rob Bell videos in church.

    You hink that the only reason the Pastor has his job and no one else does is because he has training and can parse Greek verbs.

    You would rather see your Pastor wearing casual ataire, or at the very worst, a suit, but NEVER a collar.

  13. rev. eckert
    April 30th, 2009 at 13:35 | #13

    Bubbles,

    What’s a “liturgical stick”?

    I am blessedly behind the times on such novelties.

  14. Darrel B.
    April 30th, 2009 at 14:17 | #14

    Could someone expound on “You repeat the mantra, “everything happens for a reason””.

    I have an idea what might be wrong there, but am not sure I’m thinking correctly.

  15. Pastor Tim Rossow
    April 30th, 2009 at 14:36 | #15

    Let me take a crack at it Darrel.

    According to the false piety of the Evangelicals, faith is expressed in some sort of fatalistic trust that God is in control. (This comes from thier Calvnist background but is also fed by their post-enlightement/suburban mentality to have everything make sense.

    According to Lutheran piety we actaully do live by faith. We don’t need everything to make sense. We keep our eyes fixed on the cross and our bellies filled with Christ’s body and blood and face sin and life’s struggles with the confidence that we are forgiven.

    TR

  16. Bubbles
    April 30th, 2009 at 14:57 | #16

    Sorry, I guess they aren’t liturgical sticks, they are a stick ministry. Believe it or not, this appears to be big stuff if you do a search for it. Never having seen it live, thanks be to God, I can’t figure out what it would have to do with anything, though I’m told it’s very meaningful.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUgBnWWoeg8

    Liturgical Flags! Yes, it’s not liturgical sway, it’s liturgical flags! Wowzers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pywBw6X_GDE

    Pastor, can we have a flag ministry? PLEAZE?

  17. John Hooss
    April 30th, 2009 at 15:33 | #17

    Bubbles.
    ah. wow. That was, er, ah, interesting.

    When we go camping we have a stick ministry, then I set them ablaze. That’s lutheran, isn’t it?

    John

  18. April 30th, 2009 at 17:13 | #18

    * The syllabi for the church-work courses you teach at Concordia University (pick one) include textbooks by Carl George, Rick Warren, Loren Mead, Kent Hunter, David Leucke, C. Peter Wagner, Donald McGavran, John Maxwell, Reggie McNeal, Lee Strobel, ad nauseam

    * You think you can change the population of heaven or hell by your evangelistic efforts

    * You think the nation of Israel has a role in end-times Biblical prophecy

    * You think the goal of worship is to have a “meaningful experience”

    * You think “The Prayer of Jabez” belongs on your bookshelf rather than on the bottom of your birdcage

  19. Ray
    April 30th, 2009 at 19:31 | #19

    You think that personal testimonies and stories of life change are the best ways to get people to accept Jesus.

    You think that you’re saved by accepting Jesus.

    You think that the guy you call “pastor” is also your life coach, marriage counselor, financial analyst, and sex therapist.

  20. Off Topic Again -sorry
    April 30th, 2009 at 22:39 | #20

    “Did the Jewish people dance as part of their worship in the Temple? Many of David’s psalms mention dance and praise.” (my question)

    The Rabbi’s response:

    Shalom

    Temple services were solemn events, and not a time or place for dancing.

    Regards, Eliahu Levenson

    Just so you all know – I am tired of the liturgical _______
    (fill in the blank stuff) I asked a Rabbi – that’s what he said. It’s good enough for me – no dance, no sticks, no flags!!!!!

  21. Mike
    May 1st, 2009 at 08:36 | #21

    * You agree with your Pastor basing his sermon on the purpose driven life, and then well since the sermon is based on the book, we should read excerpts from the book before the sermon (in lieu of the gospel).

    Yep, that actually happened at an “LCMS” church.

  22. helen
    May 1st, 2009 at 12:46 | #22

    Oy veh!

  23. Karl
    May 1st, 2009 at 16:27 | #23

    If you discard the Communion Chalice in favor of trays of throw-away plastic cups, the center ones filled with unfermented grape juice.

  24. Tlotliso
    May 2nd, 2009 at 02:50 | #24

    #1 is a tough one. I would much rather identify myself as a Christian first, not because I’m ashamed to be Lutheran, but because of Acts 11:26. And if Luther had his druthers he probably wouldn’t have wanted to have a church named after him in the first place.

