Evangelical Lies

by VorJack

One of the disadvantages of growing up Episcopalian is that I’m ignorant of a lot of the things going on in the Evangelical subculture. Since Evangelicals are one of the largest Christian groups in America, that means that I just don’t understand certain things that are going on around me.

Here’s a problem that I’ve just noticed. Many Evangelicals are big on “moral absolutes.” I used to listen to right wing radio shows on a Christian station, and not a day went by when someone didn’t rail against “moral relativism,” and insist that morality should always be objective and absolute.

One guy’s favorite example of something that was always wrong, no matter what, was torture. This was a decade ago, and I wonder if he’s still sticking to that line.

Well, apparently one of the implications of this insistence on moral absolutes is that lying is always wrong. As Fred Clark over at Slacktivist recently put it:

Thanks to the popularity of this garbled deontology, “moral absolutes” has become, for most American evangelicals, a buzzword meaning, roughly, “opposed to legal abortion.” The upshot of all of that is that for many American evangelicals, the idea of that it might be necessary in a given situation to tell a righteous lie — such as by lying to the Antichrist himself to prevent his slaughtering your entire community — is tied up with the collapse of all morality, all truth, all meaning. Any concession that rules might sometimes need to be broken could, in their minds, lead directly to a slippery slide down the slope to gay abortionist indoctrination camps for preschoolers. Man was made for the sabbath, after all.

So, alright, lying is always wrong, no matter what. But just recently I was listening to an episode of This American Life, entitled “Bait and Switch.” They interviewed a former Evangelical named Dave Dickerson about the various fronts that Evangelicals will put on in order to convert the unbeliever.

I have always known that some Evangelicals could get a little bit deceitful when trying to attract the attention of the un-churched. Take the evangelical tracts that look like money. Making your message look like a $20 bill is one way to make sure someone picks it up. It’s a little annoying, but it only makes me angry when some idiot leaves one as a “tip” to the wait-staff.

But Dickerson talked about throwing mock beach parties with girls in bikinis in order to hold people’s attention long enough to deliver their message. Alright, it’s not “flirty fishing,” but it’s still a bit seedy and dishonest. He also mentions a trick where they’d pose as students giving a religious survey on campus. They’d use it as a starting point, and follow it up with an invitation to visit their church.

What am I missing? Is this a case where I’m seeing two different factions of the diverse Evangelical population? Or is this just blatant hypocrisy?

  • Custador

    I looked up “flirty fishing”, and frankly I’m now disapointed that the only people to try to convert me have been manic street preachers and door-stepping Jehova’s Witnesses.

    • LRA

      Haha! We called that “missionary dating”.

  • http://redheadedskeptic.com Laura

    Hence one of the reasons I left evangelical Christianity. Actually, liberal denominations confuse the heck out of me because it is so different than how I was raised. I get tongue tied because conversations with liberal Christians never go in the direction I think they will. :D

    From how I grew up anyways, they don’t see it as deception. I remember someone giving us those money tracts, only they were $5 back then. They called it an “attention getter”: the person may pick it up because the think they’ve found a prize, but what’s inside is far more valuable than a $5 bill could ever be. To them, it would be like thinking you’ve found a $20 bill, only to open it up and find 20 more inside. With the survey, it’s creating an opportunity; an ice breaker so they can share their faith. The message here is the “Go into all the world,” and those are tools to reach people. People need the Lord, according to them, and they are trying to get the message out there. I actually never even thought of it as deceitful until now; it just never crossed my mind.

  • Jeremy

    Actually, liberal denominations confuse the heck out of me because it is so different than how I was raised.

    Ditto. But I’m beginning to appreciate how they just shrug off any apparent inconsistencies of their faith. Every Catholic I know accepts evolution (the pope told them they could), and that the Adam & Eve story is metaphorical. Okay, good start. But they’re huge fans of believing in original sin. So when I ask them what was the original sin, if Adam & Eve weren’t real, the only answer I’ve ever gotten is a grin and a shrug and basically “Oh, just go along with it.” I have a feeling they know it’s all just made up anyway so they’re not going to lose sleep over it.

    As far as evangelical methods, I’ve never encountered one that I considered outright deceitful (that money tract sounds trashy though). I’ve seen–and to my utter shame, handed out–gospel tracts that weren’t blatantly obvious on the front cover, but I don’t think they were deceitful. One year there were tracts whose front cover just had the Canada flag, which were handed out on Canada Day. Many Christians recognize that the somber hymn-singing sermon-preaching church meeting isn’t going to attract too many newcomers, so they’ll try something new or unconventional, but every one I’ve seen was always obvious that it was a Christian “outreach”.

