“Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers.” – Francis Chan, Crazy Love
As a lifelong evangelical Christian I didn’t usually call myself an “evangelical.” Honestly, I didn’t really know what an evangelical Christian was until two years ago (there’s not an official definition, but it usually involves placing the Bible as the final/only authority for a Christian and presenting personal conversion in a “born again” flavor). This is very common. Why? One reason may be because in the evangelical mindset, there are only two groups of people: those who are saved, and those who are not.
To call oneself an evangelical Christian admits that evangelicalism is a sect of Christianity and that there may be other people going to heaven who don’t subscribe to the evangelical paradigm (like Catholics). This is a contributing factor to why many evangelical Christians won’t even call themselves Christians when giving a biography or filling out Facebook info. Disappointed by the many denominational splits of Protestantism, I wouldn’t call myself Baptist or Reformed but “Christ-follower” and “believer” to distinguish myself as a “true Christian.”
Another reason many reject all labels is because they want to be known for following the Bible, not some denomination. Of course, as detailed in the previous post, all calls of “let’s just do what the Bible says” are predicated on an interpretative lens that varies from one denomination/movement to the next.
I know this sounds strange to Catholics. The only parallel I’m aware of in Catholicism is distinguishing faithful/devout/practicing Catholics from non-practicing Catholics.