the evangelical subculture

I am an evangelical Christian within the Protestant Reformed stream, probably more on the Anabaptist side of that within what is called the Radical Reformation. Often in a group we are not as aware of our strengths as we are of our weaknesses. But we can also be blind to weaknesses, which in themselves may even be good, innocent things in themselves, though not always.

Evangelicals are a subculture within the wider American and world culture. The question I want to ask here is this: What are we known for? As those who follow Jesus, and are a true counter culture? Representing a kingdom that is different than any entity of the world, but in and for the world? And for a clear witness to the King, Jesus?

Of course the world might frame us in ways only the world would. We are anti-progressive, moralistic, judgmental, etc., etc. While we should listen to what is said just to see where there may be some truth, we also need to keep in mind Jesus words that as the world hated him, it will hate those who follow him. There is no doubt that simply to be a follower of Jesus, yes a Christian (I prefer the former term), will be problematical in a world system which often has priorities and conditions that contradict or are problematical to the faith.

I think we have to consider our stance in the intellectual sphere. Not so much where we land, but how we get there. We need to do so from a studied, deliberate approach, which takes well into account the best of Christian and other thinkers from the past and present.

And above all we should be known for what we are: followers of Christ, members of his Body, witnesses of God’s presence, words and work in Christ, proclaiming the good news of Christ. Known as those who are different, who are like the one we profess to follow. Known for our love and obedience to Christ. Shown in good works especially to those in need. And love for our enemies. Not known for anything less.