    • trj

      Isn’t original sin usually explained by these same people as just another metaphor? As in, it’s a metaphor for how imperfect we are compared to god, or something like that.

      Admittedly, such an interpretation makes it even harder to see what the point of the Adam & Eve story is.

      • Jeremy

        But they’re saying I’m condemned to hell and need to be baptized to wash away a metaphor. You see the problem.

        • Francesc

          There is any sense in paying for the crimes your great-great father did? We cannot aknowledge that us “justice”. So I agree with trj.
          Our “original sin” is probably to exist as imperfect creatures -yeah, a failed design of a perfect god- with human needs and cravings, and baptism is more the incoming to a social organisation -the church- with his rules than the forgiveness of the original sin; in fact our godparents assume the responsability to keep us in the organisation. Through Jesus we can be redeemed of those sins that we probably are going -naturally- to do in our lifes, but the focus of the baptism is not anymore on the original sin.
          Ok, thinking as a catholic requires some effort… going to look for something to drink…

        • JohnMWhite

          Well said. And not only that, but the idea that death entered the world through Adam and was undone by Jesus becoming the ‘new Adam’ and sacrificing himself so everyone could have eternal life sort of becomes untenable when even the pope accepts Adam never existed in the first place. Jesus, like baptism, is unnecessary.

      • John C

        Original righteousness (Godlikeness, being made in His very image and likeness) is the true “original-ness”, the sin part is the lie. After creation “God saw that what He had made was good, was very good”. The greatest error I see in the forum is the wrong perception of the Father (I realize you say you dont believe but since we all have earthly fathers we naturally form pre-conceived notions of what a Father God would be like and project those false conclusions even if we dont believe). God is wanting us to return to the truth of our being, His-likeness and He is love. I think it was A.W. Tozer who said that “the most important thing about a man is what he believes about God, how he see’s Him”. You have to wade thru the poo to to get to the true (I said that, has a certain ring to it, eh? lol).

        Man is not inherently evil, the evil only exists when he buys into the lie (the father of lies who lied from the beginning). It’s a question of lineage, parentage, a “who’s your Daddy” equation for a man will always behave like the person he thinks he is. Get the right Daddy (identity) in and the wrong one goes out by default, problem solved. For…as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

        Many (including believers) think the gospel is just about going to heaven someday. But actually, it’s more about getting the wrong man (the lie) out and getting the Right Man (the truth) and true (original) nature in. That is the emancipation He would effect in us that liberates us from ourselves and our self-destructing patterns of thinking and behavior passed down from our ancestors and rooted in the lie.

        All the best.

        • JohnMWhite

          So whose bright idea was it to create the Wrong Man in the first place? And that’s an awful lot of unsupported supposition about what the word of god is attempting to explain.

  • cypressgreen

    I work in an outpatient cancer treatment area. Often times, I find tracts in the waiting room or on chars in the hallway downstairs. This is a huge multicultural hospital, so luckily the powers that be don’t want religion preached here. It may offend our many, many non christian patients. So happily I am allowed to throw that garbage away.

    My big problem with it is that I feel these christians are trying to “prey” on our scared, sad, and “weakened” patients and families. Many of our patients die from their cancer. I’m always torn between the fact that the religious message might comfort some of them but that it’s a crutch that weakens most in the end.

    Recently we had a family who had their 10yr old child witnessing to people in the waiting room and passing out literature. They were asked to stop on two separate occasions. The receptionists were told if it happened again to call security, who would “explain” it to the family again.
    This behavior just burns my britches!

    Jeremy, your point about catholics and original sin is fantastic! I have never thought of or heard that before. I’ll have to ask my catholic sister about it.

    • Custador

      I’ve only once (so far) had to witness a patient’s familly thanking God for the treatment of their loved one. Myself (a student nurse), two qualified nurse, a doctor, a physiotherapist and a radiotherapist all had to bite our tongues and leave the room. The first thing you feel is resentment, like: Yeah, this here team of people have worked our arses off to get that man better, so go right ahead and thank your SkyDaddy – like he had anything to do with it! It’s deeply, deeply offensive. At the other end of the scale, you get patients who pass away and whose familly cannot thank you enough for doing your damnedest to heal their relative (or at least to make their passing as comfortable as possible).

