Notes from Jan

Don’t Count Me As An Evangelical.

June 28, 2016

Don’t count me as a media dubbed evangelical.

Nor part of a voting bloc.

Not even as an evangelical espoused by some of my brothers and sisters.

I love Jesus.

I am a Christ follower.

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ but I am ashamed of being linked with some evangelicals in this current political climate.

To the pollsters I say, “Don’t count me.”

We can’t blame it all on the media.  We’ve done it to each other.

Where’s the prophetic voice crying in the wilderness, the weeping Jeremiah?

Is there a Mordecai among us? an Esther “for such a time as this?”

A Daniel?

A Deborah?

Have we slowly gone after the lesser light?

Who or what do we so fear or seek that too many of us have taken a liking to the spotlight, relished spitting out soundbites and tweeting our whereabouts, succumbing to the lure of fifteen minutes of fame?

We’ve lost the Light.

and our way.

And I want out.

Make no mistake,  as challenging as it is, I never want to be free from Christ and the commandment to “Love God and love my neighbor as myself.”(Mark 12:28-34 NLT)

But I want to be free from the culture of fear and hate. 

When Michael Gerson wrote about a gathering of 900 conservative Christian leaders meeting with Trump, I wondered who were they? How were they selected?

When I read that Trump was given a standing ovation, I wondered why?

What did he say that instilled confidence,  calmed misgivings or made a deal? 

Or were 900 evangelicals blinded by the spotlight?

It feels like the evangelical table’s grown too exclusive, comfortable and crowded on the right.

It’s tipping.


Time to reset the table.









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  • Reply Shirley Dubeau June 28, 2016 at 5:11 pm


  • Reply Nancy Mering June 28, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Preach it, sister! Exactly right–

  • Reply Margaret A. Hunt June 28, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Well said. These are confusing days.
    Thanks for your thoughtful comments.
    My best, Margaret

  • Reply Jim Trent June 28, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Yes, evangelical is a strong and good label for Christ followers, but I wonder if the term has lost its identifying function. If Mr. Trump is a “baby evangelical,” as one Christian spokesperson recently claimed, what does the label any longer identify?

  • Reply Radina Welton June 28, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Don’t count me either.! Thank you for taking those words out of my mouth, Jan. You said it better than I could. I can’t stand my Christ, at least my identity with him, being dragged through the wide gate of the media. I’ll continue to follow him through the narrow one.

  • Reply Cec Horn June 28, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    I can’t agree with you more; and certainly can’t express it so well. Thank you, Jan!

  • Reply Irv Levy June 28, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Bless you, Jan, bless you.

  • Reply Craig Story June 28, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Couldn’t have said it better myself… no. I REALLY couldn’t have. May you be buoyed up by the love of Jesus, your family and your fan club, of which I am a card-carrying member.

  • Reply Karen A Knezevic Gold June 28, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Thank you, Jan, for saying this so beautifully as always!

  • Reply Dale Lefever June 28, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Being ashamed of how the gospel is presented, while not being ashamed of the gospel, is a weird and uncomfortable irony.

    Thanks for the challenge and amen.

    Love, Dale

  • Reply Wendy Lane June 29, 2016 at 12:09 am

    How can we get this blog post out so more people can see it?!!!

  • Reply David Gill June 29, 2016 at 3:37 am

    Thank you Jan. My sentiments exactly. In addition to the pathetic betrayal by Evangelicals getting in bed with Trump and the religious right, the NRA, et al, I am fed up with the gutless non-leaders of Evangelical seminaries and other institutions who cower before their donors and potential critics and fail to stand up in public, write op-ed columns and speak out on behalf of the love, justice, values and good news of Jesus Christ. It makes me sick.

  • Reply David Sherwood June 29, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Thank you, Jan. Yes. It is time to reset the table. You are a fresh voice from our past, when I was director of the social work program at Gordon. I’m glad to hear from you again.

  • Reply Helen Demsko June 29, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    I feel like the window has been opened and freah air is coming in! My hope in in the Lord – WHATEVER

  • Reply Amy DeLieto-Shanahan June 29, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Thank you, Mrs. Carlberg….you brightened many lives today with this.

