The Inevitable Death of Evangelical Christianity

The Inevitable Death of Evangelical Christianity December 12, 2019

Whenever I read the surveys from Christianity Today, or Baptist News, or The Christian Post about how young people are leaving the American Church in droves, or how politics in the pulpit is driving the next generation away from the faith, or how Evangelicals are slowly growing older and more irrelevant to their communities, I must confess I give a little cheer.

Why?

Because all of these signs point to one inevitable conclusion: The Evangelical Christian Church is a dinosaur whose time has just about run out.

Honestly, I am looking forward to looking back on the days when Christians were once hateful, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, and tribalistic.

Won’t it be great to gather the grandchildren into your lap and tell them stories about how, once upon a time in the olden days, there were actually people who acted as Un-Christlike as possible and yet still insisted on calling themselves “Christians”?

“That’s silly, Grandpa!”

I can’t wait to watch the last Evangelical Church close its doors for good.

I look forward to flipping through the channels without once encountering a Televangelist begging me to send him money so God can bless me.

I’m eager for the time when I never have to listen to another online sermon from a sweaty guy in a suit and tie pounding the pulpit to emphasize how much God hates those sinners.

Just imagine the joy of meeting people who love Jesus and yet have no interest in arguing about theology or proving they are right and you are wrong.

Imagine people treating one another like human beings without really worrying about who is “saved” or “lost.”

Picture Jesus-loving families who don’t kick their children out of the house or shame them for being Trans, or Gay, or Muslim, or Atheists.

I’m looking forward to that day when what matters most about being Christian is being Christlike and loving others as Jesus loved us.

I’m eager to encounter a Christianity where fear and shame are no longer used to manipulate or control people like religious hand puppets.

I can’t wait for the time when it’s harder to find an Evangelical Christian than it is to find someone who thinks the world is flat.

If there is a God – and I do believe there is – then all of this should be coming very soon – perhaps even in our lifetime –  and I honestly cannot wait for that day to arrive.

Can you?

**

Keith’s new book, “Jesus Undefeated: Condemning the False Doctrine of Eternal Torment” is available now on Amazon.
Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife have returned to El Paso, TX after 25 years, as part of their next adventure. They hope to start a new house church very soon.
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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Christopher Bacon

    The question is how willing they’ll be to take us with them as they go down.

  • Nimblewill

    I hopefully ventured toward progressive Christianity a few years ago only to find that progressives treated evangelicals just like evangelicals treated “Trans, or Gay, or Muslim, or Atheists.” Maybe even worse. I wish I weren’t so cynical but alas I simply don’t see it happening until all Christians are willing to embrace each other. Then we might begin to embrace those you mentioned.

  • Al Cruise

    Inevitability is putting evangelicals into obsolescence not progressive Christianity. It’s feet walking out the doors of their Churches that is their demise . Last time I checked , evangelicals still owned the pulpit in their churches.

  • I embrace those Evangelicals every day. Many of them are my family members, or dearest friends. It’s not the people I’m against, it’s the mindset.

  • KontraDiction

    Progressives distance themselves from Evangelicals for self-preservation, mostly. Sure there is resentment, that’s hard to scrub off when you’re watching all the ongoing damage they are causing. And prideful superiority. sometimes. But not the sheer hatred that marks Evangelical judgement, in my experience.

    You are right, we can’t afford to view people as enemies ANYwhere, if we’re going to survive this.

  • Amtep

    “I can’t wait for the time when it’s harder to find an Evangelical Christian than it is to find someone who thinks the world is flat.”

    Be careful what you wish for. The flat earth movement has been growing rapidly lately.

  • bill wald

    Keith, Since you asked, your honesty in public is not attractive to me. If I knew that you understood and respected “off the record,” we could have this conversation and you could be assured that this conversation never took place. We met but only talked about politics . . . .

    My old pastor and I had many conversations that never took place. Everyone needs a priest.

  • Gloating over the downfall of your enemies is hardly Christlike behavior. The Evangelical wing of the Church may be losing ground, but is not headed for extinction and is meeting the needs of those people operating at that level of spiritual consciousness. You were served by these people, Keith, in your search for truth, do you deny others the same beginnings for spiritual growth? You sound like someone in the sixth grade crusading to abolish first and second grade because you didn’t like your teacher back then. Not every Evangelical Church is like Westboro Baptist. These are our brothers and sisters. May God bless them and raise us all to higher truth.

  • Al Cruise

    ” meeting the needs of those people operating at that level of spiritual consciousness.” Your admitting the truth about the level of their spiritual consciousness when comparing it to elementary school grades. Excellent comparison. People at this level of spiritual consciousness have no business trying to influence the world of politics , and the lives of others who are not part of their belief/Spiritual level. That’s the argument here, Evangelicals are as you say, are in grade one , and need to realize that. Secondly, treat people who have grown Spiritually and want to leave their Churches with affirmation.