    • wazza

      They probably see it as providing solace of great worth to people who need it.

  • Barry

    my question is would reasonable atheists find deceitful evangelism methods okay as long as those doing them don’t believe in moral absolutes?

    • Custador

      No, because it’s still evangelism.

      • Barry

        people evangelize everyday for all types of things whether its buying a securinty system or voting for a particular party. where’s line in the sand that says all those are okay but no forms of religious evangelism is allowed. and then what about those who consider their humanitarian efforts to be a form of evangelism?

        • Custador

          A fair question. To clarify my earlier answer: I regard the attempted conversion of any person to make them devoutly follow what I believe is a cynical lie to be inherently evil. I guess you could equally apply that to politics and religion!

        • Elemenope

          People who pick Pepsi over Coke don’t organize pogroms to kill all the Coke drinkers, or try to get Sprite outlawed, or call Dr. Pepper aficionados “perverts”.

          Really, the only thing that comes close, qualitatively, to being comparable is political parties’ “evangelism”. And unlike religion, there’s is tolerated only because it seems to be necessary for the continuing function of democratic governance.

          • Elemenope

            And to be clear, like Custador there, it’s not so much that I would want to disallow it (I don’t) but I think it is very naughty behavior.

            • Barry

              I would agree that many of the actions or styles of evangelism listed are and can be repugnant. I’m not an “end justifies the means” type of person when it comes to talking to people about faith. You never see Jesus begging people to follow Him in the gospels. My point is though that the ability to speak of religion or faith is a right we have in our country, and you grant that. Progroms have been initiated within political arenas as well religious, but to me that it a sign of corruption of power, not necessarily an inherent flaw in system in which it is carried out. For example most people in America hate communism, personally I think it is a great goal just based on poor assumptions on what causes inequality. Who wouldn’t like to live in an utopia where all needs are met and there are no classes. The fact is though economic problems, whether from capitalism or socialism, come from a moral problem within humanity, one that can’t be erased by a classless society. To me the moment that we shut down the ability to speak in public of any issue, whether faith or opinions, is the moment we’ve lost the war.

          • Francesco Orsenigo

            It’s because we do not identify ourselves as “Coke-Drinker” vs “Pepsi-Drinker”, while we do identify with “Christian”, “Baptist”, “Atheist”, “Liberal”, “Conservative” etc etc.
            When this identity is threatened in anyway (even proposing that another way is possible often suffices) we react just like our very persona was threatened.
            We cannot distinguish ourselves from our identity.

            • Olaf

              I never understood the Coke/Pesi situation when I was once in Canada. When I ordered coke at a pepsi stand they looked angry at me. And I remember there was also some sprite/7-up situation.

              I mean I don’t care if I get pepsi or Coke, I just use the word Coke to represent both. Here in Eruope the sell both in the same shop.

    • Jeremy

      I don’t think any atheist would find religious proselytizing “okay”, we’re just pointing out the absurdity of a group that preaches moral absolutes and then violates those absolutes to spread its message.

      • Barry

        i would grant the absurdity is real, but i think its a far reach to tag the entire evangelical community with some of tactics listed though. i do think that the idea of absolutes it often misunderstood, but so are the implications of relativism by most of its adherents. I remember debating someone here on a post who was singing the praises of an evolving ethic upon the foundation of cultural and moral relativism and then made the ca-rte blanch statement that slavery was and always has been wrong. Talk about cognitive dissonance and absurdity!

        • LRA

          Moral “relativism” (aka understanding that culturally constructed mores evolve as culture does) has never meant anything goes. The fact is that there is no such thing as moral absolutes. There never has been. I challenge one fundie to demonstrate a rock solid case of a moral absolute. I’m pretty sure I could dismantle that argument by tracing how attitudes toward said “absolute” have changed over time.

  • ungullible

    I do not think the bait and switch type of evangelizing described in this blog is hypocrisy. The evangelizer is not being deceitful, but is allowing the target to deceive himself by making wrong assumptions. Tricky yes – lying no.

    Like the author, I do despise the promotion of moral obsolutism though. I’d like to see a bumper sticker that says “Absolute morality = Lazy morality”. Relative morality requires thought – it requires measuring the factors and weighing the consequences. Absolute morality is for those that want easy answers, and life just isn’t easy.

