[Searched my feelings I have. CRM’s mascot, Grace, reached out to me through the Force and made me an offer I could not refuse. Go, I will. Good relations with the CRM, I have.]
Former Evangelicals Just Can’t Seem to Stop Complaining About Evangelicalism
If I had a friend who continually complained about his ex-wife year after year after year, I’d have to tell him to get over it and move on. What’s the point of trashing her after all this time? It’s not doing you any good and it’s certainly not doing her any good. What you’re doing is destructive and bitter.
I would like to recommend the same thing to my formerly evangelical friends who just can’t seem to stop complaining about evangelicalism. If you’ve been hurt, if the church has done you wrong, I’m sorry that happened to you. But, if you have moved on in your life to the point where you call yourself a “former” evangelical, why the 999th Frank Schaeffer-esque blog post about how corrupt, backwards, close-minded, bigoted and divisive evangelicals are?
We get it. You’re in your late 20’s (maybe early 30’s if you’ve put it off for a good long while) so of course it’s time to write your memoirs. You’ve explained to us how the evangelical church and/or college you grew up in has it all wrong. The superior, cutting edge insights (warmed-over, re-packaged liberalism, hmm?) you’ve “discovered” have thankfully kept you from ditching Christianity. You almost threw it all away until you discovered you can re-make Christianity into practically anything you want it to be. You’ve escaped the rigid, black-or-white, stifling confinement of evangelicalism. Well done.
Now what? For many so-called former evangelicals the post-evangelical life is very preoccupied with, well, evangelicalism, sometimes to an almost obsessive degree. It’s not enough that you have left the evangelicalism of their youth. No, you need us to see how jacked up it is. You need us to know how foolish our views on gender roles are, how retrograde our convictions are on homosexuality and marriage and origins and the veracity of Scripture. Evangelicalism is debased and debauched and you must enlighten us before it is too late. But if your post-evangelical, post-everything spirituality is so marvelous, why not focus on all its goodness and beauty rather than incessantly tearing down what you’ve left behind? Maybe we’ll want to get in on some of that awesomeness you’ve discovered. If you’ve left evangelicalism, why don’t you go ahead and actually leave it?
That being said, I do thank you for at least leaving the title “evangelical” to the evangelicals rather than attempting to hijack the movement and reshape it into mainline Protestant liberalism as some are furtively attempting to do. The topic of a future post this will be.