Usually ethnicity is used as an overly complicated term that is very difficult to pin down
So I’m going to make it simple;
Ethnicity is a combination of ancestry and culture.
How that plays out looks different from group to group
but there it is.
And that’s what Evangelicalism has become.
It’s not a denominational distinction,
“That’s an Evangelical Church over there, and that one over there is not!”
Evangelicalism has become a way of identifying yourself as part of a broader cultural identity
Identity centered on a culture of Biblical Literalism, Appeal to Tradition, Hostility to Science, and Political Conservativism
(👆Just to name a few)
There are Evangelical Catholics now, Evangelical United Methodists, PC(USA) Evangelicals. Doesn’t matter the denomination, the culture is everywhere, including the Mainline Churches!
…but now an ugly serpent is slowly uncoiling itself, slithering from the base of Evangelicalism.
Till now it’s been hidden.
It’s always been there, but for years it’s been lurking in the background.
Now it’s come into the light.
It’s the other aspect of ethnicity:
For decades the Evangelical identity has been growing in influence and exposure, coming to define Christianity in the public square
And the whole time it’s leadership has maintained that ancestry isn’t a component!
We’re not racist!
We’re all brothers in Christ!
I guess it’s possible those leaders meant it.
But their congregants did NOT all believe it
Ancestry is clearly woven into the Evangelical identity.
The cries are clear:
We’re losing “our country”!
We have to take “our country” back!
It’s not subtle; the “our” part is ancestry.
Call it race if you want (a ridiculously unscientific fiction)
But it’s been revealed as a cornerstone of Evangelical identity.
Some that have come from the “Evangelical Denominations” have now realized they can’t call themselves Evangelical anymore.
(Just listen to The Liturgists podcast)
These former Evangelicals are the few who actually believed that ancestry wasn’t a part of the identity.
Now they see it and it’s undeniable.
It shouldn’t surprise them.
Some stay. Trying to battle this rise in ancestry as central to the identity
Not surprisingly the most vocal opponents are the leaders who recognize the change in demographics (and don’t want to lose their new base)
The truth plain; Evangelicalism is in the process of fully transforming into Evangelical Ethnic Identity
And the contingent that has conjured that identity around European Ancestry