Intelligent Quote of The Day

Want to avoid fundagelicalism? Unpaid pastors. Small congregations, including splitting them when they grow beyond 70. Minimal physical plant. Consensual decision making. Minimal doctrine. A strong bias towards spiritual growth and community development, and not necessarily numerical growth. These conditions will remove the money factor and the rules & regulations factor and keep the congregation healthy.

—Jay, expressing multiple thoughts over former church pastor’s blog, Why Churches Suck on the post written about the ugly trend of “fundagelicalism” in North American Christianity and how this trend can be stopped.

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Intelligent Quote of The Day

Freedom of  speech is not freedom [from] criticism. Freedom of religion is not freedom to religiously and emotionally abuse your kids. Tolerance is not staying silent while people hurt other people. People need to be aware of what fundamentalism is all about. The more voices that criticize it rationally; the more people who speak out with the consequences fundamentalism has had on their lives, the more maybe hurt people like my parents will think twice before getting involved in it.

The Redheaded Skeptic talking about her life long battle with Christian fundamentalism that was very costly in every sense of the word.

Paradise Restored Trailer

The following trailer is from an upcoming independent movie called Paradise Restored. This project was originated by a person called Andie Redwine, a former member of the Worldwide Church of God. This individual informed me of his project in the comments section in The About section of my blog. With J of Shadows of WCG and Aggie’s Purple Hymnal  promoting this project in their respective blogs, I thought it is only appropriate that I follow suit.  It is my hope that this film will reach in my place of residence Toronto, where The Toronto Film Festival occurs every September. For those who have been under the tyranny of Armstrongism and other types of fundamentalism (or as Gavin would say fundagelicalism), it is urged that you can give this project the best support you can so it can be seen in many places in North America (perhaps the world) as possible. They have a website and blog here. Without further delay, here is the trailer for Paradise Restored.

PS—A note of correction, Andie Redwine is a SHE! It is my hope that many blogs will start a movement to get this film in many places as possible. Spread the word!

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.

Chris Hedges in ’07 discusses American Fundamentalism

This clip from the CBC’s The Hour  with George Stroumboulopoulos is from 2007 but I think it’s guest, journalist and author Chris Hedges who written books like American Facists which deals with the religious right in the United States and his very recent book When Atheism Becomes Religion (which was formerly titled I Don’t Believe in Atheists) STILL has some pretty relevant things to say as he touches upon the American Religious Right. He has probably watched the Star Wars saga in which  “The Sith”  who represent the  “dark side of the force” always tend to think in absolutes. Fundamentalists and millitants are no different and of course, that process of thinking is extremely dangerous and destructive in the long run.

 

An always intelligent quote of the day from Woohoo!

bra4.jpg…it’s not Jesus I have a problem with.  It’s the fan club.To clarify:  For years, I had a tough time telling religious types off.  For years, I thought that a bunch of people knew a secret about Jesus that I never knew and that was always alluding me.  For years, I never believed that I could have peace about this religious stuff.  I have never felt okay being an atheist, and there have been too many experiences in my life that resonate with the words of Jesus written in the gospel accounts.

But it’s my experience.  My decision.  My conclusions.  My light.  My path.  I don’t prescribe it to anyone else, nor am I afraid of people burning in hell if I don’t recruit them to my path. 

I hate going to church.  I feel like I did my time.  I go when I feel like it, and sometimes, I actually do feel like it, but in the Spring and Fall, I am generally on hiatus.  It’s the sermoning at me when I can’t respond with questions or concerns that bothers me the most.  My kids and husband really enjoy it, but I can’t stand it.  I monitor everything that is taught to my kids…and I make damned sure that if any propaganda comes from someone, I correct it by helping them ask a lot of questions and reminding them that there are a lot of questions in life that are just flat unanswerable.  They probably don’t get it now, but they will some day.

While I brand myself as a Christian (a follower of the words and teachings of Christ as recorded in the gospel accounts), I am so past people who claim to have answers for every question — everything from dinosaurs to current catastrophes and where we are in bible prophecy…and my church doesn’t even go there, which is why I can handle my kids going there.  A lot of fundamentalists these days sound a LOT like Herbert. 

People are so crazily interested in all of the bad in the world — what doom and gloom lurks around every corner.  And fundamentalists and COG types take that fear and capitalize on it for their own gain.  What I find comforting is how Jesus dealt with the same types of people in his day, i.e. the Pharisees.  The Jesus I follow is the kind of guy who elevates a prostitute and a hemorrhaging woman to the chagrin of the people around him.  They hate him so much because he is bucking their little system. 

And the Jesus that I teach my kids about cares about the people that society has written off.  Like they once were — cast off kids who nobody wanted.  The boys have asked why their mother walked out on them and left them in foster care.  It was really, really hard for them.  I tell them all of the time that they weren’t my homemade kids, but they are handpicked.  That’s redemptive in my book.  They want to know so much about their situation, but they are really glad in a way that their mother abandoned them so that they can be our kids.  But we also want them to love their birthmother, and we honor her in appropriate ways around here too. 

That’s true religion for me…not scaring kids with plastic fetuses and having them hand out tracts at bowling alleys or taking them to Washington to picket outside the Supreme Court against abortion or teaching them not to “dance in the flesh,” whatever the hell that is.  (Sorry for the spoiler, but you have GOT to see this film to believe it.)

My husband always chuckles at me for bucking the establishment.  Every week at this little church that our family goes to, they pray for the soldiers in Iraq.  Well, last week, I elbowed my husband and said, “How about praying for our enemies?  Like Al Qaeda?”  He laughed almost out loud, but he got my point.  I think that suicide bombers are victims of a cult mindset.  Hell, there was a time in my life when if I had been told that this would benefit God’s future kingdom on earth, I would have strapped on a bomb.

So, I break the mold…here on this forum and in my life in general. 

You really do need to watch this film, though.  I think that it needs to be required viewing by every American.  What is happening is a brainwashing of children into a fundamentalism that yields anxiety and some extreme black/white thinking.  And it is happening on a much grander scale than the COGs.  Heck, just watch TBN’s infamous “Praise the Lord” show for fifteen minutes (if you can stomach it), and you’ll see the bullshit mind control in primetime…especially if it is a Praise-A-Thon week.

 The Painful Truth’s Woohoo 74 talking about her rightful displeasure with the modern American evangelical and fundamentalist movement today. I think her comments at the beginning resembles what Gandhi said, “I like their Jesus but I don’t like their Christians.”