Reflecting on My Decision to Reject Evangelical Christianity. Its Too Corrupt, Political and Intellectually Shallow

This is a post explaining why I have rejected evangelicalism as a faith movement. This is one that I have been meaning to work on for a while. From issues with Calvinism to politics to corruption there are many reasons to reject evangelicalism. This is just a part of my journey. 

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

J.R.R. Tolkien

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

Hebrews 6:10 NIV 

After my baptism at Fresno Evangelical Free in Fresno, California in April of 2000. 

 

This blog played a role in writing about the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal in Chicago. Before I traveled to Chicago to attend a conference I wrote a post explaining why evangelicalism can not be reformed. You can read that in, “Before Julie Roys Restore Conference An Explanation as to Why Evangelicalism Can Not Be Reformed.” This is a follow up post to that article. There has been a lot of thinking going on in my mind that is the result of processing and working through situations. I consider myself to be part of the dones. I have given up on any effort to go to church. I still will attend when I travel or visit as I am busy writing about this mess people call evangelicalism. In this post I want to explain why I have rejected evangelicalism as a movement, their way to worship and more. Let me break it down into differing sections. There is both the Calvinist or Neo-Cal movement on one side. Then you have the traditional Baptist and charismatic on the other side. I want to explain why I have reached this period in my thinking. 

 

Why Neo-Calvinism Should be Rejected 

Two years ago I wrote a post about what I do admire and respect about those in the Neo-Calvinist movement. You can read that in, “What The Wondering Eagle Appreciates and Respects About Neo-Calvinism.”  That I think is a fair post and one that is honest. I explore things from both sides of the equation. The major problem with Calvinist theology in my view is that it makes the problem of evil worse. That plane crash, school shootings, events like September 11, 2001, a bridge collapse are all made to be worse. The sovereignty that is taught by people like John Piper creates a God who is a monster. Its a God who takes pleasure in people’s pain and suffering. I used what John Piper said about the Newtown shooting to explain how this comes about. You can read that in, “How Reformed Theology/Neo-Calvinism Make the Problem of Evil Worse: John Piper, Adam Lanza and a Massacre in Connecticut.

In addition to the problem of evil here are the other reasons why I believe Neo-Calvinist or reformed theology should be rejected. Its too authorterian, controlling and can be abusive. How many scandals have shown this? Acts 29, Mars Hill, Harvest Bible Chapel and Sovereign Grace Ministries. I could go on but you get my drift. Many of these places control people, use information against them and are abusive in their practice. I would never become a member of a 9 Marks church. I would never get involved in an Acts 29 church. The idea of signing a membership covenant especially when pastors can be exempt and play by another set of rules is another problem. The problems in these places are deep and can not be resolved. The best thing to do in my view is to avoid them all together. The problem of tribalism in the Neo-Calvinist movement is a serious issue. Watching the behavior of ministries like Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, Christian Counseling and Education Foundation  and more is a behavior of frustration. You also have personality cults that have developed in this tribe. How many people have identified with people like Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, John Piper, C.J. Mahaney, Mark Dever, etc…? I wrote about the personality cult of John Piper and as a guy trained in history wrote about the similarities in the personality cult of Chairman Mao in China in the 1960’s and 1970’s. You can read that in, “The Little Red Book…of John Piper?” 

And some issues are changing as well. For example up above I wrote what I appreciated about the Neo-Calvinist movement is that it is a-political. That is changing with Al Mohler’s decision to become political and sound more like Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas. Mark Dever as a close friend of Al Mohler will stay silent. I guess those op-eds in the Washington Post that I read by Jonathan Leeman on why the church should not be political or take controversial stands should be dismissed. And people like Garrett Kell of Del Rey Baptist who is trying to move up in these organizations will stay silent. For people like Jonathan Leeman, Mark Dever or Garrett Kell its not about Jesus but its about tribalism instead. At the end of the day it never was about Jesus. It was about empire building, publishing and controlling others. And that is on top of the problem of evil situation. And it should be noted that while the Neo-Calvinists do have a more intellectual approach there is not an answer for everything. This also leads to problems for them as well. 

