#1 Do Evangelicals Celebrate Easter?

Yes, Evangelicals celebrate Easter, but others choose to avoid holidays that feel ‘man-made,’ and are not supported by Scripture.

The principal feasts or celebrations that are actively included in the Evangelical calendar include:

  • Ascension
  • Christmas
  • Easter
  • Good Friday
  • Pentecost

Many Evangelicals will participate in secular additions such as Easter egg hunts, finding joy in the traditions that may not be entirely ‘faith-based.’ Nevertheless, other Evangelicals choose to keep the holy days of worship limited to that of Sabbath, the only holiday mentioned in the Bible.

Granted, there is a divide on this subject, with a 2019 Evangelical survey finding that the frivolities such as the Easter Bunny and non-religious symbols are not appropriate within the church, and 52% stating ‘it depends.’

Everyone loves a feast, holidays, and commemorations that bring families together. This kind of positivity is often seen in evangelical religions because their intrinsic mission is to spread the word of God and be as ‘inviting and inclusive to all’ as possible.

Being that Evangelicals are a reformed church that tends to favor a more abstract interpretation of the Bible as compared to literal, they are considered more progressive and tolerant than, say, a fundamentalist or traditionalist.

You will notice that stricter religions that do not believe people can be ‘saved,’ often do not partake in such whimsical festivities (or they will have a faith-only approach to the holiday, absent of frivolities and extravagancies such as Easter egg hunts that could distract from worship).

Figure 1 – National Association of Evangelicals

Related Scripture(s):

  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” – 1 Peter 1:3.
  • “Who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” – Romans 4:25 .

Related Video(s):

#2 Do Evangelicals Drink Alcohol?

There is a relatively even split on this issue, with many Evangelicals avoiding alcohol while others find no issue with the occasional drink.

Pewresearch.org found that:

“Rates of drinking vary by Protestant subgroup. For instance, two-thirds of white mainline Protestants (66%) say they’ve had alcohol in the past month, compared with roughly half of black Protestants (48%) and white evangelical Protestants (45%). White mainline Protestants (21%) also are more likely than these two latter groups to binge drink (12% for each).”

In a separate study on the Pewforum.org, global surveyed beliefs found that:

“The item on which the leaders are most evenly split is the question of whether consuming alcohol is compatible with being a good evangelical Christian. Roughly half (52%) of the evangelical leaders say drinking alcohol is not compatible with being a good evangelical, while 42% say it is compatible, and 6% are not sure or do not answer.”

Related Scripture(s):

  • “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,” – Ephesians 5:18.
  • “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” – Proverbs 20:1.
  • Contrariwise – “Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.” – Ecclesiastes 9:7

Related Video(s):

#3 Do Evangelicals Take Communion?

Yes, Evangelicals take communion. As a protestant religion that takes an inerrable perspective on Scripture, Evangelicals find communion to be a divine connection with symbolism linked to the blood of Christ.

Evangelicaltimes.org asserts:

“Given that the Lord’s Supper is designed to be an experience of union and communion with Christ, in what ways does this impact our Christian experience in practice, as we come to the Table? Bearing in mind what we have already seen in these studies, several points suggest themselves as essential to the communion experience….

The Supper presents Christ’s death in terms of the symbols of bread and wine. Jesus is truly present in the Supper. He communicates his grace to his people in the Supper. Living communion with Christ and actual reception of spiritual blessings are experienced by all who, having a true saving faith in Christ, participate in a worthy manner in this sacrament of his death for sinners.”

Alcohol has long been consumed in the Evangelical Church, even at a time before temperance and abstinence from alcohol was a primary focus of the denomination. With texts describing records in 1753 (page 14 of the Churchman) ChurchSociety.org finds in their 1832 sample, The Holy Communion in the Evangelical Tradition:

“In my Church, he assisted me in administering the Lord’s Supper to as many people as supped away thirty-five bottles of wine within a gill. It was a high day indeed, a Sabbath of Sabbaths”. 3 When the Archbishop of York was asked to investigate complaints about Grimshaw and to take action to prevent his itinerant preaching, he replied,” We cannot find fault with Mr. Grimshaw when he is instrumental in bringing so many to the Lord’s Table.

