My mom was an evangelical, and I've observed a few things about evangelicals of all faith traditions: they are coming from a genuine sense of concern about my fate after death; there is only one entity who can change that fate (Jesus, Mohammed, pbut etc) ; and their concern typically evolves into an overly zealous, overly judgmental sense of being the only one who can succeed at convincing me to be just like them and experience their sense of security. However, if they go back and reread the Abraham story, the one thing God does not promise is security. Quite the opposite. A life based in encounter with God and faith is fearless and ferocious. The remainder are right in their sense of a need for empowered action in the world, but in all the wrong sorts of ways, which always happens when a group has limited experience with other, equally profound paths to God. If I don't say the right words about Jesus, an evangelical will jump to the conclusion that I'm not "saved." Few are interested in hearing that "Christ" is a universal Friend and Beloved available to all who thirst, no matter what they call the thirst. God recognizes the invitation. Second, many evangelicals operate from fear, and believe they are getting "points" for themselves by proselytizing, and proof that God likes them if they are successful. That scorecard kind of mentality works in sales and sports, but not in being any sort of conduit of Grace for another person. To their credit, some have experienced the great Peace and wish to share it with someone who needs support and doesn't already know the Support that is ready, willing and able to help. Bottom line is, every faith tradition is in need of better, deeper teachers who have had a profound encounter with God. They can't teach what they don't know. More than that, leading their congregations to any sort of fear-based evangelism or evaluative judgment of another's spiritual destiny directly contradicts the teachings of the New Testament. Many evangelicals practice a form of spiritual terrorism that generates self-righteous tribal mobs, rather than souls awakened to the enduring friendship of the Christ. Thankfully, it's most often those who preach the most fervently about "God's will" who announce themselves as never having had the true encounter, and we can be grateful for the chance to escape.
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