  • Nimblewill

    I certainly wouldn’t be where I am without it. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom but perfect love casts out fear.

  • Miriam English

    Keith, what a pleasure to read your article. I’m an atheist and you are the kind of Christian I would be honored to be call my friend (I have many moderate religious friends). I’ve long felt atheists and moderate Christians (and moderates of other faiths) are natural allies. We all face the world together, sharing a common bond of humanity.

  • Miriam English

    cofines, Keith didn’t sound to me like he was gloating. He sounded to me like someone genuinely and humbly welcoming the spread of sanity into the last dark corners resisting it, and feeling relief that a horrible phase in humanity is drawing to its end.

    Keith isn’t denying anyone anything. He isn’t crusading to abolish anything. He is merely being honestly glad that people are being less horrible to one another; that’s what it is when people leave extremist faiths for more moderate and humane beliefs.

  • Steve Bailey

    Being prophetic is hardly gloating. Unless you want to call all prophets attempting for the greatest truth we can have “gloating”. We need strong prophetic voices like Keith’s to denounce the fall from Christ-likeness experienced by much of American Evangelicalism which, has, in fact, become hateful, exclusive, and blatantly inhumane in many areas of belief and praxis.

  • Mirror

    My, what a big brush you have!

    For every “Evangelical” you show me that fits your description, I will show you one that is quite the opposite.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    When these Evangelicals finally come to realize that we are all God’s children, and yes, that includes those, like some of my friends and relatives are LBGT! Then and only then will I say that they are following Christ.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Scary thought.

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    Correction: You might be able to find one out of 5 who don’t fit that description. The facts point to 4 out of 5 who do. Those 4 out of 5 would be the 81% who dared align themselves with that lawless, corrupt, blasphemous, deceitful, unrepentant, child-raping, sweaty-pig, >–> TЯ卐m₽-the-Beast.

    God Himself commands that those who did NOT put the Mark of the Beast in their own foreheads LEAVE the Harlot of Babylon, fake-christian ‘church’:

    Come out of her my people, lest ye partake of her sins;
    so you will not receive any of her plagues
    .” – Revelation 18:4

  • Amtep

    What would you say about an elementary school teacher who says that first and second grade are all you will ever need to know and it is sinful to try to learn more?

  • COFines

    Some 45 years ago I started the adult phase of my relationship with God at a Foursquare Church where I learned vital lessons and skills I continue to use today. Looking back, I am more convinced than ever that God led me to that church. The pastor is still counted on one hand as the best in my life. Yes, after five years I had learned the most important lessons for my spiritual growth and God moved me on to more lessons in a liturgical church, but I am so grateful for that beginning in an Evangelical church and would be greatly handicapped without it. But as I look back fondly, I find that little church covered in tar. Who did this? Why there are churches all over the town covered in tar. Why even the little Evangelical Covenant Church in the village where I live now is covered in tar along with the really likable pastor and the congregation of decent likable brothers and sisters. Who is doing this? Wait, there’s a note. “You have been condemned in the name of Jesus by people who, unlike you, are righteous and loving. May you rot in hell! Yahoo!!!”

  • COFines

    “What would you say about an elementary school teacher who says that
    first and second grade are all you will ever need to know and it is
    sinful to try to learn more?”

    I would say that parents of children enrolled in this particular class who object should take their objection to the principal, the school board, and public media, in that order, and if nothing is done.take the children out of that school if at all possible. I would not call for the firing of all first and second grade teachers. I would not call for the closing of all grade schools. I would not be giving a little cheer every time any school anywhere had a drop in enrollment.

  • COFines

    “Whenever I read the surveys. . . I must confess I give a little cheer.”
    “I can’t wait to watch the last Evangelical Church close its doors for good.”
    ” . . . I honestly cannot wait for that day to arrive.”

  • Desperate Ambrose

    The shortest period of time ever measured is the interval between the birth of a decent, noble, well-intentioned idea and the inspiration some scam-artist has of how to make a buck off said decent, noble, well-intentioned idea.

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    Gloating over the downfall of your enemies is hardly Christlike behavior.

    What happened here isn’t gloating. What I’m about to do, however, is.

    Good riddance, you (general you here, not anyone in specific) rotten vile bαstαrds–there isn’t a pit in hεll deep enough for you people and your spray-tan, Big Mac-powered messiah and his ilk.

    Not every Evangelical Church is like Westboro Baptist.

    You’re right. Few are that honest and open about what they actually believe.

  • Alan

    Having recently read the book “Christianity, the first 3000 years” by Diarmaid somebody, I’m skeptical that the Christianity you envision has ever existed. Yes, Christianity is currently tribal but it would seem that it always has been. In fact, Christians have been despising and even killing each other over doctrinal differences almost since the beginning. I too find evangelical culture repugnant but toxicity will persist beyond the passing of the last evangelical.