At this time, alcohol was not as perilous in the Evangelical religion, seen as a valuable tool for converting more Christians and strengthening ceremonies like communion.

Figure 4 – Holy Communion – Trinity Evangelical Lutheran

Related Scripture(s):

  • “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” – 1 Corinthians 11:26.
  • “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” – 1 Corinthians 10:16.
  • “And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”‘ – 1 Corinthians 11:24.

Related Video(s):

#4 Do Evangelicals Speak in Tongues?

Yes, Evangelicals speak in tongues, especially Pentecostal Evangelicals or Charismatic Christians.

In this survey result from Pewforum.org, it is discovered that:

“Among the Lausanne leaders, 70% say that speaking in tongues is compatible with being a good evangelical Christian. But a sizeable minority (26%) considers this practice, which is commonly associated with Pentecostalism, to be incompatible. Among renewalist leaders, 84% say speaking in tongues is compatible with being a good evangelical Christian, compared with 64% of non-renewalists.”

Many Evangelicals follow the principle of cessationism (that the holy practice of spiritual gifts have ceased over time); however, a considerable amount disagree with the concept of cessationism, continuing the  practice of glossolalia today as a moment to become nearer to God.

In my piece regarding Why Evangelicals Speak in Tongues, I breakdown more about the meaning and practice of speaking in the angelical tongue also known as glossolalia.

Figure – Why Do Evangelicals Speak in Tongues?

Related Scripture(s):

  • “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.” – Acts 2:1-47.
  • “For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 14:2

Related Video(s):

#5 Do Evangelicals Celebrate Ash Wednesday?

Yes, Evangelicals celebrate Ash Wednesday as a symbolization of Christ’s sacrifice of life on the crucifix. Due to this, Evangelicals, Protestants, and Catholics find great significance in placing the same crucifix symbol on their foreheads using Ash. This demonstration is a public expression of penance, mortality, and mourning the loss of Jesus Christ.

Some of the denominations that observe Ash Wednesday most commonly include:

  • Anglicans
  • Baptists
  • Evangelicals
  • Lutherans
  • Mennonites
  • Methodists
  • Nazarenes
  • Protestants
  • Reformed Churches
  • Roman Catholics
  • Western Catholicism

There is a scriptural basis for this, seen in passages like Matthew 6:16-18

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Related Scripture(s):

  • “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.” – Acts 2:1-47.
  • “For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 14:2

Related Video(s):

#5 Do Evangelicals Celebrate Ash Wednesday?

Yes, Evangelicals celebrate Ash Wednesday as a symbolization of Christ’s sacrifice of life on the crucifix. Due to this, Evangelicals, Protestants, and Catholics find great significance in placing the same crucifix symbol on their foreheads using Ash. This demonstration is a public expression of penance, mortality, and mourning the loss of Jesus Christ.

Some of the denominations that observe Ash Wednesday most commonly include:

  • Anglicans
  • Baptists
  • Evangelicals
  • Lutherans
  • Mennonites
  • Methodists
  • Nazarenes
  • Protestants
  • Reformed Churches
  • Roman Catholics
  • Western Catholicism

There is a scriptural basis for this, seen in passages like Matthew 6:16-18

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Figure 5 – Ash Wednesday

Related Scripture(s):

  • “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”‘ – Genesis 3:19.
  • “And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.”’ – Ezekiel 9:4 .

Related Video(s):

#6 Do Evangelicals Believe in Predestination?

Yes and no. Reformed churches, including Evangelicals, believe that God has predestined certain people but not predestining mankind to eternal damnation. At the same time, Evangelicals are a compassionate denomination seeking to ‘save’ others, despite the fact that humans possess free-will, a power of choice that usually leads mankind towards sin.

Commonly accepting new converts and reformed members of their church, one could argue, ‘why would one bother trying to obtain converts if God’s will is already predestinated?’ The answer is, God asks mankind to spread his word because he supports humanity’s power of free will, directly opposing predestination.

Evangelicals typically lean towards the belief that God wants to share his message because he hopes to save all, never seeking to place eternal damnation onto anyone undeserving.

