True Experiences False Beliefs

I prayed my way through the Deconstruction of my Evangelical Christian beliefs.

But what I thought was a Rogue Wave was actually a Tsunami.

The first wave wiped out Historical Adam & Eve and Historical Noah’s Ark & the World Wide Flood and the Historical Tower of Babel. Then the ongoing Tsunami deconstructed the God of Genocide, the God of Homophobia & Repressed Sexuality, the God of Eternal Conscience Torment, the God of Sexism, and the God of Slavery.

Then, just when I thought the worst of the destruction was over I realized the Bible was a very human and imperfect text. And then, finally, the Towering Structure of my Evangelical Christian faith constructed on Highest Ground began to crumble and collapse. I realized the bodily Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead was highly improbable at best.

I still remember posting in my Galileo’s Grotto Facebook group: “I don’t think I am a Christian any more.”

My belief in the Resurrection was the anchor of my faith. Cut loose from a literal Resurrection I was now drifting out into open waters. Disoriented. More than lost. Without direction. Without a course. Without a Destination.

So much of my life was framed by my Christian beliefs, my Christian community, and my Christian spiritual experiences.

What about my LIFETIME of SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES?

Powerful experiences.

Life changing and life shaping experiences.

Healing experiences.

Eye-Opening, Enlightening experiences.

Peace that Passes Understanding experiences.

Not by Might, Not by Power, but By My Spirit experiences.

Powerful experiences of Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness.

Did losing my Evangelical Christian beliefs mean that my Christian Spiritual experiences were a delusion?

I did what I had often done when I was feeling lost. I prayed.

And God spoke to me.

My agnostic friends might say, “Chris, I was tracking with you but now you are falling back into your delusion and superstition.” I understand some people may think that but maybe it is of some value for me to explain what I mean when I say that “God spoke to me.”

It is not an audible voice. It resembles a thought. Actually, Intuition is a better word. A sudden understanding that comes with a sense of clarity, peace, and conviction. It provides an immediate relief of the internal conflict. Suddenly at peace. I have come to recognize that experience as “The Voice of God”. And, yes, I do realize the grandiosity of that statement.

So what did God “say” to me?

“Chris. Your Beliefs and your Experiences are two different things. Your Experiences are True. Don’t worry so much about your Beliefs. We’ll work those out over time. But your Experiences of My Presence are True.”

I know less about God than I ever have. But I still experience God on a daily basis.

I no longer recite a “To Do List” for God. Change this. Fix that. Move this. Remove that. Give me this. Take that.

I am free from Superstitious Prayer. Free from the neurotic belief that if I do not “Pray about It” God won’t do anything. It is so good to be free from guilt over not giving God a to do list for my life.

My experience of God now is very similar to meditation and mindfulness. At times I set aside 20 or 30 minutes to sit quietly in God’s presence. Other times I experience God through the mindfulness that comes from being Present in This Moment. Being Present is where I experience God. God is in the Now. This Moment. I especially experience God when I am present with my wife and children and when I am present with nature.

I have discovered I do not have to know a much about God to have a powerful experience with God.

I now have a truly Simple Faith.

 

 

 

The 5 Reasons Evangelicals Love Donald Trump

Was Jesus an Unrepentant, Greedy, Womanizing, Sexually Abusive, Coercive, Liar?

Of course not.

Jesus was the opposite of that.

I am….Baffled….Perplexed…Apalled…by my Evangelical friends fervent…even frenzied…support of President Donald Trump.

As an Evangelical into my late 40’s, I decided to do a Vulcan Mind Meld with my previously Evangelical Mind to come to an understanding of this Gross, UnBiblical Hypocrisy.

These are the 5 reasons Evangelicals passionately support Donald Trump:

  1. Evangelicals are masters of Suspending Disbelief. 

Most Evangelicals believe the world is around 4,000 years old. That the Universe was created in 6 days. That Adam and Eve were the first humans and that a Talking Snake ruined everything for everyone. Evangelicals believe humans are born deserving to be sent to a fiery Eternal Conscience Torment. They believe that the voices in their head telling them “Have a second piece of chocolate cake” or “Go look at porn” are demons. When you have trained your mind to believe by faith that Noah’s Ark is a historical event, rationalizing support for Trump is not a great leap. Evangelicals must let go of their Pre-Enlightenment, Flat Earth reading of the Bible in order to better understand their own book and in order to engage our times with clear eyes.

2. Evangelicals are Living a Binary Conspiracy Theory in which Evangelicals are God’s Chosen People Literally Saving The World. 

Evangelicals believe there is God’s side and the Devil’s side. Evangelicals are God’s “Chosen People”. The Holders of “The Truth”. Everyone else is “The World” that is under the rule of “The Devil”. Evangelicals are susceptible to conspiracy theories that reinforce this Remnant Hero meta-narrative. Evangelicals bought 80 MILLION copies of Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind books series based on LaHaye’s interpretation of the Book of Revelation. That same apocalyptic world view enables them to easily envision God raises of President Donald Trump as a means by which God accomplishes His purposes in The World.

3. Evangelicals are attracted to Authoritative Preachers who define Binary Black & White World

Evangelicals organize around their own Personal Prophet who organizes the World into Good and Evil for them. Their own Evangelical Guru. It could be Franklin Graham or Benny Hinn. It could be Jerry Falwell, Jr, Beth Moore or John MacArthur. Or the latest Trendy Teacher in skinny jeans and expensive sneakers.  Some are better than others. Each Preacher brings their own carefully curated Brand of The Truth. The “IN” and the “OUT”. Rivals are identified and “OTHERED”. Each claims to be speaking for God through their own superior interpretation of The Word of God.

Donald Trump is the Authoritative Prophet for Evangelicals. Trump provides the Conspiracy Theory.  Trump reduces the world to Black and White. Good and Evil. Trump cherry picks a few data points and forms it into a compelling Meta-Narrative for those looking for a simple world view to manage their anxiety and to deliver them from the hard work of a reflective analysis of the problems we face.

For others President Trump is the Old Testament Pagan King who God raises up to do the dirty work for The Chosen Ones. Trump is the Divine Fixer who will lie, cheat, and steal for his clients.

4. Evangelical Rationalization: It was either Trump or Clinton?

It is amazing how Evangelicals ignored the actual Evangelical Christian Republican Candidates in the 2016 Election: Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Ben Carson. Evangelicals ignored all of these Evangelical Christian Republican candidates, several with respectable Republican resumes,  for the man who said women love it when he: “Grabs them by the pussy.”

5. Evangelicals have reduced Social Justice to ending Abortion and Same-Sex Marriage

Evangelicals have reduced the moral responsibility of Americans to stopping women from having abortions and to stopping Same-Sex Marriage. Forget poverty. Forget health care for all people. Forget criminal justice. Forget the environment. Forget alternative energy.

If Evangelicals can tell themselves that they are stopping abortion they can rationalize all kinds of evil in the process. And it is a heckuva a lot easier to tell women to stop having abortions or to stop baking wedding cakes for same sex weddings than to actually get in there and help the poor and the exploited.

The Problem of Religion and Politics

You might be expecting me to say that we shouldn’t mix religion and politics.

The opposite is true.

I plead with my Evangelical Christian friends: Bring more Jesus into your politics!!!