There’s a lot of misconception about the difference between Christians and evangelicals. Many people use the terms interchangeably, while both have very different meanings. In this post, we’ll explore the differences between these two faiths and how they impact the way believers live their lives.
Christians Vs. Evangelicals
Evangelical takes origin from the Greek word for “gospel” or “good news.” Evangelicals believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. They think that people can be forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ and have eternal life.
Evangelicals are a diverse group, and there is no one set of beliefs that all evangelicals hold. However, certain core beliefs are common among evangelicals. These include the idea that Jesus is the only way to salvation, that the Bible is the authoritative source of truth, and that we must share the gospel with others.
Christians are people who follow the religion of Christianity. Evangelicals are a subset of Christians who emphasize preaching the gospel and spreading the word of God.
There were about 386 million evangelicals in the world in 2020, and the number must have risen. On the other hand, Christians numbered about 1.3 billion people in 2020, and 25 percent almost followed evangelicalism.
Presence of Evangelicals
While Christians can be found worldwide, evangelicals are most common in North America and Sub-Saharan Africa. In the United States, evangelicalism is often associated with the Republican Party and conservative values. In Africa, evangelicals are often involved in social justice initiatives and relief work.
The Concept of Salvation
Evangelical Christians believe that the Bible is the authoritative word of God. They place a strong emphasis on personal salvation and evangelism.
Evangelicals are Christians who emphasize the need to share the gospel with others. They believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation and that they must tell others about him. Evangelicals are often active in missionary work and other efforts to spread the Christian faith.
Evangelicalism – A Movement
Evangelicalism is a movement within Christianity that began in the 18th century. It has its roots in the Protestant Reformation, and the Enlightenment has influenced it. Evangelicals are typically characterized by their commitment to the Bible as the authoritative source of truth, their belief in the need to evangelize, and their active involvement in missionary work and other efforts to spread the Christian faith.
The evangelical movement has been a significant force in American politics and culture. Evangelicals have been active in pro-life, civil rights, and conservative political movements. In recent years, evangelical Christians have been some of the most vocal opponents of same-sex marriage and other LGBT rights.
Four Characteristics of Evangelicalism
- Conversionism: The belief that people must be converted or “born again” to be saved.
- Activism:The belief that Christians should be active in working for social and political change.
- Biblicism: The belief that the Bible is the authoritative source of Christian beliefs and practices.
- Crucicenrism:The belief that Christ’s death on the cross is the most important event in history.
Beliefs That Set Evangelicals Apart
Some common beliefs that set evangelicals apart from other Christian denominations and their belief in the Bible as the infallible Word of God, emphasis on personal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and their belief in the importance of evangelism.
Evangelicals also tend to be politically and socially conservative, supporting values such as traditional marriage and opposing abortion and same-sex marriage. Eighty-four percent of evangelical leaders surveyed believed homosexuality should be discouraged. Some of the most well-known evangelical leaders include Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson.
Challenges Faced by Evangelicals
One of the biggest challenges that evangelical Christians face today is being judgmental and hypocritical. They are often associated with hardline stances on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Evangelicals also tend to get a lot of criticism for being too political.
However, many evangelicals are working to change this perception by becoming more engaged in dialogue with people of other faiths and taking a more compassionate approach to social issues.
Despite the challenges, evangelical Christians play a significant role in society. They are often active in politics and social issues, and they are a significant force in the global evangelism movement.
Difference Between Churches
Evangelical churches are more conservative than traditional Christian churches. They focus more on preaching the Bible and spreading the gospel. At the same time, orthodox churches may have a wider range of services and rituals.
The main difference between evangelical and traditional churches is their approach to the Bible. They also think that it is our guide for living a Christian life.
Traditional churches may not interpret the Bible literally. However, they still consider it an important source of religious teachings.
In terms of worship, evangelical churches tend to be more informal than traditional churches. They may have lively music and preaching, while traditional churches may have a more formal service with hymns and readings from the Bible.
Overall, evangelical churches are more conservative than traditional churches. They focus more on the Bible and spreading the gospel. At the same time, traditional churches may have a broader range of services and rituals.
How Can Evangelical Christians Reach Out to Non-Believers in a Way that is Respectful and Meaningful?
One way that evangelical Christians can reach out to non-believers is by attending events where non-believers are present. This can help evangelicals learn more about what non-believers believe and why they believe it. They can reach out to non-believers online by engaging in thoughtful conversations on social media platforms or forums.
By engaging in these interactions, evangelicals can learn more about the non-believer’s point of view and build relationships with them. They can also invite non-believers to attend church events or gatherings. By doing so, evangelicals can provide non-believers with a safe space to explore the Christian faith and ask questions.
Our Final Thoughts
Christians and evangelicals are often used interchangeably in the United States, but there is a difference. A Christian follows Jesus Christ as their savior, while an evangelical is someone who spreads the gospel.
Thus keeping the clear distinctions between Christians and Evangelicals, we should not call them out for their conservative beliefs. They are not a threat to society. Instead, they have played a significant role in society.