 

Why Traditional Baptist Theology Should be Rejected 

Because of my rejection of Neo-Calvinist theology I tried to find a home for a while in traditional Baptist or evangelical kind of churches. In the course of time I learned that I don’t belong in these places either. Here are the problems that exist with this faith movement. Some places are too caught up in end times theology. If I hear more about the rapture I am going to heave in disgust. The rapture and end times theology is bad theology. The other problem is that in these places they are too political and wrapped up in Christian nationalism. Jesus did not die for the sins of the world. He suffered at Calvary and cried out to the Lord and died for a United States Supreme Court seat here in Washington, D.C. Christians in this tribe should be ranked and considered a political party instead. When are the people in this camp going to understand that there is not a covenant between God and the United States? Only Israel had a covenant with God. Everything that this side stated about character for years was lost in rallying around and embracing a man who had affairs with pornography stars in 2016 and who boasted of grabbing pussy. I don’t know how else to say it except that Jesus is a means to power in the end on this side of the house. Its not about salvation or reaching the lost its about control of the government. I was foolish to think that this is about faith anyhow. Its the sad brutal reality but its what I have arrived at. Another factor is that in this camp you find more people sharing conspiracy theories and pushing and buying into fake news and more.  This side of the theological house has people that can not think for themself at all. Just this evening I saw on social media a pastor I know who accused the governor of his state of being a Muslim and there was no legitimate claim to it. If you are going to disagree with someone do so on principle. Don’t lie and make up something as conspiracy theories are the lazy man’s job. This side can also be hostile to science and intellectualism. So if you believe in science as I do, this is not a place where you can belong. Also another concern is the embrace of alternative facts and the rejection of intellectualism disciplines. A movement that embraces disgraced or problematic people like Ravi Zecharious, Ken Ham or David Barton is one that is fatally flawed. 

 

Why Charismatic Theology Should be Rejected 

Charismatic theology in my view is exhausting. Its draining and has deep problems. I was in a a Bethel like church in Wisconsin that at one point had a pastor who tried to raise someone from the dead in a Milwaukee area hospital. The concept of a demon behind every door and closet was exhausting. When people believe extreme spiritual warfare that replaces individual responsibility and ownership. You don’t have a problem with alcohol but you were under spiritual attack and you succumbed. Charismatic theology plays with your emotions and your mental health which makes it toxic. In this camp I wonder if it attracts people who are mentally ill especially those who can deal with borderline personality disorders or schizophrenia. Charismatic theology leads people to make spectacular jumps in theology and claims. It has also led to bad decisions and situations. How many people have died when they could have been saved medically if a mental health professional was consulted? How can you have any discussions about science when that flu you have is a demonic spiritual attack? How can education better people’s life when they reject the facts? The pray it away mentality can exacerbate many situations. Charismatic theology in the end is just embarrassing for many people who have been caught up in these places to come clean. I get it. I write about Wooded Hills in Wisconsin but others can not. Charismatic theology is a mess and not one of my finer moments in life. Its actually one of my most embarrassing. 

 

Evangelical Christians Should be Held to a Lower Standard than Secular Individuals 

So how should Evangelical Christians be viewed? In light of all the above and what is written? I think its best that if the world lowers their standards for evangelicals and have higher standards for other groups of people.  When someone says they go to an evangelical church or they state  one should be born again ten I think that should be a red flag, and that they should be held to a lower standard.  This way when the scandal or double standard comes out one can expect it and know its going to happen.You are not as surprised and you are okay with it. Its defuses the situation and life is much easier. In secularism I find more honesty, character and values. Those values are hard to find in evangelicalism. The reasons why baffle me but I also can’t deny its existence. I can’t understand why evangelicalism is so corrupt. In the end its just a part of culture. In my take it you really want to find corruption you go to religion because that is one of the most corrupt rackets that exists today. 

 

A Concern About Those Who Left Corrupt Churches 

There is another concern as well that I am noticing that has bothered me and its influenced the reasons for writing a blog such as this one. When the Sovereign Grace scandal raged here in the Washington, D.C. area I saw and interacted with people who talked about sex abuse in places like Covenant Life Church or Sovereign Grace Fairfax. They talked about the problems of sex abuse and how evil it was, and they were right. Then in the course of time I saw a few people shift and explain away the sexual abuse issue with Donald Trump. I realized that sexual abuse was only important if it happened in their family but otherwise they could dismiss it. Seeing the double standard was disappointing but I thought this was an isolated incident. In Mars Hill in Seattle I also interacted with people who talked about how Mark Driscoll was a bully. They talked about his anger issues, his narcissism, and more. This blog agreed with them and then I saw some of those people who called out Driscoll defend Donald Trumps’ bullying. It shocked me and I distanced myself from a few people. This happened again with James MacDonald. I saw people from Harvest on Twitter who talked about how James was a bully. Look at how he treated students in Harvest Christian Academy. What he said to people in Harvest, etc… And just as I witnessed with Sovereign Grace and Mars Hill some of the people from Harvest did the same thing.  They rallied around Donald Trump, excused the bullying and explained it away. When James MacDonald did that behavior its abusive. When Donald Trump does that behavior its fine.  The double standards by many Christians who leave these organizations talking about abuse who then justify abuse in other areas is emotionally crushing. 