    • wazza

      if there was a reason to make your tracts look like a $20 bill, or if it was actually in line with your faith to go to the beach in bikinis, then it wouldn’t be hypocritical. It’s pretty obvious, though, that the Evangelicals wouldn’t be doing either if it wasn’t a way of getting people to look at their message.

  • Karatex

    If you REALLY want to get your head twisted around this lying/moral absolute issue, check out what Answers in Genesis has to say about lying to Nazis in order to prevent the murder of Jews in WW2 (hint: God wants you to help the Nazis find the Jews).

    http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2009/11/14/creationist-murdering-jews-may-be-preferable-to-lying-to-prevent-the-murder/

    • http://redheadedskeptic.com Laura

      wow. How incredibly inane. More than likely, they would lie if their life was on the line. In times of distress, it’s incredibly easy to justify a lie as the lesser of two evils. If they told the Nazis they had Jews hiding, that is accomplice to murder or attempted murder in my book. If I were God, I would be pissed.

      • Elemenope

        If I were God, I would be pissed.

        But according to them, the Nazis were just an expression of God’s judgment against the Jews, and so you’d be interfering with God’s will if you tried to save them. (I’ve actually had someone argue that to my face, sandwiched in between “this may sound harsh…” and “…but I am not an antisemite!”)

        • Custador

          “I’m not a racist, but [insert racist comment]”

          The correct response, and one which I always employ is: Yes you ARE a racist, because if you WEREN’T then you wouldn’t have come out with that racist comment. Worse, you’re not ONLY a racist, but you’re also a liar because you deny it at the same time as shoving it in my face.

        • http://redheadedskeptic.com Laura

          Yes, that’s true. I’ve heard similarly disturbing comments. But in the moment is, of course, different than abstractly theorizing. The ten Booms, for example, are exemplified in many conservative circles even though they lied under the circumstances. According to Corrie’s book, she told her first lie to the Nazis, making it so her sister never had to (ironically, it was her sister who died in the concentration camp. Wonder what people have to say about that! Was God judging her sister for NOT lying??).

    • http://www.nonsensitivity.blogspot.com Lessica

      My philosophy teacher used that example to illustrate the implications of Kant. I used to think the categorical imperative was a great idea (it sounds a lot like the Golden Rule, doesn’t it?), but the Nazi example makes it pretty clear that life isn’t that simple.

      • Elemenope

        The eternal irony is that Kant was probably right, insofar as a categorical imperative, as he formulated, would be the closest we humans would come to practical moral realism. If there is a moral reality, it is undoubtedly centered upon treating humans (or. generally, thinking beings) as ends instead of means, and searching for universalizable behavior.

        Only, no example has ever or probably can ever be produced for such a rule, or for properly and accurately identifying when humans are the ends of a task rather than its means. He found the answer, and the answer…was unhelpful.

  • nazani14

    Why can’t they pick just one moral absolute and stick to it? How about “thou shalt not kill?”

    • JonJon

      Ah, but theft, theft is cool…

  • Mark D

    The biggest lie Evangelicals tell themselves and everyone else, is that Evangelicals are morally superior to the rest of us. They believe that their community has less problems with divorce, broken families, STDs, crime, poverty and lack of education. One only needs to look at the areas of America where Evangelicals dominate, (the rural south, Appalachia, urban black neighborhoods) and that lie is easily exposed.

    Having been raised an Evangelical / Fundamentalist, I could go into long detail on why I believe Evangelical Christianity not only creates these problems, but also enables the behaviors that lead to broken familes and poverty. I just don’t feel like writing a long post today.

  • http://www.cleanslateproject.wordpress.com Anthony D Jacques

    Here are some tricks I actually used in my evangelical days.

    In college:

    The Intervaristy Christian Fellowship had a house rented two blocks from campus (this was at UWMilwaukee) to seem more like a legit campus group. IVCF students lived there, but the house was mainly to host outreaches thinly veiled as parties and what not.

    We hosted “keggers” only in front of the 8 inch tall word “kegger” it had un- in 8 point font. So it was technically and un-kegger, but no one usually saw that. These were basically root beer parties and were pretty unsuccessful.

    We then hosted beach music festivals complete with barbecue and beach volleyball, and we’d have several survey booth set up, so as to appear legit. The people who filled out the religious surveys were the only ones who ever got follow up, of course.

