“I believe Jesus rose from the dead and inhabits my being right now.” When asked about my thoughts on Jesus, I answered as clearly as I could. The room grew quiet. “Are you an evangelical?” someone asked. After some thought, I replied just as clearly as I did the first time, “I guess I am.”
For many years, I have run from the evangelical world. Truth be known, anyone who watches the news sees that there is plenty to run from. After graduating from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2009, I was so hurt that I wanted to leave forever. Six years later, I realize that I am not willing to cede my personal relationship with the resurrected Jesus to anyone. I embrace the miracles and divinity of Jesus with all that I am. On issues of social justice, I believe that Jesus queerly crossed lines of identity and set the captives free. I don’t believe that Jesus came to save groups of people…on the contrary…I believe that Jesus came to save us all. I believe in Jesus. If that makes me an evangelical, then so be it. That is my confession. In an age of brutality and oppression, I believe that the very love and person of Jesus is exactly the liberation the world needs.
I doubt I would be the radical queer theologian and activist that I am without the evangelical in me constantly yearning for more than the world is presently offering.