  • ron

    a wonderful thought to consider, made me think of Lenin’s “Imagine”…

  • Desperate Ambrose

    “I’m skeptical that the Christianity you envision has ever existed.”

    Such skepticism is certainly justified; not least because, as St. Paul succinctly put it, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

    That doesn’t mean, however, that we should give up aspiring to such a harmonious existence.

  • nyandjim

    A great article from a clear thinker.

  • Samuel N

    It can’t happen too soon for me. Alas, at 70, I fear I shall not live to see it.

  • vmelkon

    I never understood what being Christ-like means. Why christians think that Jesus loves everyone and accepts homosexuals, trans, etc. Is Jesus against the jewish god? hateful, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, and tribalistic ….. all that stuff is in the bible and is ok with the jewish god.

  • Gary

    I’m happy that the author is wrong.

  • Silverwolf13

    I think you mean John Lennon, not Vladimir Lenin.

  • rationalobservations?

    The actual church attendance figures consolidated by the American Church Leaders association indicates that (contrary to the lies told in polls and surveys) fewer than 18% of Americans (including all ages and children who are dragged their against their will) will actually be found within a church in any given week.
    https://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/139575-7-startling-facts-an-up-close-look-at-church-attendance-in-america.html

    Empty redundant churches litter the villages, towns and city streets of the now free, educated, predominantly secular/non-religious developed democracies of the world and without the terrible threat of persecution, discrimination and being tortured to death (that once hung over nonbelievers before free secular democracy replaced the terrible totalitarian power of the church) the trickle away from religion has become a flood.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=churches+for+sale&sxsrf=ACYBGNRtFUhVW_ggzYr9zvciBtksoeYDSA:1576759193185&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjYpOzc3cHmAhV1nVwKHR-UDOEQ_AUoA3oECAwQBQ&biw=1366&bih=625

    Fewer than 6% of Europeans remain mentally enslaved by religion and in many nations it is the residual religionists who are embarrased to reveal their ignorance and gullibility and politicians claim the “don’t do god” even when they do.

    The millennial generation across the world are rejecting religion and religious totalitarianism and bull$#1t myths legends and lies.

    https://pics.me.me/in-the-entire-first-christian-century-jesus-is-not-mentioned-17397524.png
    https://pics.me.me/richard-carscadden-feb-22-at-7-22pm-mythology-is-where-old-15107426.png
    https://66.media.tumblr.com/163e16e82af4fadc6ab891325f225f3b/tumblr_p9lic54PSA1wreoqmo1_1280.jpg
    https://imageproxy.ifcdn.com/crop:x-20,resize:320x,crop:x800,quality:90×75/images/ad394209b20b4b72278a0c87f4be8165649bf80dfd80d453efce1e7954a86e0e_1.jpg
    https://independentaustralia.net/_lib/slir/w800/i/article/img/article-11052-hero.jpg

  • rationalobservations?
  • rationalobservations?
  • rationalobservations?

    There is not one single historical evidence supported trace of “Jesus” that originates from within the 1st century. All centuries later written texts – including the oldest/first 4th century fabricated NT bible – that merely claim to be “copies” of 1st century originated texts have no supporting evidence.

    There is no evidence of the existence of any of the millions of fictional undetected and undetectable gods, goddess and god-men including the far from original and unique “Yahweh” and “Jesus”.

    https://pics.me.me/in-the-entire-first-christian-century-jesus-is-not-mentioned-17397524.png

  • rationalobservations?

    All christian businesses are built upon myths legends and lies.
    https://pics.me.me/in-the-entire-first-christian-century-jesus-is-not-mentioned-17397524.png

  • rationalobservations?

    The actual church attendance figures consolidated by the American Church Leaders association indicates that (contrary to the lies told in polls and surveys) fewer than 18% of Americans (including all ages and children who are dragged their against their will) will actually be found within a church in any given week.
    https://churchleaders.com/p

    Empty redundant churches litter the villages, towns and city streets of the now free, educated, predominantly secular/non-religious developed democracies of the world and without the terrible threat of persecution, discrimination and being tortured to death (that once hung over nonbelievers before free secular democracy replaced the terrible totalitarian power of the church) the trickle away from religion has become a flood.
    https://www.google.com/sear

    Fewer than 6% of Europeans remain mentally enslaved by religion and in many nations it is the residual religionists who are embarrassed to reveal their ignorance and gullibility and politicians claim the “don’t do god” even when they do.

    https://pics.me.me/in-the-entire-first-christian-century-jesus-is-not-mentioned-17397524.png
    https://independentaustralia.net/_lib/slir/w800/i/article/img/article-11052-hero.jpg

  • Richard Aahs

    Thanks Keith.
    I am so with you on this.

