Not all people who once proudly claimed to be Evangelicals are now MAGA cult members. It was refreshing to see that some have escaped and now label themselves Exvangelicals. I guess I could also wear that label as I was once an Evangelical myself. That is what this post is all about.
As usual, most of the press coverage today is focused on those on the fringes. That is mainly because that group gets the most attention with readers and therefore sells the most soap. When the idea of freedom of the press was integrated into our constitution it was vastly different from what it is today. Originally, you paid the publisher for the paper he was handing you. Now it is from the advertisements at his site, whatever that may be. But as usual, I am getting off topic, so let’s get back to our original discussion
It is hard to say how many, but for some evangelicals, especially those under forty, the recent convergence of religion and politics has reached a tipping point. This tipping point has caused them to now claim the label “Exvangelicals”. Like many who have moved from the Republican Party to the “independent” status, they want to separate themselves from the pack who religiously (pun intended) praise the current Oval Office occupant including every despicable thing he does. That is not what they signed up for! They came to learn the lessons from Jesus about how to live their lives.
Like a house of cards, once Exvangelicals started questioning one aspect of evangelicalism the whole thing collapsed for some of them.
- The inerrant Bible proclamation just didn’t make sense. Especially when it is used to reject things Jesus told us to do.
- When they get out into the world and meet new people and are exposed to different cultures and you start to realize that the world just doesn’t fit into the neat box that Evangelicals have wrapped themselves around.
- They realize that you can be a Christian without being and Evangelical. You can still believe in Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit and even take the Bible as the word of God, but realize that much of it is open to interpretation and probably myth.
- They see Evangelicalism as being mired down in legalism and very shame based. They want something that treats all humanity with more compassion and less judgment.
For some the answer is to leave religion completely. They just can’t factor in the treatment of women, or gays, or people of other colors, as being consistent to spiritual things they need in their lives. They leave religion and just don’t look back. Some find other belief systems to fill the void. Some just go it alone as “none of the above”.
I want to close this post with a level of positivity, rather than leaving it mired down in the MAGA/Evangelical mindset. Going back to the first paragraphs of this post, Exvangelicals need to be told that there are other belief system, even Christian based, that will welcome them into their fold. We all need something beyond ourselves to believe in. Exvangelicals need to look at their options and make another choice. If that one doesn’t work then, as the Bible says, just wipe the dust off your shoes and look for other options.
Don’t give up on the teachings of Jesus as a foundation for your life.