Every now and then I get hit up with questions about the term “devangelical”. Sure, there is the obvious group of people who qualify: those who grew up in the Evangelical church, left, and never looked back. But what I’ve found is that there is another group of people who are unsure whether they qualify. By the look in their eyes, I can see that they want to qualify except for one little detail (usually admitted to me secondhand via a conversation they are having with their feet): they still attend an Evangelical church.
So what’s the problem? If you feel like a devangelical, you should be able to call yourself one at will! It’s not like you need a background check and an official certificate in the mail (although, I suppose if you want one, write me and I’ll see what I can do). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Being a devangelical is more a state of mind than a choice of faith community. It’s quite simply about thinking for yourself outside the cultural packaging that encloses any large group of people. It’s about throwing off any past baggage you may have acquired through dogmatic, albeit well-meaning teachers, holding close the good, and approaching your search for truth individually, honestly, with at least a little bit of humor and without the standard church line idea that “of course it’s OK to question…as long as you come to the right conclusions.” And if you can do that and still attend an Evangelical church, then by all means…they NEED you there more than they may realize. Transcend those cultural boundaries. Make waves.
But in the case that you are still having a little trouble figuring out whether you can dance in this camp, I have put together a little quiz. Now, I’ll warn you, there may be some kinks in it, so feel free to point them out in the comments section below. I’ve divided the quiz into 2 parts, with scoring information at the end of each. OK, former Bible Quizzers…go!
ARE YOU A DEVANGELICAL? – THE QUIZ!
Part 1 – Establish Evangelicalhood
1) Have you ever attended church more than once in a single day?
2) Have you ever sung, “If God Is For Us, Who Can Be Against Us?” or “I am a C” in the shower?
3) Have you ever eaten or cheered as somebody else ate baby food in a relay race?
4) Have you ever run over “satanic” tapes (e.g. Led Zeppelin, Nine Inch Nails, Bobby McFerrin) or cds with your car and/or burned them in the fire to see if they scream?
5) Have you ever attempted to exorcise a friend?
6) Have you ever wept for forgiveness for “possibly accidentally pleasuring yourself”?
7) Have you ever given or received a swirlie on church property?
8 ) Have you ever attempted to “pray away the gay” in yourself or someone else? (Add 1 point if it actually worked for at least 3 months)
9) Have you ever sat on your rooftop waiting to be raptured, proverbially or otherwise?
10) Have you ever sung all 99 verses of “99 Bottles of Root Beer on the Wall”?
How to Score Part 1:
Award yourself 1 point for each ‘yes’. If you cheated on any of the answers, award yourself 2 points.
If you scored at least 3 points, proceed to Part 2.
If you scored under 2 points, you were never an Evangelical in the first place. You are apparently at this web site for educational purposes only.
If you scored 6+ points…respect. Care to have a Bible Verse Quiz-off?
Part 2 – Establish Degree of Devangalicosity
1) Do you currently attend an Evangelical church at least somewhat regularly? (If no, give yourself 5 points immediately. No need to continue.)
2) If you answered yes to the above question, are you obsessed by the thought you would rather be:__________ (Fill in the blank. e.g. hiking, sleeping, getting fro-yo, actually volunteering to help somebody who needs it.)
3) When somebody asks what your religion is, do you begin by telling them what you are not?
4) Do you feel a deliciously guilty pleasure when you sleep in on Sunday morning?
5) Do you get the strong feeling that something about the way you were raised in the church stunted your growth somehow?
6) Do you get the distinct impression that if Jesus were here among us today, he’d be ditching your church service, too?
7) Are you hesitant to tell people you are or have ever been a Christian because you are embarrassed to be associated with others of that name?
8 ) When you listen to “Another One Bites the Dust”, do you feel a pang of pleasure for all the wrong reasons?
How to Score Part 2:
If you scored at least 5 points, you are beyond a doubt, a flame-licked Devangelical. Congratulations.
If you scored 6 or more points, you are a raging Devangelical.
If you scored 3-4 points, it is safe to assume that you are a closet Devangelical.
If you only scored 1-2 points, you are merely flirting with being a Devangelical. A sheep in wolves clothing, if you will. (Please say a prayer for me. God still listens to you.)