Evangelical-times.org discusses of predestination: 

“Often a person will ask: ‘Do you believe in predestination?’ In such cases it is necessary to reply: ‘What do you mean by predestination?’ If people mean, ‘Do you believe that God has predestinated some people to heaven and some people to hell?’ then the answer must be no. The Bible does not say that, nor require that we believe it. It is not acceptable to impose our preconceived notions upon biblical truth.”

They follow-up that one is made glorious by God’s predestination:

“God has also predestined his people to be called, justified, and glorified. This is God’s purpose put into effect in the life of his chosen people. Those predestined will be made glorious.

To support this argument that not all Evangelicals support the belief in Predestination, Thegospelcoalition.org adds:

Many evangelicals—including pastors—see the doctrine as best left alone, forbidden theological fruit, fraught with speculation. It is just not practical, they argue. It’s a debate for seminary classes with no real bearing on the full-court press of everyday life.”

As you can see, there are opinions on all sides of this debate, leaving it up to the individual or church’s discretion.

Figure 6 – Predestination

Related Scripture(s):

  • “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” – Psalm 18:30.
  • “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” – John 6:44.
  • “He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,” – Ephesians 1:5.

Related Video(s):

#7 Do Evangelicals Observe Lent?

According to a survey conducted by LifeWay Research in 2016, less than one in three American Evangelicals (28%) observe the Christian season of Lent.  It is worth acknowledgment that this figure is 8% higher than the typical Americans that celebrate Lent (20%), but still less than half of the number of Catholics that participate in Lent (60%).

As a reformed expansion of Protestant Christianity, Evangelicals take a more liberal approach to faith and worship. In this capacity, many traditions are left up to the discretion of that individual or church. Due to this, many will sacrifice something such as meat or a luxury, while others will choose to skip the tradition altogether.

The methods by which Americans Choose to Observe Lent include:

  • 57% fast from a favorite food or beverage
  • 57% attend church services
  • 39% pray more
  • 38% give to others
  • 35% fast from a bad habit
  • 23% fast from a favorite activity
  • 5% selected ‘none of these.’
Figure 7 – When Did Evangelicals Start Observing Lent?

Related Scripture(s):

  • “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple…” – Matthew 4:1-25 
  • “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.”  – Joel 2:12-13

Related Video(s):

#8 Do Evangelicals Believe in Angels?

Yes, Evangelicals believe in angels as the messengers of God. Even the term evangel means ‘a herald of good news.’  

As far as how the numbers related to the belief in angels, The Evangelical Alliance finds that:

“More women say they have seen or heard an angel, with 11 percent saying they had experienced an angel and just 8 percent of men saying they have had an angelic experience.”

With figures going even further than this, The University of Notre Dame found in religious studies that:

  • 82% of Evangelical Protestants believe in angels
  • 69% of Evangelical Protestants have had an experience of being protected by an angel

The Billy Graham Evangelist Association claims:

“While the angels are real, we are not to become preoccupied with them or to worship them. Only God is worthy of our worship, and only Christ saves us. Trust Him alone as your Savior, for “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).”

Angels are continually watching over mankind, as attested by scriptures such as Psalm 91:11. Although they are typically unseen, angels expose themselves to humans at certain times of distress or necessity. The Bible says that God surrounds us with a host of angels to protect and guard us.

When one is pulled into the sin of Satan’s influence, this is seen by Christians as a separation between a person and their angels.

Related Scripture(s):

  • “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” – Psalm 91:11.
  • “Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!” – Psalm 103:20.
  • “Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.” – Isaiah 6:2.
Figure 8 – Are Angels Real?

Related Video(s):

#9 Do Evangelicals Believe in Mary?

Yes, Evangelicals recognize Mary’s contribution as the mother and birther of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

To offer scalability on this devotion, Mary is not held to the level of respect given to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. Evangelicals do not hold her to the same esteem as that of the Catholic Church, being that Catholics even recite specific prayers in her name, and evangelicals do not.

The Evangelical Free Church in America breaks down the theology from their denomination’s perspective:

“Often Evangelicals have avoided recognizing and acknowledging the graces evident in her life over a concern that it sounds too much like Roman Catholicism, or at least gives a head-nod to the Roman Catholic position of Mary. This is known as Mariology, that is Marian dogma and Marian devotion, or as Evangelicals would refer to this, Mariolatry.”

