Intellectual Christianity in trouble???

This was nothing new to me. During the last decade of the 2000s, I have stated blogs  like this one and others that there is a creeping anti-intellectualism in American Evangelical Protestant Christianity.  Despite those who would wish for me to keep quiet and cover things up for the sake of the “unity of the church”, I have decided to speak up and criticize this trend.  This current decade of the 2010’s, I intend to continue to speak out. I am glad that I am not alone. This link called The Decline and Fall of Intellectual Christianity (Progressive Adventist sponsored) agrees. Here’s some excerpts of what they have to say,

Intellectual Christianity takes work and as time passed it became easier to merely follow religious institutions. Man by his nature is often lazy and seeks the path of least resistance. Not all men of course, for the Christian church could never have been founded by lazy men and women. As orthodox Christianity grew and spread so did the power of the church. With time intellectual Christianity diminished. The Protestant Reformation gave renewed hope to Christianity as the intellectual Christians began to question what tradition had done to the orthodox Christian religion. The Bible as the accepted standard, again took center stage and intellectual Christians championed new ways of understanding the messages that God had inspired. The mind, perhaps God’s greatest handiwork was used by God through the agency of intellectual Christians to rehabilitate the Christian church from the damage done by tradition. When emotion and experience based upon tradition were opposed by the God enabled intellectuals, the church changed.

 

Protestants today are in need of intellectual Christianity as much as any other time in history. The intellectual activity of our predecessors does not automatically flow to us. Their wisdom and their folly are there to be seen and learned from by those willing to process the information. Protestant heritage includes great minds; men and women of great accomplishments. But to use our intellectual faculties we have to make decisions that likely will lead us away from traditions which were not well founded. Not all emotion, experience or tradition is contrary to intellectual process. But it is the intellectual process that evaluates emotion, experience and tradition deciding what to keep and what to discard.

For those who want to read more this splendid article in it’s entirety, the link is here.

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Another Critique on American Evangelical Christianity

 0904CHRISTIAN_RIGHT_wideweb__470x297,0I found this article on a Window’s Live page (and it is dated sometime ago) and if you an Evangelical Christian, you might take offense at what was written. Frankly, I really don’t much problem with what most was written and I think more stuff like this NEEDS to be written more. If one  doesn’t do at least SOME self-examination, how is one to grow? Evangelicals are in for the shock of their lives if they think they can be sooo static in the 21st century. I will give you an excerpt of  Will People Worship Anything Entertaining: Ask an Ex

Evangelical communities, both naturally and deliberately develop closed information economies.  People tend to get their information from people who think like them.  New technologies have allowed more and more isolation of this type.  And Evangelical teachings do not encourage exploring a variety of perspectives.  Quite the opposite.  Fundamentalist ministers and seminary administrators vigilantly safeguard against other points of view, especially scholarship by modernist Christians and secular religion scholars. Consequently, most Evangelicals are exposed almost exclusively to information that has made it through the community filter.   

I used to think Armstrongists were the only ones who loudly exclaimed, “THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY OF BELIEVING THIS AND NO OTHER WAY!!!” Well Evangelicals are as just guilty, probably even more so. While Armstrongism and fundamentalism are usually crude and blunt in their delivery, evangelicals are a way more charming on the impressionable. Just hang around with an evangelical long enough and you will definately see the other side.  As an example that evangelicals can be “one-way” minded when I read on a blog that this pompous ass of an evangelical suggested that if you didn’t subscribe to the “substitutionary atonement” theory of Christ’s death, you’re probably not a real Christian (maybe not really saved). Bunk! Nonsense! Tripe! I am one of those believers who believes in the Christus Victor view of Christ’s Atonement! Guess what? The early church until 1100 AD believed the same thing as I do? Are they too defective Christians? What pig-headed arrogance. No wonder my friend James is turned off by evangelicals at times!

This excerpt is heading towards the ending but I am not going to spoil the paragraph in it’s entirity:

Another factor here is that Evangelicalism, as an American phenomenon, is one of the more individualistic variants of the Christian faith.  It emphasizes individual salvation over collective redemption.  As a corollary, it emphasizes individual responsibility and individual holiness over co-creating God’s kingdom here on earth, which has been the focus of some other kinds of Christian communities.

Can I have an Amen here? It drives me nuts in American Evangelical Christianity that there is no emphasis on making the world a better place NOW! Again I thought Armstrongism was the only group guilty for that failure but oh, how was I wrong again! I was fooled by good ol’ Evangelical charm. To be fair there are some within the evangelical movement that are going against the grain and I salute them. Only if more would, it would be for the betterment of Christianity. Some just think there is nothing wrong but American Evangelical Christianity reminds me soo much of the Church of Laodocea in Revelation (but that’s another discussion for another time).

Read the rest of the article here.

Give ’em hell Dakota!!!

n5703487349_88081 I am very glad for discovering the blog God Discussion and one it’s most splendid writers Dakota O”Leary (a former member of the Worldwide Church of God). She articulately expresses her discontent with the conservative elements of American evangelical Christianity and their thinking that goes with it:

1.  Why do conservative Christians call themselves pro-life, yet do not hesitate to support capital punishment and torture, and are the first to call for war?  If life is sacred to God, isn’t life sacred through old age and death?  Why does it seem that life is only sacred to Christians until the age of 18, which is the legal age one may join the military?  When did Christ torture anybody?  Who would Jesus bomb?   (Please don’t give me Revelation.  There are four gospels about Jesus which seem to be totally ignored when I have this discussion with any conservative Christian).

2.  Why do conservative Christians rush to power through a particular political party, even though Christ himself stated that his kingdom was not of this world, even though Christ shunned the institutional power of the religion of his day (Judaism), and admonished his followers to peaceably pay their taxes and follow civil laws?

3.  Why do conservative Christians seem to look down their nose at non-Christians, particularly Jews?   On my Facebook, I was the observer of a conversation over Easter that went something like this:

Conservative Christian lady:   I feel so sorry for Jews because they denied their Messiah, and now won’t be saved.

2nd Conservative Christian lady: Oh I know!   The poor Jews!  They are so misled!

3rd Conservative Christian lady:  Well, when Jesus comes, the Jews will convert to Christianity, so they still have a chance.  We’ll pray for them.

Trust me, Dakota has some more points on the faults of American Evangelical Christianity. I only was scratching the surface. The anti-Semitism thing from any Christian gets me a little touchy but I make no apologies for being sensitive about it whatsoever.  I have always viewed Christian anti-Semitism as the Christian being the dumb and aggressive  older brother picking fights with his older, more intellectual brother. I never understood anti-Semitism, don’t want to know. It always seemed irrational.

I can understand Dakota’s frustration American evangelical Christianity and the Republican party, she commented in the blog (elsewhere, not in her post) that if Texas wants to leave, let ’em (and the rest of the so-called Red States) leave.  I don’t think so. I don’t want another Afghanistan  in my North American backyard, especially if Dakota makes the case that the money from the Blue States is paying for the Red States.

The post that is in the God Discussion blog is called  What Is A Christian: Questions from a Freethinker  here at :http://www.goddiscussion.com/4607/what-is-a-christian-questions-from-a-freethinker/ .   It’s a post that will make Holy Might Atheist Russell Miller crack open and a beer and say, “Cheers” and it will make James Pate (of James Thought’s and Musings) cringe a little bit but Dakota will always make you think!