It emerged this week that the widely read and influential monthly paper, trusted by conservative and reformed evangelicals around the UK, has decided to live up to the stereotype of its readerships and called for an end to passion. Confusion ensued after some readers thought the article referred to the real historical crucifixion of Christ.
The paper responded immediately to the claims that they are proposing heresy, by putting out a statement denying that the word ‘passion’ refers to anything Christ was involved with, including his death on the cross (as it does in the Roman Catholic tradition). They confirmed the article referred to the “dangerous behaviour humans engage with when they allow their emotions to control their actions, which can lead to slips in the faith and ultimately heresy.”
Despite what might be misconstrued as a passionate sounding name, Evangelicals Wow wants its readers to ‘pass’ on passion. In an article promoting evangelistic tent meetings this Lenten season all across the country, subtle signs of the need for passionlessness were hinted at. According to the article, church leaders such as Al Stuartson and Tico Rice are worried that the events might become bacchanalian in nature, reminiscent of the large stadium missions conducted by Billy Graham.
Graham, who is said to have said: “God did not invent denominations, man did,” has been accused of the heresy of universalism. Many believe that statements such as these are due to his over reliance on love and lack of clear thinking.
“We believe that Billy Graham was a man for his time, though we disagree with his methodology and conclusion. Culture has moved on. What is called for now is apologetics to take centre stage. We need Christians to be able to argue atheists into the ground and we can only do that if we discard our emotions and embrace the cold steel of reason.” said Rice, who also confirmed that the proper use of reason will guard Christians against lapsing into heresy.
One lay person responded to the article by saying: “We understand that reason and arguments are important, but sometimes it is so hard to control the elation and joy at being involved in a tent meeting. One or two of us have even invited non-Christians friends!”