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A candidate at the Idaho gubernatorial debate.
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A candidate at the Idaho gubernatorial debate.

Disproving the ‘evangelical Christian’ stereotype

Religion

Ever wondered what non-Christians think of when they hear “evangelical” or “conservative Christian?” The video below might shed some light.

These hilarious clips from the Idaho gubernatorial debate show the ranting and foaming at the mouth that many associate with “evangelicals” or “conservative Christians.”

Of course, we know the majority of evangelical or conservative Christians are not like these two odd candidates. We know this because many of us are Christians who take the Bible seriously—and yet we carry ourselves a bit better in the culture (or at least we try to).

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I always thought of myself as a normal person. When I started working as a reporter in a mainstream newsroom, I told my editors and fellow reporters I was an “evangelical Christian.” I soon realized my co-workers thought all evangelicals were close-minded, backwoods, abortion clinic–bombing cult types.

A few of them were just waiting for me to burst into an angry tirade about homosexuals or abortion. It took a few months of life together for them to realize I was a thinking, sane, cool-headed, and cooperative co-worker. After about six months, one reporter told me I had redefined his idea of what an evangelical is. This is something every one of us can do.

The longer we Christ-followers move within Christian circles (reading Christian blogs, listening to Christian radio, etc.), the more we lose touch with how the outside world perceives us.

Of course, not all unbelievers perceive evangelicals this way. But many do. And many of us could benefit from an honest awareness of how our faith is perceived.

When folks assume we will act like the guys in this video, we can respond one of two ways. We can either get mad at people who have genuinely misunderstood us (because they have had more exposure to videos like this than to kind, humble, thinking evangelicals). Or, we can disprove the stereotype with our lives. In the marketplace and in the neighborhood, we can model humble actions and sensitive words—showing what an evangelical can actually be like.

Yes, there are some unfortunate stereotypes about evangelicals. Let’s use this hilarious video as inspiration to go show the world a better alternative.

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