In Timothy George’s podcast What Evangelicals Can Love About Mary, they add to the discussion:

“George doesn’t personally believe Catholic teaching on the immaculate conception, Mary’s perpetual virginity, or the idea she was assumed into heaven without physically dying—but he does think that Protestants should find a lot more to love about the mother of God.”

Figure 9 – The New York Times

Related Scripture(s):

  • “And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” – Luke 1:38

Related Video(s):

#10 Do Evangelicals Believe in Purgatory?

No, Protestants, including Evangelicals, do not believe in purgatory. There is no scriptural basis for it, only quotes that allude to it and become interpreted as truth.

Pewforum.org finds that “in the U.S. today, seven-in-ten Catholics say they believe in purgatory. Black Protestants are closely divided on this question. By contrast, most white evangelical Protestants (72%) and white mainline Protestants (66%) say they do not believe in purgatory.”

Opting for a belief in multiple levels of heaven, many Evangelical Protestants prescribe to the idea of judgment day upon which everyone will be raised and then judged by God. Purgatory is typically a belief found in religions such as Roman Catholicism, seen as the duration by which the soul will be purified before they are ‘ready’ for heaven.

The Lancaster Evangelical Free Church writes in response to the query, ‘Why don’t we believe in Purgatory today?’

“(1) We recognize the Hebrew Bible as the OT, just as Christ and the apostles did.

(2) We believe that scripture is our final authority, not the church. Church tradition and teachings must be supported by scripture and do not have independent authority. This is one of the key elements of the reformation. We’ll hear more about this next week.

(3) We believe that every believer, through the Holy Spirit, has the ability to interpret scripture. This is why we encourage everyone to not only have a bible, but to spend time reading it. The faithful study of scriptures by the people of God holds the church accountable to teach the word faithfully.

(4) We believe that we are justified by faith alone in Jesus alone. Works flow outward from our faith but have nothing to do with our justification.

(5) Because Jesus sacrificial atonement for our sins is complete, our justification is complete, and there is no need for any additional cleansing.

“And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at this coming.” – 1 John 2:28.

We can enter into the presence of God because of the blood of Christ “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7

The blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin. Period. Dot. End of story. Let’s pray.”

Figure 10 – Pewforum.org

Related Scripture(s):

  • “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10.
  • “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9.

Related Video(s):

#11 Do Evangelicals Believe in Baptism?

Yes, Evangelicals believe in Baptism.

Acts 2:38 tells us: “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Some view it as a rebirth into the sinless-nature of God, while others find the ceremony to be less of a rebirth and more closely categorized as a rite of passage. According to the Oxford Movement (1994) Cambridge University Press by Peter Nockles, the majority of Evangelicals find Baptism to be ‘little more than an initiation into the visible church.’

To this point, the sanctity of baptisms would entirely depend on who you ask.

Many Evangelicals would disagree with the Oxford Movement study, finding it’s outlook to be too casual of a stance, leaving it to be discredited by other Evangelicals. For example, John Stott, in his 1998 piece, ‘The Evangelical Doctrine of Baptism,’ introduces his argument with the preliminary statement:

Evangelical churchmen do not treat the sacrament of Baptism lightly.

We do not forget that it was instituted by the risen Lord, nor that it was administered by the infant Church from the Day of Pentecost onwards (Acts 2:38, 41). Because of the precept of Christ and the practice of the apostles, it is the plain duty of every professing Christian to ask for Baptism for himself and his children; and of the ordained minister to press upon his congregation this obligation and privilege.”

As a public symbol of their faith to be made with full awareness, Evangelicals only allow adult baptisms, explicitly banning infant baptisms. It is taken highly seriously to some members of the denomination, because of the scriptural context that explains one cannot enter heaven without an earth-bound baptism. John 3:5 proclaims, “Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you,unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Reformed churches often include three types of baptisms:

  1. Immersion
  2. Effusion (water poured over the head)
  3. Aspersion (droplets sprinkled on the head)

For Evangelicals, immersion is the most common technique of Baptism. 

Figure 11 – Growth of Evangelicals in Argentina

Related Scripture(s):

  • “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’’ – Acts 22:16

Related Video(s):

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