The Conservative-Evangelical Oxymoron

I realize that a category that has been bandied about in American culture for a couple of decades is an impossibility.  A cross-section of Christians have been calling themselves “conservative-evangelicals.” I guess I’ve resolved to the fact that never the two shall meet.

Evangelical means desiring to bear good news to the world.  It’s the guy who understands his daily life as a mission to follow Jesus, and, specifically, to talk about him with people who don’t know him.  Paul was fundamentally evangelical.  It means being willing to adapt and experiment in order to get into the context of those who don’t know Jesus.  The evangelical will learn languages, change clothes, hang out where he’s never hung out before.

The conservative is just the opposite.  The conservative wants things the same.  The conservative is not going to learn a new language, he’s going to tell others that if they want in, they have to learn his language.  He’s not going to change clothes.  He doesn’t adapt, because adaptation is for the liberals.

I wonder how many once evangelical churches out there have eroded into conservativism.  I know we used to use the terms together, but they are as far apart as “passionate” and “cowardly.”


4 thoughts on “The Conservative-Evangelical Oxymoron

  1. Thanks for posting this – very concise. Great way to explain what has been a roadblock for many people looking at the American brand of Christianity…

  2. Using the definitions of these two words, how would you describe Glenkirk?

    You seem to paint conservative as a negative thing. Did you mean to or did I misinterpret?

    Very interesting article. I like it 🙂


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