  • Richard Aahs

    Yes Jesus was critical of the Religion of His contemporaries.

  • Desperate Ambrose

    And . . . ?

  • Carlene Brown

    Love this article! Posted it on Facebook with heading LOOKING FORWARD TO LOOKING BACK. . .

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    How, in any way, is your rambling related to my comment?

  • vmelkon

    Well, it would mean that he isn’t in favor of judaism and the jewish god. The entire New testament gets flushed down the toilet.

  • vmelkon

    “Such skepticism is certainly justified; not least because, as St. Paul
    succinctly put it, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
    (Romans 3:23)”

    ==What does that have to do with christians not agreeing with each other as to how to interpret the bible? Perhaps the problem is not the people. The problem is that the bible can be interpreted in multiple ways.

  • Richard Aahs

    I agree pretty much of the new testement is unnecessary. But without it there would be no institutional Christian Religion.

  • vmelkon

    The bible mentions killing homosexuals, witches, dashing the babies of other cultures onto rocks and laughing at them, attacking other cultures, killing everyone except for little girls and raping them. Is this the religion of Jesus? It is in his book.

  • vmelkon

    If the abrahamic religions are too extreme, then might as well leave them since it sounds like you already know what constitutes a fair world where people respect each other.

    ~~~~atheist

  • RichardGC

    Keith is not gloating over “the downfall” of “enemies”; he’s rejoicing and “looking forward to that day when what matters most about being
    Christian is being Christlike and loving others as Jesus loved us.” That’s not a downfall; he looks forward to them being uplifted. It’s kind of like the “I have a dream” speech of Dr. King. Was King gloating over an enemy’s downfall or rejoicing that he saw a day coming when enemies would become friends?

  • Desperate Ambrose

    Wasn’t trying to be enigmatic. I was thinking in terms of an old axiom, the origins of which are lost in time: We see things, not as they are, but as we are.

    And we are fallen, i.e. sinful. As a result, we tend to want to see things as reinforcing our particular prejudices.

  • Nixon is Lord

    When are the churches going to give up their tax breaks and housing allowances?

  • Nixon is Lord

    That-and class/educational status snobbery.

  • Nixon is Lord

    If atheists and agnostics already do this at least as well as believers, why bother with religion? Why run twice as fast to stay in the same place?

  • Nixon is Lord

    And a big question for all believers: Why is religion so boring?

  • rationalobservations?

    How are your ridiculous recycled myths relevant to anything?

    Human authored fiction has no relevance to modern educated humanity.

  • rationalobservations?

    Boring and ridiculous.

  • Karin Isbell

    Agree 100% COF Fines!

  • ron

    lol…thanks

  • I can’t wait to watch the last Evangelical Church close its doors for good.

    It’s a pleasant thought, but if you break down the numbers, mainline protestant churches are shrinking faster than evangelical churches. The reasons for Christianity’s decline in the U.S. are complex, and one factor is that the evangelicals who are giving the reputation of being “hateful, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, and tribalistic” are not the ones who are leaving.

    If trends continue there’s a better than even chance the evangelicals will be the last ones standing.

  • Alexia Georghiou

    As Christians let’s focus on relationship and get to know God. He is a personal Creator who loves us. He is our Father.

  • Eric Mallo

    Sizeable sectors of Evangelical Christianity are apostate and constitute a religion of criminal evil in the eyes of God.

    They walked away from Christ, then turned and crucified Him quite some time ago. Many of their prominent leaders will burn in hell for eternity.

  • Pearson’s Grandmama

    I have a good friend who is an Episcopal priest. She has a son who is one of “those” Evangelicals. She loves him. He says he loves her, BUT. it’s all the “but” that gets in the way of the love, IMNSHO.

  • Dean Daniels

    Wishing in the Gospel of John the Lennon…”Imagine”.

  • Dean Daniels

    When Christians are willing to suffer and bear hatred, bigotry and death without complaint…

  • “I am looking forward to looking back on the days when Christians were once hateful, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, and tribalistic.” This statement plays to the base but it is based on feelings or facts?
    When I look back in history I see Luther’s schism having a very profound effect on the Catholic church and creating these christrians you reference. I don’t see anything else in the timeline nearly as catastrophic as that. Today’s lawless christians are most likely a puff of smoke compared to that momentus event.

  • bill wald

    Reread it again. Am I supposed play the role of Son of God on the QT? See if anyone can guess my intent?

    As Popeye, the Sailor, said, “I yam what I yam.” Was he quoting God in Genesis?

    Over the 70 years I have learned the rolls I can do and the rolls I can’t do. I can’t be a supervisor or self-employed. I don’t have manual skills and hate sports and games. I can get to work on time and follow most of the rules as written. I tell the truth as I see it in writing and under oath.Like St. John, I don’t claim to tell the whole truth. See his last sentence in the book he wrote.

