Why We Don’t Like the “Evangelicals” Label

I wrote in my Doctrine Unites! blog my thoughts on why many Reformed churches and believers don’t like to be categorized as “evangelicals”: Reflecting on Scott Clark’s “Are Reformed ‘Evangelical’ or ‘Evangelicals’?” I agree with R. Scott Clark when he says that the Reformed are evangelical (in the 16th century Protestant Reformation sense), but we are not evangelicals (in the contemporary use of the word).

"To Be or Not to Be: The Uneasy Relationship between Reformed Christianity and American Evangelicalism" by Michael Horton

“To Be or Not to Be: The Uneasy Relationship between Reformed Christianity and American Evangelicalism” by Michael Horton

Recently, I’ve had a tussle with “evangelicals,” some of them even calling themselves “Reformed.” For being a confessional Reformed believer, affirming the doctrines of the church and sacraments, and an opponent of the church growth movement and its methods, I’ve been called an arrogant “holier than thou” and an elitist. Some have even accused me of saying that only the Reformed are saved!

They have even pointed out that I have a low regard for “evangelicals.” They are right; I very much dislike (to say the least) the post-canonical glossolalia, health and wealth message, social gospel, emerging movement, church growth movement, moralistic-therapeutic preaching, and the run-of-the-mill worship event of most churches, among other things (listed by the professor below).

In the post below, Scott Clark of Westminster Seminary in California explains how the Reformed are very different from “evangelicals.” But he also admits, “Reformed confessionalists are evangelical, but after 30-40 years or so of calling ‘evangelicals’ back to the historic definition I think it’s time to admit that we lost and we lost a long time ago.” Note that he said, “we lost,” not “we’re wrong.”

This is why we have a Facebook group called The Reformed Pinoy. It is for the edification of those of us who are Reformed, Presbyterian, paedobaptists and confessionalists; for those who affirm the three marks of a true church; and for those who practice the Regulative Principle of Worship. (If you want to know what these terms mean, click on each of the links above. Don’t depend on others to tell you who we really are.) Those who join the group just to sow ideas contrary to the above are not welcome and are jettisoned. It would be well for us and for “evangelicals” to take Dr. Clark’s advice: “The evangelicals don’t need the confessionalists any more and they aren’t listening anyway.” But for those rare inquirers who desire to learn who these “weird, hated Reformed” folks really are, they are most welcome.

Click here for the rest of the article.

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