Evangelical Christianity is one of the most popular types of Christianity in the world. In fact, one-third of the 78.4% of American adults who identify as Christians identify themselves as Evangelical. But to clear things up, Evangelical Christianity is neither a religion nor a denomination.
Instead, it is a faith movement that has grown in importance in the United States over the last five decades. So let’s try to tackle Evangelical Christianity in detail from its history and its role in society.
Historical Context of Evangelical Christianity
The Christian Fundamentalist movement, which emerged in the United States around 100 years ago, gave birth to today’s Evangelicalism. The concept of evolution was the main turning point of such a movement. Darwin’s scientific idea became the catalyst for Christian groups to review their ideologies and put them forward in politics and pop culture.
Why is this the case? Darwin’s scientific idea said that humans developed from and alongside other living forms over billions of years. This was supported by archaeological data and other scientists, and because of that, it spurred questions regarding the origins of man as stated in the Bible. Suddenly, the Bible was questioned by philosophers, scientists, and the masses.
This became problematic in terms of core Christian beliefs around the turn of the 20th century, and it caused conflict in Protestant churches, particularly Baptist and Methodist congregations.
The initial Fundamentalist Movement was considered as a religious rebirth, spurred on by objections to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Instead, however, it grew to represent both strict theological orthodoxy and evangelical practice, which encouraged believers to engage in political and social activity outside religion.
To put it another way, the Fundamentalist Movement advocated for a return to orthodoxy, disseminating orthodox principles into public life, and preserving “fundamental” Christian beliefs.
The Bible’s inerrant truth, particularly in regards to God’s creation of humanity and Jesus Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead, and the concept that everyone is born a sinner who can only be saved by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior were two fundamental Christian core beliefs that Evangelical Christians widely advocated for during this time.
Evangelical Christianity Today
Evangelical Christianity has a strong presence in American politics and culture. For example, the advocated politically and socially conservative Right-wing comprises encouraging evangelicals. Evangelical Protestant denominations include Southern Baptists, Pentecostals, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Lutheran Church’s Missouri Synod branch.
In addition, large megachurches with thousands of attendees that take place online or on television, many autonomous, local churches, and many individual Christians who do not attend a particular church regularly are all members of the Christian Evangelical movement.
Evangelicalism today attracts Christians who want a faith group to resist the relaxation of social standards in a modernizing, culturally diverse society, much like the early Fundamentalist movement did.
Evangelicalism gives clear descriptions of wrong behavior and the simplicity of a single road to salvation: faith in Jesus. The Bible is a life guide for an Evangelical. It is a divinely inspired Scripture that is both infallible and literal in its depiction of human history.
Many Evangelicals believe that God created humans about 10,000 years ago — first a man, then a woman; that Jesus died and was resurrected physically; that Satan is an actual entity; and that Heaven is an exact location where a “saved” soul will go after death to dwell with God.
Many of life’s big questions have simple, straightforward answers that provide Evangelical Christians with a sense of assurance.
The Evangelical worship atmosphere attracts followers. Evangelicals are often led in worship by a charismatic preacher, from small non-denominational churches to “megachurches” where thousands pray together.
An Evangelical service is likely to feature an expressive, energetic environment featuring exciting music and a multicultural group. Christians who are looking for a personal, emotional encounter with God are drawn to evangelicalism.
Salvation and Evangelical Christianity
A prominent picture in Christianity is Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Evangelical Christians believe that by accepting Jesus and his sacrifice for us, we save our souls and go to Heaven once we die.
We are forever doomed if we do not personally accept Jesus. An Evangelical Christian is a person who has had or is pursuing the experience of being “born again” by accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior.
The concept that one must propagate one’s faith to others is referred to as Evangelicalism. An Evangelical Christian is called to lead people into a personal relationship with Jesus — to convert others to Christianity — for them to be saved as well.
In addition, Evangelical Christians are called to publicly communicate their Christian convictions, particularly their belief in the inerrancy of the Bible and that we are all born sinners who can only be saved through Jesus Christ.
Evangelical Christians are called to live out their faith in public, and they might do so in various ways. Some people follow Jesus Christ’s teachings and example by serving others with love and compassion. Proclaiming one’s beliefs aloud is seen as an expression of faith, and some Evangelicals use Evangelism to communicate their faith to non-believers.
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Glory Dy has been a content creator for more than 10 years. She lives in a quiet suburb with her family and four cats.