    This gave 30 years a good wife, 5 good kids, 30 years on a good job and a good pension, a couple of good friends. Went to church for most of 70 years and paid my dues most of those years. But what am I?You get what you see, you see what you look for. I am what I am.

  • John Purssey

    We’ll get to know God by developing good relations with our neighbours.

  • John Purssey

    Don’t expect much. rationalobservations is a person obsessed with a mission that posts exactly the same thing multiple times on multiple threads and prefers non-sequiturs to dialogue.

  • John Purssey

    Although it could be comforting to think that that style of evangelical Christianity will end, I tend to think that the ?Hindu view that there is a perpetual struggle between good and evil might be the case here, and that the same evils will arise in some form even if it goes by a name different from Evangelical Christianity.

  • John Purssey

    Which, of course, means that Christmas is not a celebration of Mithra, Saturnalia, winter solstice, etc. or Druid myths.

  • Desperate Ambrose

    Thanx for the heads-up!

  • John Purssey

    He probably wasn’t in favour of much of Judaism in the same way that some are not in favour of Amerinianity.
    Judaism wasn’t monolithic then, and the prophets in the Jewish scriptures were highly critical of what they saw as the corruption in Judaism and its misrepresentation of the Jewish God. That is why Jesus denounced the Jewish authorities as making the temple into a den of thieves, pretty similar to how Martin Luther denounced the church of his time. So the New Testament contains much material that is similar to the Tanakh and wouldn’t get flushed down the toilet.

  • rationalobservations?

    It’s also not a celebration of an entirely fictional god-man called “Jesus”.

    For most of us it is a celebration of family and friends that brightens an otherwise gloomy time of the year.

  • Brianna LaPoint

    Honestly, I am looking forward to looking back on the days when Christians were once hateful, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, and tribalistic. I am amused by this. because ive met far too many liberal christians that claim to be liberal and act just as two faced and hateful as you say the evangelicals do. what im seeing is the death of christianity. not just the evangelical department the whole shebang. I left christianity for many many reasons the first of which is the whole Jesus story isnt true its not even a metaphor at this point! As for beliefs Buddhism has served me much better than the strict judgemental dogmas of christianity. You want religion? stay in christianity. You want spirituality? explore other beliefs. Namaste

  • Brianna LaPoint

    ALso if christians were hateful in the past they will continue to be that way because people dont always learn from the past.

  • Brianna LaPoint

    Christ like behavior is based on a persons perspectives. What the Crusades Witchtrials and Holocaust did wasnt considered christ like to christians but it happened. I wont wait for people to change their minds about christianity as a friend said to me you cant fix the ignorance of others.

  • vmelkon

    Personally, I think the jewish god is not real. So in this case, I presume that humans always look for an authority figure to bring some kind of justice, some kind of set of rules and sanity to a primitive society. I think the priests established the rules and the stories that are present in the bible. For example, I think the Genesis story is pure fiction. So over time, the previous priest gets old and dies and the next generation replaces him. He inserts his rules into the bible. Over time, thing change. Someone from the new generation wants to do something differently and this causes a split. Religions always splinter into new sects.

    What exactly did the jewish authorities do to be called thieves?

    Jesus was just another priest. I think more specifically, christianity is the religion of Paul. A large portion of the New testament is his writtings.

    If there is a god, there is a simple solution to all this. Forget writing stuff on paper. Just show yourself and tell the people the rules that you want them to obey. More importantly, teach something about math and science. Rules about not eating bats and porc is not important. People can invent refrigeration once they know scientific principles behind matter.

  • vmelkon

    It’s also possible that you aren’t fallen and that your mental abilities are just fine and that the Bible is simply too vague and can be interpreted in different ways.

  • Steven Smith

    Christianity demands the suppression of all other religions. This doesn’t change with the demise of evangelicalism/fundamentalism, it’s in the bible and derived doctrine. Either they are right or the bible is wrong. I vote for the latter.

  • rationalobservations?

    Denial isn’t rebuttal or refutation, Gary. Rebuttal requires evidence.

  • rationalobservations?

    There is no authentic and convincing historical trace of the existence of Jesus that originates from within the whole 1st century. The oldest/first “New testament” dates from the late 4th century a few decades after the Roman religion they called “Christianity” was cobbled together from mostly pagan components and exclusively pagan feast days and festivals.

    Ref: “Codex Sinaiticus”

  • rationalobservations?

    No Jesus – No Jesus cult.
    No Jesus cult – no historical base to “Christianity” until 4th century Rome.

    Keep up..?

  • Richard Aahs

    What I was suggesting previous is that the being Jesus is not important as a being. What is important is what he was teaching. There were other masters before Jesus that taught the code of love.
    Aka the golden rule.

  • rationalobservations?

