Nobody Expects the Evangelical Inquisition?

Nobody Expects the Evangelical Inquisition? February 5, 2023

The Religious Right has destroyed the credibility of Christianity in America.
“Nobody Expects the Evangelical Inquisition?” The Religious Right has destroyed the credibility of Christianity in America. Photo Credit: Eduardo Unda-Sanzana from Antofagasta, Chile, CC BY 2.0

The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad legacy of the Religious Right has destroyed the credibility and trust of Christianity in America. First, I do believe the grace forward Gospel will transcend and rise to prominence over the fear-based hell hammer of the right. But things need to be called out for what “Churchianity” represents: a cult that inflicted pain and despair on unsuspecting seekers of Christ, now leading a mass exodus in the millions. Ultimately, it’s simply time to move on. The Religious Right’s claim to be the capital “C” Church will no longer be accepted or honored. The debate is over.

There is No Hate Like Christian Love

“There is no hate like Christian love.” This meme keeps popping up all over the web, but I can’t seem to find the original creator. There’s a good chance he, she, they, them, him, or her just might be a newly minted atheist or an “exvangelical.” Whoever coined the phrase, it is sadly on point.

How do we justify behavior that lacks basic human decency? Proponents of Churchianity claim to be pro-life, but, are merely pro-birth, with zero plans in place to support additional hundreds of thousands of unwanted babies to be born annually post Roe. How do we process the hatred and demonization of the LGBTQ community? And what about the blind allegiance to Trump and Trumpism, which is 100% at odds with the Gospel?

We can’t. And we don’t have to because they are not the “Church” but a cult that worships at the altar of power. From my debut book, “The Fullness of Love,” published by Wipf & Stock:

“My name is Eric and I’m a recovering Evangelical. I’ve been sober now for ten years give or take. Yes, there were a few hiccups from time to time because the severing of self-righteous moral superiority sewn into a religious spine can eviscerate the host’s weakened impunity system. So, it’s a process. But overall, I’ve been clean for the better part of a decade now.

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, a lifelong struggle with alcoholism is honestly the closest analogy I can muster to my experience as a disciple of the Christ co-opted cultish religion. The hangover has mercifully passed. And I have found freedom in a faith that is no longer “churchianitized for my protection.”

It did however take a few bourbons, many literal dark nights of the soul, and a lot of forgiveness to overcome the fact that I was defrauded of an authentic faith for three decades of my life. This book is therapeutic in approach and my prayer is that it can provide you (and me) with hope. But if you believe that this American brand of Christianity is a bottom-up cultural faith movement, you are in for a world of hurt. The sad truth: it is overwhelmingly a top-down manipulation machine of power brokers widely and not so widely known and built to rule the world. Literally.”

Nobody Expects the Evangelical Inquisition?

To put a twist on a beloved sketch by the kings of satire, “Monty Python,” actually, yeah, we do expect the Evangelical Inquisition. From the pharisees to the corruption of the papacy to the literal Spanish Inquisition to 17th Century witch burners to today’s “Trumpangelicals” – there is one common thread to unravel – lust for power.

And that lust has levied a deep anger and anguish crushing millions of people in search of truth and those who were raised in the “Church.” They are withdrawing in multitudes – and rightfully so. At The Fullness Of Love, we are building a movement to promote healing in a space to experience an enlightened faith. I know that I know that it’s time to move on to serve those seeking authentic peace of mind.  Thus, I will no longer throw gasoline on the bonfire of the vanities of Churchianity just to fan the flames of (sub)culture wars in the church ghetto.

The cure? A hunger and thirst for true connection with Jesus. If we can deliver Christ to those in search of authentic connection, that temple of power will crumble. And you may be surprised at who is searching,  It’s already begun. The future of the capital “C” Church in America will look much different than it does today. For a deeper dive, poke at this insightful piece by Chris Walker, “7 Predictions for the North American Church.”

The Pharisees will Always be with You

Jesus said, “The poor will always be with you.” I wish he would have also clearly stated that the pharisees would always be with us, too.  Matthew 23:13 comes fairly close: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”  Note that Jesus does not say, you cannot enter, he says, “You yourselves do not enter.” That is a cavernous difference, and a topic for another time.

Today, mercifully, we have the advantage of free speech in America and in many parts of the world. And we have a collective influential voice across social media platforms globally. As an aside, we’ve built an intentional social media platform called, “Charismata,” currently in test mode, which might interest you. Some good news: we, in the West, will no longer be crucified, tortured, or burned at the stake for standing up to power, speaking truth to dogma, or seeking justice for the unfairly demonized.

So, while we still can, we need to shout from the rooftops: Come as you are! All are welcome at the table with Jesus! All means all. And lest we get too self-righteous, we need to forgive those that don’t know what they do – to paraphrase Jesus on the cross. We can’t fall into the trap of tribal warfare. Love your enemies, right? So, let’s love the modern pharisees, too. We can point everyone to a better way – with empathy and love – never with hate. That’s good news for post-modern…humanity.

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