Food for Thought-What Is An Evangelical Voter?


Whilst watching the coverage of the Iowa Caucasus last evening, I grew tired of hearing the words “evangelical voters” used ad nausem by analysts who clearly didn’t know the meaning of the term.  In an attempt to further muddy the waters, I present “Richard’s 10 Ways To Define Evangelical Voters”.   While it may be too late for Iowa, 49 contests remain.  I believe my definitions describe evangelicals from American Samoa to San Juan.

1. An evangelical voter goes to a church with an awesome drum set, keyboard, and bass guitar. If you don’t have all three, two out of three are a must.  Evangelical voters only listen to popular, adult contemporary, and modern music.  All other forms of music alienate non Christians and those seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus.  Johann Sebastian Bach and John Coltrane have been known to make evangelicals and those wanting a relevant church home extremely angry.

2. An evangelical voter goes to a church with a transparent pulpit. There may not even be a pulpit, let alone the communion table.  In homes where no one gathers around dinner tables, why would church mirror a world that is no more?  So is the world of many evangelical voters.

3. An evangelical voter goes to a church where Holy Communion is rarely served.  Regular Communion is for liberals like Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Presbyterians.

4. An evangelical voters goes to a church with its logo printed on everything (polo shirts, wind breakers, water bottles, and tote bags).  Evangelicals are masters of marketing their faith through secular/corporate means.  The will know we are Christians by our logos, not our love.

5. An evangelical voter goes to a church that does more Power Point or Key Note presentations than Steve Jobs did in the last 10 year of his life.  Evangelical voters look for churches who idolize technology as much as they do.

6. An evangelical voter spends more worship time with their hands in the air than their eyes in the Bible.  This is a question of style over substance.  Evangelical voters prioritize certain styles of contemporary worship over mainstream Biblical reflection.

7. An evangelical voter is a member of “small group”, where their ideas about the world are reinforced but never challenged.

8. An evangelical voter likely attends a multi-site campus style church. In this environment, evangelical voters are franchise owners, not members of the body of Christ.

9. An evangelical voter thinks a “Creed” is a recent movie starring Sylvester Stallone.

10. An evangelical voter goes to a church where the pastor might dress very casually because pastoral leaders who wear ties or shoes alienate those seeking a deeper relationships with God.

Evangelical is a word that can mean everything and nothing.  It can be a semantic battering ram to Christians and non-believers alike.  I am sick of hearing it.  The more it is used to describe a class of voters the less it means to the people who are trying to share the “Good News”.


A Believer In the Good News of Jesus the Christ

Richard Bryant