    And..
    Has never been rebutted through evidence supported argument by you or any other deluded denialist….

  • rationalobservations?

    Thanking the confused and confoundedb for confirming their condition appears pointless..?

    Any evidence supported argument would be more convincing than whining about constantly being confounded.

  • Desperate Ambrose

    “Keep up..?”

    No, I seriously doubt that you can.

    Seek professional help.

  • Desperate Ambrose

    “It’s also possible that you aren’t fallen …”
    Possible, but unlikely. I have to believe that anyone who reads history and tries to keep up with current events is bound to conclude that somethin’ ain’t right with these bipedal critters inhabiting this rock.

    “… and that your mental abilities are just fine …”
    Fine as can be expected, anyway.

    “… and that the Bible is simply too vague and can be interpreted in different ways.”

    Another possibility is that it’s very deep and can be interpreted in multiple ways.

  • rationalobservations?

    The “Golden Rule” predates by millennia the 4th century invention of the Jesus myths and the fabrication of the Roman imposed religion they called “Christianity”.

    There is no evidence that “Jesus” existed and the diverse and often contradictory legends of Jesus were all written by anonymous authors and are mostly a rehash of prior myths and legends.

    You may appreciate the less barbaric and anti-humanitarian sections of the many diverse and very different versions of bibles that have been written by anonymous authors since the oldest prototype bible Codex Sinaiticus first appeared in the late 4th century.

    Your fandom of the fictional “Jesus” is puzzling but some folk are fans if the fictional Harry Potter…

  • rationalobservations?

    You cannot form a relationship with a fictional character that is a mere phantom of your own indoctrination and imagination.

    Form a relationship with humanity and devote your actions and cash to the relief of starvation, ignorance and disease in the real world during the only life you will ever get between nonexistence and eternal nonexistence.

  • rationalobservations?

    You don’t need fiction and superstition to be a humanitarian and become a better and more charitable person.

  • rationalobservations?

    Haha
    Thank you for confirming your ignorance condition of blanket denial and gullibility once again.

    If you ever have anything interesting and evidence supported to offer please get back to me.

    Have a super Saturnalia and a real cool Yule, son.

  • Richard Aahs

    Fandom. LOL

    Thanks for the Codex Sinaiticus mention. I had not followed up on that before.

  • rationalobservations?

    You’re welcome, Richard.

    Have a super Saturnalia and a real cool Yule.

    https://www.sott.net/image/s14/292718/full/Happy_Saturnalia.jpg

  • rationalobservations?

    Season’s Greetings to all readers and contributors.

    https://www.sott.net/image/s14/292718/full/Happy_Saturnalia.jpg

  • Miriam – I have worked in community organizing around environmental issues, and I can tell you that I have found more in common with atheists who share my common values of decency and protecting this Earth than I have with many Christians whose agenda is just the opposite. Unfortunately, I’ve also encountered some atheists who exhibit malice toward me just because I am a Christian – even if we are on the same side of a issue. So I appreciate your comment here. Thank you for being willing to meet on the ethical bridges that connect us!

  • Cletus Safari

    I have literally asked God to forgive me for what a dark and angry portion of my soul would like to see happen to the Big Mac Messiah’s lord and master, Vladimir Satanovich Putin.

  • Cletus Safari

    Because not everyone is like you, NiL.

    Not everyone can believe that death is The End, No Ifs, Ands, Buts, Afterlives, Resurrections, or Reincarnations without becoming nihilistic. I tried it your way for about 9 years (roughly ages 15-24), and I could not do it. (I’m 56 now.)

    To me, if there be no afterlife, then ethics–and its non-identical twin, honor–are two of the silliest ideas we talking apes ever had. If there be no afterlife, then the Putins and Trumps of the world are right; the only thing which makes any degree of sense is to do everything you can get away with to maximize your pleasure and profit, and minimize your pain and loss, in this your one and only existence before your inevitable departure into oblivion.

  • Cletus Safari

    Remember, the “Block” function is your friend. IIRC, I blocked RO after my first encounter with him/her/it (in this age of “bots”, the 3rd is a real possibility).

  • Cletus Safari

    I think much of what is wrong with us is the fact that we evolved in an amoral and pitiless natural environment, which sometimes forced us to be monsters to survive.

    The amorality of the natural universe does not reflect the justice of God, and the callous indifference of the natural universe does not reflect the mercy and love of God.

    I have largely given up on the idea of Creation, because of those non-reflections, as well as because of the scientific arguments against intelligent design. I tend to believe God came from Outside, from some absolute Elsewhere, and adopted us as His (or Her–both pronouns are equally inaccurate in this case) children.

  • Cletus Safari

    If you want to rid the world of religion altogether, then get busy and invent immortality, because the majority of us talking apes are not capable of Stoic serenity in the face of the inevitable ends of our earthly lives.

