The Magic School Bus and the Satanic Panic that ate Christianity

MSBPentagrams

The hallmark of white evangelical discipleship is feigned outrage. Evangelicalism in America takes its cue from the Catholic rite of baptism: “Do you renounce Satan and all his works?” We do. We just have no idea what all Satan’s works might look like. So we make stuff up and then renounce that. [Read more...]

‘Interpretive pluralism’ doesn’t require tolerance as long as you’re willing to accuse everyone else of wicked intent

One page of People Who Are Right, plus 431 pages of People Who Are Wrong.

But when it comes to the moral implications of interpretive pluralism, Richard Beck and Chaplain Mike are in the minority within evangelicalism. The more common, dominant “moral implication” derived from the fact of interpretive pluralism is this: Some people must be right and everyone else must be wrong. Therefore, don’t be wrong. [Read more...]

Learning how not to read

Umbridge

I’m still grateful to this very bad English teacher for that assignment and for the lesson it taught me. She helped me learn how not to read. And not just how not to read poetry, but how not to read parables and prophecies and sermons and stories. As the very worst of my many fundamentalist teachers, in other words, she helped me to unlearn one of the worst things I had been taught by many other less-awful fundie teachers. She helped me to learn how not to read the Bible. [Read more...]

‘Generational curses’ is not a Christian teaching. It is an ancient grift that predates the Bible.

MissCleo

If anyone ever tells you that you may have inherited a generational curse, you can be sure that this information will be followed shortly thereafter by a request for money. Don’t give it to them. This isn’t a Christian doctrine, it’s a trick — an ancient con-game that dates back to prehistory. [Read more...]

Sanctuary

Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara as Quasimodo and Esmeralda in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1939).

Are sacred spaces recognized as refuges because they are sacred? Or are they sacred because they are recognized as places of refuge? Are they able to stand against the Powers That Be because they are holy? Or are they holy because they stand against the Powers That Be? [Read more...]

The Bible is clearly ambiguous, but not that kind of ambiguous

KJV

The problem is not that the Bible is lacking in clear, definitive, categorical statements. The problem is that the Bible offers too many of them and they do not all agree. [Read more...]

The Bible used to get a lot of things wrong

"You shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you ..."

If those early Southern Baptists were wrong about slavery, then they were wrong about the Bible — wrong about how to read the Bible. They were wrong about slavery because they were wrong about how to read the Bible. Contemporary white evangelicals want to retain the same approach to reading the Bible, but not the same conclusions about slavery. That doesn’t work. [Read more...]

If your ministry involves ‘restoring’ an unjust illusion of ‘peace,’ then your ministry is a lie

The BGEA;s rapid response team headed to Ferguson "to minister to police" about a month after the group's first annual "National Law Enforcement Retreat."

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s “rapid response team” was invited by members of the Ferguson police department “to minister to police.” The BGEA team says it’s helping to “restore peace” to Ferguson, by which it means it’s helping to calm people down, to get them to stop protesting and go back to accepting things the way they are. [Read more...]


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