Website owner: James Miller
EVANGELICALISM 9/83 Tony. Aggressive, pushy, rude and obnoxious. And religious! A Baptist! What a combination! But how often it has happened that that person who has come to my attention as standing out from others as being especially obnoxious, nasty and emotionally and mentally messed up has turned out to be a "born again Christian". And the ones who are messed up the worst usually turn out to be Baptist. It is a definite pattern. I have seen it too many times. "Born again" people are so often confused, messed up people. There is something about evangelicalism that messes people up. Evangelicalism is like a disease and people who catch it start exhibiting certain symptoms. It twists and changes them according to certain patterns and in ways that are not good. Why? I am not sure exactly but the following are some of the things that I think contribute and are, at least, partial causes: - Because of their emphasis on Christ's commandment "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel" they put a lot of emphasis on witnessing, testifying, etc. and feel under obligation to go about witnessing. The preachers continually tell them that if they are Christians it is their duty to be witnessing and testifying to those around them. Thus they feel that they ought to be continually witnessing and testifying (where they work, where they live, etc.) and feel guilty if they are not. Yet it is a difficult and impractical charge for it only brings dislike and ridicule down upon their heads if they do it. Who wants to have someone trying to impose his religious views on you or telling you that you are going to hell if you don't believe in his way? Just that simple practice is enough to ensure them of being obnoxious pests. Doing it brings rejection, ostracism and discrimination. And if you do it at your job it can be dangerous. You can make enemies and lose your job. As a result most Christians have enough sense to keep your mouths shut. Losing your job is serious business. Especially if you have a wife and children that are dependent on you. So, as a consequence, they usually don't do what they feel they ought to be doing (making for a big differential between the ideal of their beliefs and the practice of them). - They believe that they are fundamentally different from other people. This creates a sort of wall between them and the rest of humanity, a wall created in their minds and existing in their minds. The reason they think they are different is because they believe that once you are converted and become a "born again Christian" you are miraculously changed and transformed in some mysterious way, that you suddenly have God's spirit within you whereas formerly you didn't. Once converted you are one of the "saved", one of the few who will go to heaven; all the rest of mankind will go to hell. Your conversion has made you special and different, substantively different, from other people. - Their simplistic formula for becoming saved can be rather difficult to support intellectually and they become all hung up trying to defend it and rationalize it to themselves. Since belief without works can get pretty close to sham their doctrines can get hard to defend. They sense the weaknesses in their doctrine, the shallowness of their doctrine, the holes in their doctrine. - Because of their emphasis on salvation by faith and not by works they tend to grossly slight the value of goodness, virtue, uprightness and Christian practice. Thus they become spiritually weaker and weaker (they become less and less spiritual) and end up spiritually vacuous. The natural concepts of honesty, integrity, kindness and morality as measures of goodness and Godliness become forgotten and replaced with the duties their preachers keep harping about (namely, much attendance of church services, being active in the church, giving money to the church, testifying to others, reading the Bible each day, etc.). So once they start making themselves obnoxious to others by testifying and witnessing, they become friendless and isolated. They start disliking others, start becoming hostile to others, and start regarding themselves as martyrs to their faith. One thing leads to another. They are rejected, scorned, spurned and laughed at by others and they respond with anger and bitterness and become confused, unhappy and mixed up. Unwilling to admit they are wrong they become stubborn, hostile, militant, angry and hard to deal with. They are angry at society because they are rejected and spurned and they are rejected and spurned because they are angry at society. It is all an ugly vicious circle.