How I set my table

by Elouise

As few utensils as possible
More than enough room for everyone
More than enough food for everyone
No pre-ordained seats for the chosen
No reserved seats for the religiously correct
No throne at the head of the table
No place-cards for the righteous few
No special utensils for the wealthy
No printed program at each place
Just a welcome sign of hospitality

Back in the early 1970s, when I was beginning my theological training, the term ‘evangelical’ was in the air. Many conservative Christians saw this as a dangerous distortion of the Gospel.

I saw it as Christianity focused on difficult issues such as poverty, social justice, racism and sexism. Not just praying about them, but marching in protests and becoming part of local efforts to raise awareness and push for change.

I knew I’d found a home. Nonetheless, after identifying myself as an evangelical Christian, some judged me as a betrayer of true Christian faith.

Back then, evangelical Christians also reached out to other denominations and faith-based organizations to maximize their impact on issues of common concern. This meant we were ecumenical. An additional betrayal of ‘true’ Christian faith.

Times have changed. The press and some Evangelicals have politicized the term over the years. We who are not part of the religious right wince when we hear ‘Evangelicals’ used in political discourse.

Statisticians now tell us Mr. Trump would not be president if it weren’t for white Evangelicals. According to the latest statistics, 80% of all white Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump. Without them, he would not have won the electoral vote. For many of them, he’s still the answer to their desire for an overtly Christian nation. Not simply in numbers, but in political realities that matter to them.

I won’t and can’t distance myself from my Evangelical friends. Nonetheless, I’ve decided it’s more than enough to say I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I also happen to be white, female, a wife, mother and grandmother, musician, poet, writer, and a Christian theologian who cares deeply about the way I live as a follower of Jesus each day.

The list at the top expresses my continued commitment to focusing on truth about myself, about Christian faith as I see it, and about this world God loves so much. It also expresses my commitment to listening to others around the table. Especially when we don’t always agree.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 19 October 2017
Image found at

Daily Prompt: Express