As a result I have come to the conclusion that you really can’t help some of these people from some of these churches. Some are never going to learn and just will go from one personality cult to another. Its heartbreaking to see but its also the reality of the situation as well. When I write its mostly for the community that these places reside. My goal is to keep people away from them and spare them of the divided and destroyed families. 

 

The Next Question to Wrestle with…Does God Exist? 

Years ago in a faith crisis I read part of a book that hit close to home for me. The book was by the former religion writer for the Los Angeles Times, William Lobdell and was his own personal journey into atheism. One of the things he said in that book is that many religious organizations are not drenched in God’s spirit. They are much more corrupt, much more hypocritical and that was the point for him. If people are going to go to hell then why would God allow all these corrupt organizations to harm and destroy people. What type of loving father would allow their son or daughter to be hurt or abused? With a message so pertinent and needed why does God allow or entrust it to the James MacDonalds or C.J. Mahaney’s of the world. Maybe the answer to the question is that perhaps God does not exist. Perhaps that is why these problems happen over and over. If God existed he would intervene and stop them from occurring. It could also mean that perhaps God does not love his creation at all. These are longer and deeper questions that I will have to wrestle with in the course of the next few years. As I have written about before the problem of evil is the best reason for rejecting God. You can read that in, “Why the Problem of Evil is the Best Reason for Rejecting God.” 

Its a hard and difficult journey but to know yourself is very important in the end. How many people recall when they were young and they realized that things like Santa Claus did not exist? You have that awakening and realization that you were strung along for the longest of time. For me that is kind of what religion feels like for me in many ways as these situations have dragged on. To be criticized and attacked I can take. For those who say I was never an evangelical to begin with, I can dismiss those claims. I recall when a military officer from a Sovereign Grace Church tried to get me involved in Redeemer Arlington and then triggered a false accusation that threatened my ability to earn income and more. It was the darkest season of my life. I responded in time by approaching many people for forgiveness as a way out of a faith crisis. I built many bridges in 2013 and 2014. In the process I learned that Christians don’t admit error or say they are wrong. That is why my action stood our and moved so many people. After that effort many of those bridges were burned by Christian nationalism in 2016. And in another way it left me reeling. It also showed me as well which was hard to admit that many parts of the Christian faith are not true. And it took me practicing it to realize that it was not true. Actually it reminded me of when I was in college and the Mormon missionaries were telling me how to build a testimony in both Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. When it didn’t work the missionaries put the blame on me and made me the issue. Evangelicalism is similar in that you can do the faith or live it out but it fails and then you can have faith communities who shift the blame to you and make you the issue. 

Anyhow I will have to wrestle with some of these other issues for a long time but as for evangelicalism its best to leave it behind. Yes its the loss of innocence in many ways but that is a part of growing as well. 

23 thoughts on “Reflecting on My Decision to Reject Evangelical Christianity. Its Too Corrupt, Political and Intellectually Shallow

  1. Great analysis, and very thoughtful. I’ll be interested to see where your journey takes you next.

    Since you often seem very drawn to religious communities, are you participating with any of them now? I probably asked you this before, but age has done a number on my memory. What is your current view of liberal protestant churches and UU congregations?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wondering,

    I have NO IDEA what you are LOOKING FOR in life, but you are MISSING ETERNAL LIFE for YOURSELF, regardless of what you think of CHRISTIANS.

    Just because Christians voted for Trump, and you have NO IDEA from HISTORY what this nation is all about, you have a TWISTED view of what Christianity is REALLY all about.

    May I please say something that is MEANINGFUL to you?

    You know how I always am a LOT sarcastic at your USAGE of the word EVANGELICAL, right?

