Taking the "angel" out of evangelical
When most people encounter the word "angel," they think of a spiritual warrior, a caricatured being with wings, or one of God's attendants from the Bible. However, in Western vernacular, "angel" can also mean someone of exemplary character--a person who, through word and deed, demonstrates virtue and goodness. We've all heard an adult describe a well-behaved child as an "angel," and many parents have tried to influence the future of their sons and daughters by giving them this name. And, of course, only the brightest and most professional pilots make it into the Navy's elite aerial demonstration team, the Blue Angels. Our use of the word "angel" is reserved for the best--those who live above reproach and who challenge each of us to be better.
For years, the same could be said of evangelical Christians. These were Christians who lived by biblical principles--who dedicated themselves to the Good News of Jesus Christ. They were people who challenged others to live virtuously and to improve continuously upon their moral and ethical character. Unfortunately, over the past number of years, the "angels" of evangelicalism have started to fly away. With the rise of unscrupulous secular and church leaders who describe themselves as evangelical Christians but whose actions speak otherwise, the term has become associated with various vices, dishonor, and everything Christianity proper is NOT. Because certain leaders have effectively taken the "angel" out of evangelical through their Machiavellian ways, the reputation of the church has suffered.
Many well-meaning Christians, therefore, have decided to give up describing themselves as evangelical. Since the word has become tarnished in their eyes, they would rather abandon it than salvage it. But I'm not one of these. I propose that we put he "angel" back in evangelical--that we we bring character and virtue back to centerstage. Let's not give up on a time-honored and accurate description of who we are as Bible-believing proponents of the gospel. Instead, let's expose the charlatans for who they are, and let's demonstrate through our own actions that we are not like those who make only hollow claims. In fact, I propose we take back the term "evangelical" and give these pseudo-evangelicals a new name: "evicals" ("evangelical" without the "angel").
It's interesting. When you search "evical" on the internet, a business that describes itself as "The Vegan Marketplace" comes up. How appropriate! This analogizes my proposed evicals well: they are a lot of hype with no meat.