  • Cletus Safari

    Whose Christianity, sir?

  • Exactly. In related news I see “200 Evangelical Leaders Have Signed an Open Letter Slamming That ‘Christianity Today’ Piece.”

  • Miriam English

    Leah, that’s the thing, isn’t it. As you say, it’s the ethical bridges connecting us that are pivotally important.

    We are all human beings. I’ve had the same experience. Atheists should know better than to class all religious people as the same, and while many do welcome religious moderates of all stripe, some don’t. That is dispiriting.

    There is something very seductive in hate. It pulls on us all. Many people give in to it and seem addicted to the pleasure it delivers… the rush of being buoyed by the mob and exhilarated in anger. It must make life seem very easy. It delivers a convenient lie: that “we” are on the side of right and “They” are monsters. But people are never so simple. It doesn’t take long to find the humanity under even the hardest shell of the most hateful evangelist. I try to make it a point to try to understand even them. Understanding is difficult and takes effort.

    I ask atheists who’ve been tainted by hate not to give up on people. Their common retort is that religious people are stupid, but I point out to them that there are many very smart and humane religious people, and that atheists and religious moderates should be allies against the scary fundamentalists. Sometimes I can get through to them, sometimes it will take time and work.

    I ask religious fundamentalists when I meet them why they have so little knowledge of the natural world. If they have a choice of studying, on the one hand, a book that was written by flawed humans, and on the other hand, the natural world which is the direct hand of their god, why do they ignore the latter in preference to the former?

    I made this graphic recently. Feel free to repost it anywhere.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/23645b306fedbe098d1198ee790066eb8c99a804928a2a520bbb2d4b12c598b4.jpg

  • Miriam English

    Dear rationalobservations, like you, I am atheist. What is rational about annoying a group of people who are our natural allies against the dangerous evangelists?

    Humane people need to stand against the scary fundamentalists, not do them the favor of dividing ourselves.

    I have tried to have discussions with religious extremists many times, and I’m sure you don’t realise how much you sound like them. I don’t say that as an insult, but with the genuine plea for you to tread carefully. Atheists alone can’t win against the fundamentalists. Neither can the religious moderates. But together we can if we can get over ourselves and work for the common goal of saving humanity and the planet. It has come to that.

  • Nixon is Lord

    Wow, that’s sad; you need a cosmic cop to make you behave? Or a vision of the universe as a colossal gumball machine-you put in your good works and eternal happiness after death pops out?

  • “Ehrman, who is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, routinely lectures on the validity of Jesus the historical figure. He has authored numerous books on the topic. Though he rejects the divinity of Christ, he is fully convinced that Jesus did live and was crucified. “Did Jesus exist is a historical detective story,” he says. “I invite you to look at the hard, cold facts and judge for yourself.”
    And you say?

  • Cletus Safari

    Not all of us are as naturally pro-social as you present yourself to be, sir.

    And yes, most of us talking apes are sad in one way or another. That comes of being the product of blind evolution in an amoral and pitiless natural environment. We “come from a bad neighborhood”, so to speak.

  • Cletus Safari

    Exactly. Perhaps the foremost problem of authoritarian Christians (and authoritarian Jews and authoritarian Muslims, for that matter) is that they believe that the fear of the LORD is the beginning, middle, and end of wisdom.

  • Cletus Safari

    Well, Disqus seems to have erased a number of my upvotes, so everyone please assume that I upvoted you.

    I leave you with my favorite quote from one of my favorite atheists, the late Frank Zappa:

    “Remember–there’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.”

  • rationalobservations?

    Your comments may apply in the backward and superstitious USA where some 17% of the population remain active religionists and some more remain superstitious but unattached to any corrupt institution of religion.

    Many regions of the world have advanced and developed beyond such of ignorance and to condone or excuse barbarism is to encourage it.

    Straight talking and common sense is the most direct approach and appears to have worked in more advanced and developed lands than America..

    Happy mid-winter-fest and a more enlightened new year to you and yours, dear Miriam.

  • rationalobservations?

    I say:
    Bart has consistently admitted that there is no historical evidence of the existence and centuries later written exploits of “Jesus” and that fact is confirmed by all who fail to offer evidence of anything but the legends and propaganda that started with the first NT bible written in the 4th century.

    I know the empty claims and propaganda better than you and have been studying the history of christianity longer than Bart.

  • Questioner

    Catholicism for example, which is 2/3 plus of christianity.

  • Robert Conner
  • Liberals did and continue to undersetimate our President. That is one reason why he will be re-elected.

  • Robert Conner

    Stupidity is the other reason.

  • So tell us why Hillary would have a been a bettter president if you can? Tell us why any of the current democratice hopefuls would be a better president?

  • Robert Conner

    As former Secretary of State she wouldn’t be colluding with Vladimir Putin. But if that needs pointing out, yeah, stupidity.

