Sunday, December 18, 2011

Are the New Evangelicals becoming Episcopalian?

You may enjoy this article from Jonathan Fitzgerald at Patheos.com about how TEC is attracting new members not just from Roman Catholicism (like BP), but from young people dismayed at their Evangelical traditions.
[T]hose of us who left evangelicalism—and, according to recent Pew surveys there are plenty of us—find ourselves the objects of a process to be reabsorbed into evangelicalism. It's been happening since at least 2007, in the run-up to the presidential election in 2008. Faced with the apparent splintering of young people from the evangelicalism of our parents' generations, attempts were made to reassign us as members of a "new evangelicalism." The problem was, we didn't call ourselves evangelicals....

A commenter on [a NY Times] post notes this.... He identifies a tendency at the Times, and I'd argue that it exists in the media in general, to polarize Americans as either "secular elite," presumably Times readers, and Christians, "Evangelicals (recovering rednecks) and Catholics (white ethnic and brown proles)." He writes, "Guess what: some of us educated, urban-coastal, upper middle class knowledge workers are Christians: liberal, non-evangelical, non-Catholic Christians."

....I, like many of my peers, find it loathsome to have to qualify my Christian faith by constantly informing inquirers that I am not like "those" evangelicals. When I identify as Episcopal or Anglican, there's a lot less explaining necessary.

At the Bible study that my wife and I attended last weekend, the group reflected on gifts from God. In the midst of the discussion, one of the attendees, a new parishioner like us, noted that she was in the process of transitioning away from the faith tradition of her youth, and into one that she felt more fully aligned with God's plan for his kingdom on earth. The gift from God she identified was us, a community of peers on a similar journey.

4 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

In answer to the question in the headline, I hope so. 'The Episcopal Church welcomes you.'

JCF said...

Mimi, I can't imagine how TEC ever got by without you! {Mwah}

Grandmère Mimi said...

JCF, thanks. Mwah back to you.

Counterlight said...

I'm not surprised by this. There are a whole lot of disaffected younger folk from evangelical backgrounds here in New York. This city has a huge diaspora population from the Bible Belt.
Most of them are alienated from Christianity, and religion in general, probably forever.
Others find their way into things like Jay Bakker's Revolution Church.
And a few others find their way into the Episcopal Church, in fact a growing number.