I am a self-avowed, practicing evangelical.
As part of a denomination which has in my view suffered at the hands of theological liberalism, I am not ashamed of my beliefs regarding the divinity of Christ, authority of Scripture, the reality of both eternal gain and eternal loss, and the urgency of gospel proclamation. Certainly not a fundamentalist, but clearly evangelical.
Yet there is a danger in this designation; there is a sickness in the “camp.”
It’s this: sometimes we are so concerned with being right that we forget to be nice.
I see this in myself all the time. In those debates within the United Methodist Church, I rely on sarcasm and arrogance to make my points. I surround myself with people just like me who serve churches just like ours. There are folks within the denomination I simply ignore because their label is wrong.
In my desire for truth, I’ve neglected love.
Jesus never said, “By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you take strong stands on divisive issues.”
Instead: “By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Perhaps being nice is the best way to be right.