    I don’t like that word as much as YOU, but…YOU ARE WAY OFF BASE HERE. If you are gonna JUDGE GOD based on the word EVANGELICAL, then you have NO CLUE what the bible even teaches. Sure, you can make a quote here and there for your blog, in order for it to mean something…to you! BUT, you can’t READ BETWEEN THE LINES that you are MISSING OUT ON YOUR OWN ETERNAL LIFE.

    This isn’t about who bruised your ego, and this isn’t about who abused you, and this isn’t about you being offended by Trump, because NONE OF THIS HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH ANYONE BUT YOU!

    Are you gonna be like Ron Reagan, where you say that you are NOT AFRAID TO BURN IN HELL? Are you really gonna be that DUMB?

    What is an evangelical to begin with?

    Well, first of all, the word EVANGELICAL is not even in the bible. Evangelist is, but not EVANGELICAL.

    So what is an EVANGELIST? It’s someone who BRINGS GOOD NEWS, GOOD TIDINGS, and not necessarily a CHRISTIAN.

    If I brought you GREAT NEWS that you can go back to work, I just evangelized you. So, in Christianity, all an evangelist is, is someone who brings GOOD NEWS (GOSPEL) OF JESUS TO YOU.

    Somewhere in RECENT time past, probably in the last 100 years, it has been a HUGE MISNOMER that the word EVANGELICAL equates with the word CHRISTIAN, and ya know what? YOU have fallen for that.

    Ephesians 4:11
    11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

    You judge Christianity on someone’s political views? You judge Christianity of the sins of Christians?

    What are YOUR SINS, man. Seriously. Have YOU ever sinned against God, considering that the bible states FOR ALL HAVE SINNED and fall short? Does that not concern YOU at all?

    So you blame Joe Schmuckitelly for making you an unbeliever, and just THROW AWAY “YOUR” salvation? That is dumb.

    You are very judgmental.

    The POINT of Christianity is YOUR salvation…NOT WHO CHRISTIANS VOTE FOR PRESIDENT.

    We are CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND just because we voted for someone that YOU DON’T LIKE, you are gonna throw away a chance to be with YOUR MOM AND DAD AFTER YOU DIE?

    Excuse me for saying this, but WHAT AN IDIOT YOU ARE! With all due respect of course.

    WHY do you only LOOK AT THE EARTH’s PROBLEMS AND NOT LOOK UP?

    Jesus mentioned YOU in the following:

    Mark 4:18-20 King James Version (KJV) THE CARES OF THIS WORLD…

    18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

    19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

    20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

    Your major malfuntion…you came from ONE CULT called Catholicism, and went to another cult called Calvinism.

    That’s no different than going from Jehovah’s Witness to Mormonism. Once cult to another.

    SETTLE YOUR ISSUES WITH GOD, and stop making this about TRUMP and those who OFFENDED you in some way or another by their ACTIONS. That’s a PISS POOR EXCUSE to be done with it, my friend.

    Get right with GOD, before it’s TOO LATE. It’s about YOUR DESTINY after you die. Stop making it about TRUMP. It’s not about him, it’s about YOU.

    But as a citizen of the United States, I will vote Trump again. You do acknowledge us Christians as CITIZENS, right? We can vote for whomever we wish to. Even if it ticks you off. We are not beholden to YOU. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

    Study the bible…don’t just post a quote or two on a blog. Anyone can do that.

    Ed Chapman

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      • That’s what those proof texts are for. It’s his problem if he doesn’t like them. He chooses his destiny. But the warning is in writing, and if it were me, if you’ve ever seen the movie SELENA, “I don’t want to be that dumb”, spoken by Selena’s boyfriend to Selena. What was the context of his statement?

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  3. go towards the light, Eagle

    leaving trumpism and all its evangelical supporters behind you is a good thing

    fair winds, seek shelter in the peace of Christ 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We have talked enough that I understand very well where you are coming from, and I share many of your same concerns. While much of my Christian faith could rightly be described as evangelical in nature (in the sense of Bebbington’s quadrilateral definition) I no longer use the word to describe myself simply because its current political and cultural connotation is not indicative of my views.

