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Evangelical

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For millions of evangelical Christians, President Donald Trump's announcement Monday night was the vision they held in their heads as they stepped into the polling booth almost two years ago: a Republican president, filling the Supreme Court with more conservative justices who might drastically curtail access to legal abortion and advance other conservative Christian priorities.

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As a single woman and a professional author and editor, Gina Dalfonzo doesn't fit the stereotype of a conservative Christian woman whose life is built around home and motherhood. But Dalfonzo actually has no problem with the traditional idea that God intended men and women to have different roles. In fact, she cherishes it. She's always belonged to evangelical churches that are led by men only, a model she feels connects her through time to Jesus.

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About 50 top leaders of major evangelical institutions will attend an invitation-only gathering next week to discuss the future and the "soul" of evangelicalism at a time when many of them are concerned their faith group has become tainted by its association with divisive politics under President Donald Trump.

This much is clear. For Graham, faith was not the instrument to some other end; it was the prize itself. He had no ulterior motives. No trace of cynicism. He was consumed by grace, and spoke in gratitude.

Whether it is the term "evangelical" or "mainline," "liberal" or "conservative," the adjectives we use to describe our faith have served to divide us more than they have defined us. Christians in America have become sparring factions rather than a diverse and multifaceted movement of people who all seek to know and follow Jesus, to bring the Good News in different ways to a hurting world. Our labels break us into little huddles that insulate us from the fullness of the whole church.

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When President Donald Trump announced last week that he planned to "destroy" the Johnson Amendment, he, again, set the social media aflame. He also unnerved a lot of First Amendment disciples and probably more than a few religious leaders.

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