Archives for August 2011

On Counterculture

“Culture” is a fraught concept just about everywhere. In the academy, people debate what it is and whether it’s a useful term at all. In some Christian circles, culture is that thing you fight against in order to follow God. Evangelical Christianity in America is counter-cultural. There’s a problem with counterculture: it’s wholly dependent on [Read More…]

Overgrowth: the Story of a Big Marigold

My garden has been growing unchecked for at least a month while I tended to less earthy pursuits. Gardening always takes me by surprise. My plants seem so well-behaved, growing silently in their places, that every once and a while I stop, take a closer look, and am surprised to find that enormous clover have [Read More…]

One year!

I’ve been writing this blog for a year now, which means a number of things: The world hasn’t ended yet, so (according to Message lore) the earliest possible date on which the Rapture could have occurred and left me behind is August 27, 2008, 11:59pm. I haven’t been stricken down by lightning, cancer or bad [Read More…]

Good Reads

Nothing to read on the internet?! Never fear! Here are a few posts I’ve read recently that seemed especially smart and insightful: Darcy’s Heart-Stirrings: I Was You Once An open letter to young women growing up in fundamentalist groups like the Message, which emphasize “modest” dress and teach women to fear and hate their own [Read More…]

The Message vs. the Gospel: Lust and Responsibility

One Sunday, about a year or two before I left my Message church, my pastor warned us that one of our own had fallen away. She was the primary pianist for a small church in Maryland. Unmarried and in her early twenties, she was someone I’d always looked up to as a smart woman, an [Read More…]

You Aren’t What You Eat

The main message of the Message is this: the world is ending soon, and only those with the Holy Spirit will go in the Rapture and escape the Earth’s final burning torment, known as the Tribulation. This is the foundational idea upon which the Message adds multiple layers of doctrine. Here are some examples of [Read More…]

The Message vs. the Gospel: What Defiles You?

William Branham’s life story is published in a book series called Supernatural (no relation to the TV show, although they’d make an interesting combination!). Branham’s story is about growing up as the son of a moonshiner and a 15 year old girl, impoverished, wearing corn husks for shoes, and being conscripted from an early age [Read More…]

Hatred and Modesty

Women’s clothing is a favorite pig to roast in the Message. Some preachers, like one “Brother Ron” who frequented youth camps in the early 2000s, would deliberately play the crowd for laughs by mimicking women applying nail polish or mascara. We were supposed to infer from his exaggerated performance that the women who spent time [Read More…]