    I didn’t travel the same spiritual path as you, and so I can’t begin to fully understand your experiences. I was never Calvinist, or Baptist, or charismatic, or Pentecostal. My journey was mainline denomination to moderate evangelical and now probably awkwardly situated someplace between the two, which is an uncomfortable spot indeed. I feel like I have no earthly spiritual home, but I think that is OK because I am confident in my heavenly spiritual home. As I have pulled further back from the man-made religious “systems” and “systematic theologies” I depend more and more on my understanding of God’s Word and (hopefully) the leading of the Holy Spirit. Above all, I try to keep my focus on Christ as the center of my faith. Christ (and the gospels) is the prism through which I understand the Old Testament (or the Law and the Prophets, if you will) and the New Testament epistles. Keeping the focus on the person of Jesus Christ is a good corrective to keep one from going off course or going down too many rabbit holes in those sections of the Bible.

    So I am at the strange place where my faith is stronger than it has ever been, but I am increasingly distanced from church. I attend regularly, but warily, and often feel ill at ease there. My “radar” is always up and sensitive to things that are said and done that I find problematic. I am certainly not arguing that I alone have the truth, far from it. I have slipped up and stumbled and gotten off track too many times to think that I have it all together, or to lose my sense of humility.

    I think my biggest struggle in recent years has been seeing how the portion of the American church which I have been involved in the majority of my life has now more or less become essentially a political action committee. The faith taught and practiced there is now so intrinsically tied to conservative and nationalistic American politics that I cannot be a part of it. Everything one party and its politicians do and say is regarded as (quite literally) the gospel truth, entirely good and right and perfect. More time is spent by people listening to the party’s media mouthpieces and outlets than is spent in the Word. The words of the Bible are viewed through the prism of those political views, and not vice versa. Faith is placed in the deliverance and “salvation” provided by the preferred politicians, and they are revered as some kind of saints. While people will insist that their true faith is in God, their words and actions demonstrate that this faith in God is primarily a faith that He will bring about their desired political outcomes, thereby making God merely a means to an end. The world is seen as a political and culture war battlefield, not as a mission field. Those who differ culturally and politically are seen not as fellow creatures to be loved and served but rather as “the enemy” which needs to be battled and vanquished. It is entirely based on Us-versus-Them self-righteous exclusivity and vilification of anyone who does not fully agree. I cannot look at this dynamic and see anything of Christ in it.

    At various times I have unfollowed so many Facebook friends, and I have been on a flurry of that recently as the health situation has presented the opportunity for so many to head down the conspiracy theory path. And most of those who have been doing so and posting such rhetoric are my former fellow evangelical churchgoers. It is truly sad to see.

    So all of this to say that while we are certainly at different places in our respective journeys, I understand very well so much of what you are saying here, and agree with large parts of it. As always, I wish you well as you continue on your journey, and it will be interesting to see where our paths take us.

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  5. I’ve just discovered your site today, and have read through a few posts. You and I seem to be similar theologically in ways that I don’t often find in people around me. For example, I once left a church over its reformed theology. When I read this post I wondered about your opinion of Open Theism, and then I read your post from July 2, 2017. I am not an Open Theist, but I kind of wish I was. It’s been almost three years since that post; what do you think about it now? Do ReKnew-affiliated churches have the negative characteristics that you identify with evangelicalism?

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    • Welcome Peter! I have a lot of respect for Greg Boyd. I think he does a good job. But the challenges I see with evangelicalism are systemic and throughout the culture. I find it exhausting in many ways and often not sustainable.

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      • Thanks for the reply! A couple of years ago we considered leaving our current church (a denominationally independent seeker-oriented wannabe-megachurch that grew out of a Baptist tradition) because we disagreed with some of the financial decisions that were being made, and we felt like the sermons were not meeting our needs. (In retrospect, this was selfish of us.) We tried out and rejected a number of area churches; one because it turned out to be Reformed, another because the pastor preached a sermon about how a literal interpretation of Genesis was required to be a Christian, another because they practiced faith healing (which since then I have become less opposed to), another because they were more charismatic than we were used to… and in the end we stayed with the original church, partly because of small group ties and partly because they do such an amazing job of ministering to people in need, people who are hurting in the community, and this is really the main purpose of the church. Through this process I realized that every church has issues. There are no perfect churches because there are no perfect people, and what better place for corrupt, sinful people to be, than church? Maybe that’s easy for me to say because we haven’t witnessed many of the things that you have reported on.