    We’d also have movie nights and show a flick that we felt had a Christian theme, like The Matrix or Contact. All we advertised was “free movie” and “free popcorn” or the like. Then we’d have discussion groups afterward, all aimed at those philosophical questions and tried to steer the convo to Jesus. We always had these in some crazy remote room on campus somewhere so we’d bring people, then it was hard to find your way out so most people would just stick it out even if they wanted to leave. Yeah… we knew what we were up to.

    We’d even meet at coffee shops and get into religious “arguments” near other people and then be like “Okay, this guy says Jesus either never existed, or he was just a person who people made up stories about, can you believe that?” We’d try to suck people in. The problem there was that if the target actually showed up to the youth group, they’d see the “unbeliever” in their natural element and realize they’d been duped.

    Out of college:

    I was at a church where we had a block party for kids. Free food, face painting, inflatable bouncy-type activities (dunno what they’re really called) and the band would play ‘seeker sensitive’ pop songs that were roughly about God. The whole point was that parents would bring their kids, and while they sat around watching or whatever, church folk would mingle and strike up conversations.

    At that church, this was their only, yearly outreach ever.

    While at another church, we had music jam nights where we’d have “instrumental” worship. We’d do this at some local Christian cafe, but only if it didn’t *look* too Christian. The band was really good, and we only did worship music, but we just didn’t sing the words. Then other people would be like, “I think that’s a Christian song… I heard it on the radio once.” and try to strike up conversations.

    Yeah, we did a lot of undercover.

    The worst, however, is that we used similar tactics in church on the regular church folk.

    As a worship pastor, I took classes and went to conferences and learned how to “make the spirit fall” as it were, which basically means to emotionally manipulate people through the dynamics, arrangement and lyrical content of music. It’s what any good band does, really, only when you’re in worship music, they call the emotions you elicit “the spirit” and things like that.

    This was one of my final wake up moments. I realized any good band should elicit an emotional response in its audience. But to knowingly manipulate people via music and then call it something else, something spiritual, was lying. I just stopped being okay with that.

    Oh, I could go on and on, these are just off the top of my head.

    • Custador

      Wow! Insidious! Thank you for sharing.

    • Elemenope

      Wow, that’s some pretty devilish conniving. It’s weird, the IVCF where I went to school wasn’t into any of that underhanded stuff. I think it has a lot to do with who happens to be advising them/leading them in each chapter. I do recall several incidents where some crazy not-quite-Phelps-but-crazy-with-signs types showed up on campus to do the whole “y’all are homosexuals and rock-music listeners and are gonna burn” shtick; the IVCF was on the front lines shouting them down. (A few intrepid ones found a same-sex partner to hold hands with while doing so, just for extra kick).

      Campus Crusade, on the other hand, they were scary.

      • http://www.cleanslateproject.wordpress.com Anthony D Jacques

        Oh, we were certainly a “nice” group compared to most, especially on the surface. We never picketed or anything, and we were never actually confrontational except in our staged “happenings” for lack of a better term.

        But the whole point of the group was to recruit more Christians.

        • Elemenope

          But the whole point of the group was to recruit more Christians.

          I don’t mind that so long as its upfront. So, the underhanded stuff would bother me. I just didn’t witness any of that where I was. Every once in a while, the IVCF would put on an event like a speaker, but they were up front about who they were and what the event was about. Once they had a seminar guest speaker come to give a talk about Nietzsche; I and a few philosophy student buddies of mine went to watch what we expected to be a hatchet job/train wreck. Instead, it turned out to be a fair & accurate presentation, the guy was well-qualified, and it was a good discussion.

          • http://www.cleanslateproject.wordpress.com Anthony D Jacques

            It probably was influenced by who was organizing the whole thing. The reason I gelled so well with that particular group of people is because it resonated with the way I was raised. The IVCF you’re speaking of probably wouldn’t have made sense to me at that point in life.

            Weird how things change.

    • http://redheadedskeptic.com Laura

      “As a worship pastor, I took classes and went to conferences and learned how to “make the spirit fall” as it were, which basically means to emotionally manipulate people through the dynamics, arrangement and lyrical content of music. It’s what any good band does, really, only when you’re in worship music, they call the emotions you elicit “the spirit” and things like that.”

      Oh, I remember that! I went to a Christian college, so they talked about this a little bit in the music appreciation class I had, and then again at a worship leader conference I attended (my now ex husband was a music/youth minister at that particular church). I never thought much of it because they put it in a much broader context of how different elements of music causes people to feel certain things.