    DCO Tom- thumbs up on the insightful “Jabez” comment. I’m with you all the way.

    BTW, if anyone can tell me what the deal is with Rob Bell, I’d appreciate it. Only one past experience has taught me to run the other way when the words “Rob Bell video” are connected to any event, but other than that I know nothing about the man.

  25. John M., aka RespectfulRebel
    May 2nd, 2009 at 23:18 | #25

    Let’s go a little easy on James Dobson and ‘Focus on the Family.’ Over the years, Dobson has been extra scrupulous to avoid overt ‘denominationalism,’ and especially to avoid being labeled as an ‘evangelicalofundy.’ Besides, he has an entirely separate mission, more in parallel with us than in competition. ;-)

  26. RespectfulRebel
    May 2nd, 2009 at 23:55 | #26

    Darn! Almost forgot the most important point: Dobson is a child psychologist with a socially conservative and traditionalist worldview, not a theologian. As for lunch, yeah, Walther would be cool, but I’d really like to sit down with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, so I could figure out some of the murkiness in his theology; failing that, my old mentor John Warwick Montgomery would do nicely, or even Pastors Wilken, Cwirla, or that wild Italian guy Donofrio. Then I could die happily of theology overload. :-)

  27. May 4th, 2009 at 20:23 | #27

    Tlotliso, a good resource explaining Rob Bell is http://www.extremetheology.com/rob-bell/

    RespectfulRebel, I must respectfully disagree with your assessment of Dr. Dobson. While Focus on the Family may have a separate mission, the problem is that many in American evangelicalism confuse what Dobson is doing with an actual Christ-centered ministry. If I’m not mistaken, the family is his focus. What he’s doing isn’t wrong, per se, but it isn’t right, either. The problem is that what Focus on the Family does as a para-church organization comes too close to what many churches do on a week-to-week basis – they’re “seeker” and “family” friendly, but often to the exclusion of the preaching of properly distinguished Law and Gospel.

    Personally, I’d rather have lunch with James Dobson because I much prefer having lunch with people who are living. The conversations tend to be less one-sided.

    However, if I were having lunch with the Field Marshall, Wilken, Cwirla, and Donofrio, I’d surely ask myself, “What am I doing here among such illustrious company?” Then I’d probably wet my pants and excuse myself to the restroom.

  28. Tlotliso
    May 4th, 2009 at 22:15 | #28

    Thanks, Scott- that was helpful. Wow…”discovering the Bible as a human product.” Very interesting indeed.

  29. Ariel
    May 5th, 2009 at 08:18 | #29

    Karl,

    This is exactly the same situation at my congregation. When taking Communion at this congregation for the first time, I kept waiting for the common cup, which never came. Later on, during the “Basics” class (adult confirmation/new member orientation class here) I asked what happened to the common cup, and the class leader informed me that they simply don’t do that anymore.

  30. Heartbroken
    May 5th, 2009 at 18:54 | #30

    Ariel,
    From reading your posts, you sound unhappy in your current congregation, as it seems less than confessional in some respects.
    Are there no other congregations in your area that are steadfast in their practices?
    If you are comfortable, you could post on this site, and those that are familiar with your area could recommend alternatives. If I recall correctly, you are in Michigan?

  31. Karl
    May 6th, 2009 at 20:07 | #31

    Ariel,
    I would demand equal time. Most of the time the people that insist on using individual cups FOR EVERYONE are aggressive, obnoxious, and intent on imposing their will upon the congregation, regardless of the feelings of others. I don’t have qualms about giving individual administration to those who have personal issues. But there will always be a significant number of people who sincerely desire the use of the chalice and that ought not to be denied them. There is plenty of ammunition availble debunking the health hazard issue. In this wishy washy protestant environment, there is a place for confessional aggressiveness.

If you have problems commenting on this site, or need to change a comment after it has been posted on the site, please contact us. For help with getting your comment formatted, click here.
Subscribe to comments feed  ..  Subscribe to comments feed for this post
Anonymous comments are welcome on this board, but we do require a valid email address so the admins can verify who you are. Please try to come up with a unique name; if you have a common name add something to it so you aren't confused with another user. We have several "john"'s already for example. Email addresses are kept private on this site, and only available to the site admins. Comments posted without a valid email address may not be published. Want an icon to identify your comment? See this page to see how.
*

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.