        I wonder if this blog has had an effect on you similar to what happens to prison guards or police officers. They may start out perfectly fine people, wanting to serve the community, and constant exposure to the worst that humanity has to offer changes them. The self-defense behaviors they develop to survive their work harm their relationships. They see darkness everywhere. Maybe what they see is what ordinary people miss.

        I listened to a podcast recently where the host interviewed a “neo-trappist missional church planter”. The lack of power held by this type of church seems like it eliminates many of the issues you have identified with establishment churches. It probably creates other issues. I’m not even sure how I would find a church like that near me. I’m not sure how well this church model could scale. But it appeals to me strongly. I crave authentic discipleship community. Have you ever looked into this type of church? The podcast I listened to was: https://www.prestonsprinkle.com/theology-in-the-raw/2020/789/hugh-halter

        I recently studied 1 Timothy and it jumped out at me when Paul warned Timothy about people who would rather argue about theology or quibble about the meanings of words at the expense of the gospel. As someone who enjoys quibbling about the meanings of words, this hit home. I decided that what is important is the application. I can tolerate someone believing wrong things about predestination as long as it doesn’t harm their ministry. Similarly I can tolerate a church spending a million dollars on a foyer when their food and clothing drive is so productive that they overflow the local shelters and have to go looking in other cities for needy people to help. There are things I can’t tolerate, and I hope I don’t encounter them in the way that you have.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the thoughtful response. Sadly I ran into the issue in different forms in different ways. Are you familar with Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind? I think if you boil it all away it comes to the that issue. Evangelicalism is emotional and not intellectual. Thus that is why its hostile to science, academia and history. Insecurity leaves many to “defend the Bible” which shuts down discussion. But I am happy to discuss this with you.

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  7. I have not read The Scandal Of The Evangelical Mind, but judging from the online reviews I think I largely agree with it.

    That said, I don’t identify fundamentalism as a necessary component of evangelicalism, but as one branch of it. Definitions mean things and I’m not trying to say that yours are wrong, just describing how I perceive things. In one sense, I see evangelicalism as a cloud of beliefs; in another sense I see it as a cloud of people with certain beliefs in common, such as, salvation is by grace alone. I’ve only ever attended evangelical churches and I think of my beliefs as overlapping with that evangelical cloud of beliefs, and of my person with that evangelical cloud of people, but I don’t see a big connection between them. Most people in most churches don’t understand why they should believe what they believe. It’s no coincidence that the Bible refers to us as sheep.

    When I was growing up we were taught that all those other denominations had people who went to church and were just going through the motions; they didn’t really believe the Bible like we fundamentalists did. As an adult I see that not only are there true believers who are Catholic, or Lutheran, or any other denomination, but my evangelical church also has lots of people who are just going through the motions.

    So it’s no surprise to me when I see unChristlike behavior in churches. Sin is real, and it’s everywhere, including in me. I’ve also seen genuine repentance in churches, and it is marvelous, and we need more of it.

    I don’t think I’ve ever attended a church that has really satisfied my desire for deep theological discussion or learning, and so that part of my life I have supplemented on my own, lately with podcasts, books and blogs. Some of my favorite podcasters self-identify as evangelical, and are certainly deep thinkers. In terms of reading the scriptures to find out what they actually mean, I see a great deal of rigor in the evangelical world. My brothers and I have been reading and discussing through the “X views of Y” books put out by the likes of Zondervan (e.g. “Women in ministry: two Biblical views”) where authors from different perspectives will write a chapter and respond to the other chapters, on the topic of some controversial doctrine or issue. I have to admit that I kind of like it when a discussion devolves to Greek verb tenses and the like. An interesting effect of this process is that I find myself becoming more agnostic about things that I once had firm beliefs about.

    Are there non-evangelical churches that have the attributes you are looking for in a church? If not, maybe what you need to do is not abandon evangelicalism, but reform it. This blog has already been a good resource in that direction, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment Peter. The lines between fundamentalism and evangelicalism I think are blurred. In some of the evangelical churches I was involved with Catholicism was called a cult. Lutherans were looked down upon ans not being Christian. In the Calvinist world they look down and don’t call others Christians in other churches. Here in Washington, D.C. we have Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist which is a pillar for the Neo-Calvinist camp and 9 Marks. People who have left that church told me that they heard other evangelical non-Calvinist churches being disparaged as being non-Christian. So I think the lines are blurred between the two. Some of this I experienced in the EFCA and other churches as well which were mainstream evangelical.

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