“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3: 17)”
Usually, I write a prayer or poem for Christmas. This year, however, I felt compelled to do something different because it seems some media outlets mistakenly paint Christian evangelicals with a broad brush as self-serving, bullies, mean-spirited, unethical, fence-walkers, those who only condemn what or when it is in their interest to denounce.
Evangelicals are not a monolith. Instead, they are a diverse group of disciples of Christ trying to glorify God by following the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are present in every Christian denomination, and they represent every ethnicity and social and economic class. They work in every field and live in every neighborhood.
They are compassionate, caring people who, by the grace of God, try to behave justly, and they pray for the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth. They demonstrate mercy toward others because God is merciful.
The following is a summary of what many evangelicals believe.
An Evangelical Declaration
- God is sovereign and is present all the time in every place
- The Bible, consisting of the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) and the New Testament, is God’s inerrant word
- Salvation is by grace, not by works, and comes only through Christ Jesus
- God is no respecter of persons because redemption is available to all who repent and accept Jesus Christ as Lord
- The Lord, our God, is one Triune, -Creator (Father), Redeemer (Jesus, Savior), and Sustainer (Holy Spirit)
- God loves all people, including sinners – of which I am one who is saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
- We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead and in everlasting life
- We believe Jesus is the Messiah prophesied about by the Hebrew prophets
- We believe Scripture teaches God’s people are to behave justly and practice mercy
- We believe Jesus will come again to redeem the Church
- We believe the Church is three dimensional- the spotless Church of Christ, the church within each believer, and the church as an organized body of believers
- We believe in freewill – mortals have the God-given ability to choose between right and wrong
- We believe the Church is one body consisting of different parts
- Jesus is the head of the Church