Website owner:  James Miller

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       MY CRITICISM OF EVANGELICALISM               11/07

   There is a deep chasm between me and evangelical Christianity.  
   We are far apart.  True Christianity is not about going to 
   church three times a week, testifying, tithing, a lot religious 
   slogans, hypnotic songs, talk and cant.  True Christianity is 
   about practice and substance, practice and substance of a 
   different kind than church attendance, tithing etc.:  a 
   substance that is about goodness, honesty, integrity and 
   virtue.  I think evangelicals have a real problem with honesty.  
   Much too much of what they say, the claims thy make, in both 
   the sermons and songs, is just untrue.  They are guilty of 
   great exaggeration and false claims for the message they are 
   trying to "sell".  I think they are self-deceived.

   My background is evangelical Christianity but now when I hear 
   evangelical preachers preach I invariably react very 
   negatively.  I have come to believe that the evangelicals are 
   in deep error; that it is apostate Christianity, a false cult.  
   I believe the problem lies in their theology, dogma, doctrine.  
   They are very doctrine oriented and error in their doctrine 
   results in a programming of their minds into wrong assumptions, 
   beliefs and attitudes.  They emphasize so strongly the position 
   "salvation through faith, not works" that in doing so they 
   neglect the crucial, central importance of upright, Godly 
   living to Christianity.  Their theology has the effect of 
   divorcing Christianity from practice.  To me the heart and soul 
   of Christianity is practice, leading an upright, Godly life: a 
   life of reverence for God, honesty, simplicity, humility, self-
   denial, peacefulness, chastity, consideration for your 
   neighbor, goodness, etc. --- the way taught by Jesus.  For me, 
   love of God and love of virtue and goodness are intimately 
   united.  God represents goodness and virtue and true 
   Christianity involves a pursuit of goodness, virtue and 
   spiritual understanding.  The evangelicals say they are saved 
   by the blood of Christ, not by good works.  They say they have 
   been "made righteous by the blood of Christ".  Well, I believe 
   that the Godly, upright man will be "made righteous" and go to 
   heaven by virtue of the blood of Christ (for he is also a 
   sinner, has sin that must be atoned for).  However, the blood 
   of Christ will not atone for the sins of the ungodly and 
   wicked.  If it did everyone would go to heaven and we know the 
   Bible doesn't teach that. They base all their confidence that 
   they will go to heaven on their formula for salvation: a 
   profession of faith, "accepting the Lord", etc.  I think there 
   is great error here in this assumption and it leads to great 
   self-deception.  Christianity is not some legal spiritual state 
   acquired through compliance with some simple, clear-cut 
   religious formula (i.e. I have believed in Jesus so I am saved.  
   God promised it and God cannot lie.).   Christianity is about a 
   way of life, a practice of virtue, a set of attitudes, habits 
   and values associated with the way taught by Jesus, the 
   apostles, the Bible in general.  The way of true Christianity 
   is the Way of Understanding and Wisdom.  True Christianity is a 
   philosophy that regulates, shapes and controls our conduct and 
   habits; a personal discipline that steers us away from wrong 
   and sinful paths, that takes us in ways of righteousness;  a 
   set of outlooks and values which abhor sin and love goodness.  
   Evangelical beliefs are all based on theory and theology; mine 
   are based on observation, reason and experience --- as well as 
   Biblical teaching.  I distrust idealistic, theological theory.  
   I say that you cannot divorce integrity, virtue, goodness and 
   moral principal from Christianity.  They are the very substance 
   of Christianity.  I say that the Bible teaches that the Godly, 
   upright, good man will go to heaven and the ungodly and immoral 
   man will go to hell.  You can't forget the practice, the 
   following of God's way, and excuse yourself by claiming, "I 
   know I will go to heaven because I have been saved.  I have 
   been 'made righteous' by the blood of Christ ".  Sin is sin, 
   wrong is wrong, and that fact can't be changed by specious 
   argument.  True Christianity is about doing the right thing, 
   following the light that lies within us.  It is about living a 
   life of moral principle.  It is about self-discipline and 
   character.  It is about following the teachings 
   of Jesus.  It is a great sham to believe that you will 
   certainly go to heaven just because you have fulfilled some 
   theological formula i.e. made a profession of faith.  That is 
   just too easy, too much like going to heaven on the basis of 
   having performed a religious ritual.  Christianity is a 
   religion of truth and substance, not a religion of sham and 

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