People are afraid of evangelicals. Why? Laity Leadership Senior Fellow D. Michael Lindsay says his latest research shows that those outside the evangelical fold have fears about evangelicals based on two things:
- They’re afraid evangelicals won’t do the things they say they’ll do.
- They’re afraid evangelicals will do some of the things they say they’ll do.
For example, people don’t believe it when an evangelical leader says, “I draw on my faith; it gives me a sense of meaning and purpose; it sacrilizes my work and helps me face some of the challenges that come my way, but I’m not here to convert you or force faith down your throat, or manipulate the work place so that it becomes like a church.”
Likewise, if they’re asked a generic question like, “Do you think evangelicals are trying to take over the country?” they may say yes. But when they’re asked about particular evangelicals they have encountered in leadership, they generally express positive attitudes. The exception is in the political realm, where Lindsay finds significant polarization. He says, “I bracket that off because I don’t know how, as a social analyst, to separate out someone’s faith from their politics. I think so much of how we respond relates to how those things work hand in hand in the political sector.”
He says we need to learn how to “speak in different registers” at work in order to alleviate these fears. …
To find out what he means, read the whole article at The High Calling.