      And we never did anything so manipulative. We went to the mall once to share our face, but we were very open about what we were doing. Wow!

      • http://redheadedskeptic.com Laura

        “share our face” WOW. I meant “faith”. I have no idea where that came from!

      • Custador

        “We went to the mall once to share our face”

        Those shoppers should be so lucky ;)

  • swmr1

    I love TAL! I really liked that episode–Dave Dickerson’s piece especially, because I was part of Campus Crusade for Christ around the same time he was. I, like Dickerson, was uncomfortable with the practice of “taking surveys” on campus or on the beach. We were trained to approach people as if we were truly taking a religious survey that would be used for some larger purpose, In reality, though, the survey was just an excuse to share the gospel (via the 4 Spiritual Laws tract).

    When I was on staff with Crusade (an unfortunate move on my part except for the fact that it led to my apostasy) we would try to worm our way onto high school campuses to lead various team talks. We would refrain from sharing the full gospel on campus but would always invite kids to meetings outside school time so we could share the gospel. We would encourage kids to invite their friends to activities where we could share the gospel. It was really, really lame.

    Campus Crusade is one of the worst when it comes to deceiving people into hearing the word of jesus.

    • Cletus

      The words attributed to Jesus are good. What people who have adopted and corrupted his name do with those words is usually evil.

      • Francesc

        Yeah, in case the people who didn’t never meet Jesus wrote down his words -more or less, with the same meaning.

  • Korny

    There was a big solid Xtian outreach group at my university. They were constantly on the prowl with “surveys”. They had a distinct methodology – always in pairs, and always approaching single people. Then with 4 key questions I think. I got nabbed one day, and promptly argued back. My counter-arguements were terrible, but arguing back got their attention. I argued the original girl till we well exceeded her knowledge of her faith, and she asked if we could meet again next week and she could bring re-enforcements.
    The guy she brought had the most amazing eyes, I remember. But his arguments weren’t any good.
    The thing is, my flatmate was part of that self-same group. And I found out later when dots had been connected that I was now notorious in that group. Booyah! :D

  • Don

    Which really begs the question of how 1 Kings 22:22 works.

    A recurring problem with evangelicals seems to be the application of scientific thought (Greek) to communities that mostly thought symbolically.

    A favorite quote of mine is that the Bible is truth, not fact.

  • http://www.jesus21.com Miss Poppy Dixon

    I used to go door to door with my church group witnessing, and later on the street. I never got over a deep sense of shame about what I was doing and finally stopped. But I felt guilty because it was the great commission and not doing it was the same as denying Christ, or so they said.

    This week I received two ridiculous emails from evangelical relatives – one was to sign Chuck Colson’s petition making anti-abortion and anti-gay the two pillars of Christianity, and the other was to send Christmas cards to the Christ-hating ACLU.

    What pissed me off, besides the ignorant knee-jerk reactions to things they take no time to consider or understand, is that neither of these relatives ever just write, or call me, to talk. They have never told me what their faith means to them. It makes me think they’re hobbled by the deep shame I had when I was in their shoes.

    They need tricks and deceits as they don’t believe this stuff themselves and so cannot deliver it in a straight forward manner. They’re not trying to trick you, they’re trying to trick themselves.

    If your faith is constructed on a lie, the father of all lies, then how could you not lie about everything else?

    • Baconsbud

      I just had to post this link so you might forward it to those that believe the ACLU is christ hating. http://www.aclufightsforchristians.com/ I am always floored when I hear christians claiming that the ACLU is so anti religion.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

    What am I missing? Is this a case where I’m seeing two different factions of the diverse Evangelical population? Or is this just blatant hypocrisy?

    Vorjack, I’d honestly recommend reading “Christian America? What Evangelicals Really Want,” by Christian Smith (ironic name, admittedly). If you really want to understand the Evangelical subculture(s), this is the most non-biased, attempt-to-be objective source of which I am aware.

    ———————————————

    PS, I find the whole bait and switch routine as ridiculous as the rest of you do.

  • http://www.religico.com fregas

    I wish i had read this article sooner.

    As a member of my school’s Baptist Student Union, I used to be one of the evangelists that would take a “religous survey” in order to save the lost. Its a gray area but there’s definitely not complete honesty going on.


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