  • Robert Conner

    You mean there’s more than one?

  • Eric Mallo

    Pray for the hastening of its destruction. But first comes punishment. Republican lawmakers and Evangelical Christian leaders are traitors. They are criminals. Not one will escape. We shall line our prisons with them.

  • Hillary paid for the Steel dossier based on Russian disinformation. The FBI used the Steel dossier to get a bogus FISA warrant to spy on president Trump. I’d say that needs pointing out.

  • Thela Ginjeet

    Compared to what? Mainline churches?

    “Churches that are faithfully preaching, teaching, and practicing Biblical truths and conservative theology are holding stable overall. In some areas, they are seeing growth.”

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/september-web-only/glenn-stanton-myth-dying-church-rick-richardson-you-found.html

  • The attacks against the Church are not new; just the substance. The Church has prevailed for 2000 years now throughout it all. The most significant “attack” was from Luther. He did enormous harm to the Catholic Church. So much so that instead of 2 billion Catholics today there are 1 billion Catholics and 1 billion Protestants in many different variations. But notice none of the schism Churches embraced anything as bizarre as Abortion or Same Sex Marriage; rather Papal Authority, Sin and Grace, Indulgences, etc. However we know from Matthew 16:18 that the Church will stand even through this latest assault.

  • Thela Ginjeet

    “At least five times…the Faith has to all appearances gone to the dogs. In each of these five cases, it was the dog that died.”. -G. K. Chesterton, 20th Century

  • April Hollingsworth

    Every Christian picks which version of Jesus they want to promote. You are no better than the evangelicals. So do us all a favor and drop Christianity altogether. Their Jesus is just as biblical as yours. The difference between progressives and evangelicals is that progressives use their common sense, empathy, and caring nature to decipher good Jesus from bad Jesus, which means you don’t need Jesus at all. All you need is your common sense, empathy, and caring nature.

  • Where does common sense, empathy and caring nature come from if not God?
    The difference between progressives and evangelicals is that progressives are Lawless.
    But without Jesus you can have no part in the Kingdom of God.
    But don’t worry you will have a chance to understand in the coming age after the first resurrection. At that time
    all minds will be opened and you will see the true intent of God without the “Christain qualifiers.”

  • Everett Kier Jr

    Wow..Keith…Miriam says ALL that needs to be said about who is going to die off. Machen was correct in “Liberalism and Christianity”

  • Lark62

    Empathy and the rest are survival traits.

    We have a capacity for morality and empathy because far distant ancestors with those traits were able to live in groups. And individuals who lived in groups had a better chance of surviving and leaving surviving offspring.

    The human capacity for morality is just like the human capacity for language. It is present in every human group. The details vary. But every human group assigns meaning to sounds within a grammatical structure. And every human group large and small has standards of behavior and subtly or aggressively punishes violators of group norms.

    Just go to Costco on a crowded Saturday and cut in line to witness the reaction of the group to a violation of social norms.

    Every human group has norms of behavior. Pretending your pet deity created something present in every human culture requires an excessive amount of arrogance and ignorance.

  • Your pet thoeries about human moral growth in far distant ancestoral packs is arrogant, This reminds me of Job who also thought himself superior. Without God humans would not exist in any form.

  • Brad Denham

    All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. John 16:1-4

    To be clear, you Keith and your followers, are the ones the real Jesus was warning the true disciples about.

  • Lark62

    Christians think they know what god thinks and that the deity likes them best.

    I cannot begin to compete with that amount of arrogance.

  • d_hochberg

    The author has an incredibly caricatured and stereotyped view of evangelical people. Certainly you can find fair numbers who meet those stereotypes but in addition there are I think large numbers of people in the evangelical world who are great people. And an enormous amount of sound preaching and teaching comes out of the evangelical world. I might note that the money-grubbing pastors Giles complains about tend to be more in the Pentecostal fold, though again there are many good Pentecostal people as well.

  • d_hochberg

    Christians do have some idea what God thinks because we have the words of Jesus.

    No doubt many Christians do feel “God likes them best” but anyone truly following Jesus knows that is not the truth, God loves all people but will eventually judge them.

  • d_hochberg

    Funny, since the Christian or post-Christian countries are the ones where adherents of other religions are safe. Go to a Muslim country and proclaim your minority faith and see how you fare. Or an atheist country like China or North Korea.

  • Can you point out the verses that require supression of all other religions please?

  • Robert Conner

    Yeah, there are good people on all sides. Just kidding.

  • d_hochberg

    How can you doubt there are good people on each side? Isnt it the most obvious principle that if we think the good people are on our side and the bad people on the other that our thinking is faulty?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    How about celebrating the end of tax breaks and housing allowances? Why do the rest of us have to support your fantasy life?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Religion is boring.