  • Reply Bruce Herman June 29, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Jan–I was asked to speak at Emerson College a while back (as a token Evangelical asked to comment on cultural censorship). The first question in the Q&A session was, “So you are an evangelical!? But you don’t sound like one…do you consider Pat Robertson one of your people?” And I said, ” I’ll answer that but tell me this first, is anyone here NOT from a dysfunctional family?” The auditorium erupted in laughter. Nuff’ said.

    • Reply Linda Rasch-Colleran June 30, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      Bruce I love it, Great response.

  • Reply Jen June 30, 2016 at 1:03 am

    I’m a Christian. I love Jesus with everything I am. I am voting for Trump not because 900 some evangelicals gave him a standing ovation..but because of Hillary! We are not electing a pastor, we are electing someone to run our country. So many are focused on how horrible Trump is..when Hillary is the one we should be scared of!

    • Reply Mike June 30, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      We should be scared of both. Voting for either of the two is a vote for that person, not a vote against the other person.

    • Reply Rebecca Briggs September 6, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks, Jan. I was shocked to read how political this was. I think Jesus’s example allows for different political views with him as Lord and sovereign.. Jan sounds like a lovely person. But to me, her opinion piece is more political than Christ honoring. We do not need more division. Jesus followers have been supporters of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Why use that as a measure of their devotion to Christ?

    • Reply Rebecca Briggs September 6, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      Whoops. I meant to address my reply to Jen.

  • Reply valerie mccoy June 30, 2016 at 1:55 am

    It’s the perfect time to remind you how loved you are Jan, and how your words to me, personally, have always been a cool drink inspired by our Saviour.
    Once upon a time I kept changing the bandaid over the wounds from Evangelical ‘friends’. It was a tipping point in my heart of hearts when I had to learn, for myself, that Evangelicals shoot their wounded. And as painful as it was for me…….I walked away.
    And the bleeding stopped.

    I send you the warmest embrace, and a sincere invitation to take you to lunch or high tea. You name the day and it would be my pleasure…..truly!
    Valerie McCoy

  • Reply Kristie Peck June 30, 2016 at 2:52 am

    Amen! Thank you Jan!

  • Reply Elizabeth Payne June 30, 2016 at 4:56 am

    A friend of mine was comparing that gathering to Jim Jones serving spiked KoolAid. What ever happened to the separation of church and state? And since when did my rights as a Christian become more important than the rights of a non Christian? It is appalling to see how so many forget how and why this country was founded to be a place of tolerance. We need to make the meaning of “Evangelical ” “great” again. We have a road ahead of us.

  • Reply Brad Coon June 30, 2016 at 10:20 am

    The label “evangelical” is complex and vastly diverse, potentially encompassing over 600 million of our brothers and sisters around the world. Below are links to two great resources that introduce the topic and explore its diversity on a global scale.

    Evangelicals around the World: A Global Handbook for the 21st Century

    Pew Forum’s Global Survey of Evangelical Protestant Leaders

  • Reply Linda Rasch-Colleran June 30, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks Jan. Wonderful!

  • Reply Polly Ann Brown June 30, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Thank you. So well put and to the point. Your commitment to speaking your truth (and mine) is inspirational.

    Polly Ann

  • Reply Nancy Sheys June 30, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    You said it right on! Bless you!

  • Reply Samuel A. Schreiner III June 30, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    I’m not sure that anyone the status of Harold John Ockenga was in that room. Now there was an Evangelical with a capital E. Preach it Jan.

    • Reply Elizabeth Payne June 30, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      “Doc Ock” (not sure of the spelling), but I remember from my GCTS friends he was THE Evangelical of Evangelicals. Dr Christy Wilson was an elder of a church in Rockport that I was a member of when I lived in Gloucester many years ago. He would NOT have been their either.

  • Reply Jonathan foster July 1, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Jan, thank you.

  • Reply susan July 1, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Amen, sister. I am sick of saying, “yes, I’m a Christian, but…..
    We’re back from Korea. Happy, but serious jet lag

  • Reply Jeri Mahurin August 20, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Amen Jan… Thank you for stating this so well.

  • Reply John DeNardo September 6, 2017 at 2:13 am

    Don’t count me either. Thank you for this Jan.

    John DeNardo
    1989 Alum

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