Boz Tchividjian, the grandson of world renowned evangelist Billy Graham, is reportedly no longer identifying himself with the term “evangelical,” joining many others who have abandoned the term in the wake of the election of President Donald Trump.
“I don’t identify myself with that term any more,” Tchividjian, an activist who speaks out against sexual abuse in the church, was quoted as saying in a Nov. 3 article focusing on “exvangelicals” published by the British news outlet The Guardian.
“Words matter,” Tchividjian said. “And ‘evangelical’ isn’t like Baptist or Episcopalian, which can be clearly defined. The minute you use that term to someone, “you’re defined by how they interpret it.”
As 2016 presidential election exit polls showed that 81 percent of people who identified as white evangelicals voted for Trump and as Trump has done much in his first year in office to appeal to the conservative evangelical vote, the word “evangelical” has increasingly become associated with the Trump presidency.
Considering that “evangelical” a word that most people don’t actually know the true definition of or who it refers to, it has begun to take on a very political connotation for many Americans.
“Because we have such a broad and vague definition of evangelical, one person could automatically assume every evangelical is a Trump supporter, while another could think they’re anti-Trump, because that exists as well,” Tchividjian explained. “We’re looking at faith through a political lens, and that’s unfortunate and dangerous.”
The Christian Post reached out to Tchividjian for further comment on his remarks to The Guardian and will provide an update if a response is received.
Although many think of white social conservatives when they hear the term “evangelicals,” the National Association of Evangelicals and LifeWay Research define evangelicals as a diverse group of people from many faith traditions who strongly agree with four basic truths. Those truths are:
- “The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.
- It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.
- Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.
- Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith