A pastor named Brian Zahnd went on Twitter last night and said that the concept of “evangelical” has been turned into something ugly, and though I don’t usually get into a lot of conversations on The Twitters, I agreed with him.
So the conversation progressed: If “evangelical” now carries with it the stench of ugly, what should evangelicals be called now? My vote was Early Church, which presents a host of grammatical issues, such as would those who belong to Early Church be Early Churchians? Churchites?
But hear me out: Christians in the early church probably wouldn’t recognize the rest of us, with our judgmental nonsense and our nasty-nice approach the world. Early Churchians (let this begin with me) had all things in common. They gave away their clothes, their jewelry. They lived intentionally in what today would be dismissed as hippie communes. They came from all over. They worshipped differently, but if they were cleaving to their sacred text, they all possessed a deep desire to share.
I’m not saying I could do any of that. But I like the idea, very much.
(But please: Enjoy the white-washed lithograph of the early Caucasian church. Sorry. I couldn’t find a picture that accurately reflected the Middle Easterners who started the church.)