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Found 16 results

  1. 47of74

    Rick Wiles

    All aboard the crazy train
  2. A thread for FJers who feel or have ever felt ‘stuck’ in their practices/faith. And also for those who have left or changed their faith. I’d appreciate to hear your experiences and thoughts. My current personal experience: So I recently moved to the DC area with my family and naturally, my parents are looking for a church home while we are here. We went to one today that aligns with with what they believe. It’s an Independent Baptist Church. They use Focus on The Family (which I have issues with), the pastor there while genuine in his faith seems to be a mentee of Jerry Falwell (who I have issues with) and is active on the board at Liberty University. The sermon today was about knowing if you’re really saved (basically a major guilt trip for me) This church is in some ways quite similar to our home church in the Caribbean. I’m personally tired of church in general even though I went pretty regularly through college (and still do) out of fear and a sense of obligation. In reality, church brings me no comfort or peace. I don’t think it ever has. It frequently triggers depression and deeply unsettles me (evangelicals are honestly great at making you not trust yourself, guilting you and gaslighting). I have major issues with some core beliefs of the evangelical church (not to mention how they treat certainty groups of people). I don’t feel safe nor do I trust believers to share how I feel or be myself. Basically church a thing I’m made to endure without being outed as a heathen or someone to fix/save. Of course, none of this I can express to my parents. They frequently claim that I can tell them anything and they don’t want to influence my decisions on how I live my life, but I truly doubt they mean it. They are great parents and we’ve always been close but I don’t trust them. Telling them would firstly break their hearts and would also make me a target to ‘fix’. So I’m currently saving face until I can manage to get over my paralyzing anxiety, be financially independent, move out and create some distance. Hopefully I can do so without too many triggers.
  3. I read this article written by a woman who married at 20 and stayed a virgin throughout her marriage. She relates much of it to the evangelical shaming she received as a child regarding sexuality, along with an undiagnosed physical issue that caused penetration to be painful. I thought it was an interesting and sad article, so I'm posting it here. https://medium.com/s/story/this-is-how-i-remained-a-married-virgin-for-two-and-a-half-years-f178818a728b
  4. Coconut Flan

    How Evangelical Are You?

    Yesterday I ran into this quiz to see how much one knows about evangelical Christianity. It also has a good definition IMO of evangelicalism. https://www.topixoffbeat.com/quiz/18784?utm_source=adrizer_tab&utm_campaign=79133&utm_term=worldnow-kfmb&tpx_campaign=18784-79133
  5. In an attempt to slay some personal demons I've been revisiting parts of my distant past trying to gain some insight into some things I didn't fully understand as a kid. That was the church I attended with my mom ages 8-13 and I'd always considered it fundy-lite since big families were a thing but usually topped out at 7-8 kids and women wore pants, had jobs, only a handful of home schoolers. But the more I've learned about various flavors of fundy here the more I realize their beliefs weren't that lite. My mom was the least judgmental person I've ever known, she believed "evangalism" was letting your love of Jesus drive you to do things to help others and be kind...she never tried to convert anyone since she believed there were many paths to salvation and only God knew what was best for each of us. Our job was to help those in need and do unto others and all that. The way she lived her faith was contrary to their belief statement in some profound ways. Specifics below for the exceptionally bored. So....anyone with experience with these EFCA people? I looked it up to see what their official classification was and there are rabbit holes that go for miles ...reform or not reform and something called dispensationalist and I'm so lapsed I couldn't even remember to eat the candy from my Advent calendar on schedule so I jumped out before the ferrets had to be called. I will research this more indepth on my own but I thought I would throw it out here as some of you know more about this than I ever will... Evangelical Free Church: fundy or fundy-lite? The TLDR of my religious background: Born into Catholic family - both sides My devoutly Catholic mom was excommunicated when she divorced my father when I was a pre-schooler. She lost her faith in the RCC but not in God. When I was 8 I was invited by a friend to go to VBS at her Evangelical Free Church. Everyone seemed so nice and there were a lot of fun elements, but I was viscerally sick (not hyperbole, I vomited in the grass) when I "learned" that only people who "accept Jesus as their personal savior" go to heaven and everyone else to hell. I was terrified for my family and it was contrary to everything my mom had taught me about God to that point, which was that he loved everyone and looked out for us and wanted us to be kind and love each other. I was a simple kid when it came to this stuff - that was good enough for me. I "accepted Jesus" and was "born again" by saying the words out of fear of hell and because the mean girl who kept making fun of me for not knowing anything about Jesus. Ftr I knew who he was...I was just unfamiliar with all of His alleged rules. After that I "accepted Jesus" repeatedly on my own because I didn't think I did it right since I never felt anything. I was supposed to be filled with the Holy Spirit and all of this peace and joy and I really expected some kind noticeable transformation but nothing. When AWANA started I went with my friend to that. It was something to do and I quickly got in with this clique of girls so I kept going. It was then my mom decided to see what kind of religion I was immersing myself in and soon was a regular on Sundays for service and Wednesdays for bible study. Next thing you know she's on all kind of committees serving the elderly, the ill, where ever they needed her. My mom was a joiner. I ....am not. Meanwhile I was vacillating between being very afraid of hell for both myself and everyone I love (with the exception of my mom who I never doubted was earmarked for Heaven) and thinking their belief system was wrong and the people stupid because they no only couldn't answer my questions logically, but they didn't like my asking them. I was considered difficult by the very same people who loved my mother. When I would ask my mom the same questions she never got angry, but she couldn't reconcile it either. She never waivered from her 'God loves everyone' philosophy and that it's love that matters...for God and for each other....not what religion you are. She firmly believed everyone went to Heaven unless you've overtly rejected God and then also became Hitler. If you were brought up in a religion that didn't believe Jesus was the son of God why would God punish you with hell for merely following your own faith? If you never learned of Jesus, or were taught of him by abusive people where you would understandably associate him with evil why would God send you to hell for things beyond your control? Idk Mom, why would you belong to a church that taught such things? Because I am very naive, Buffy, and I believe the best of everyone which makes it easy to focus on the positive and ignore unhappy truths to our peril! Between ages 8-12 I'm getting progressively more angry at God for forcing this Heaven or Hell thing on me when I didn't ask to be here in the first place...I was convinced I was not saved, couldn't be saved, and would regularly yell at God in my head demanding an opt-out option where I could skip the whole judgement and eternal assignment thing in favor of just ceasing to exist. I was so terrified of the whole final judgement where your life flashes before your eyes and you go over your sins with Jesus that when I'd ruminate on it I'd have trouble sleeping and stomach problems. I was ...not an easy child to raise...and this was a ongoing bone of contention between my mom and I. As I got older and mouthier my offense at the subtly worded but pervasive anti-Catholic sentiment grew resulting in a blow out where I was no longer forced to go to her church, but I had to go to "a" church...so I went to mass so I could be an outsider to a whole new set of people. But they paid no attention to me which I appreciated, and I liked the ritual of it. I had and have to this day unveiled contempt for that church. When she was dying and they gathered around her we didn't drive them away because they were her friends and she wanted them there....but suffice to say I am very good at shutting down any attempt to convert me and returning fire on snarky comments intended to shame my heathen ways.
  6. This is what is being preached by Jeff Crawford in Cross Church, Arkansas. You know, the one the Dillards and other Duggars go to. Megachurch Pastor: ‘Woman Has No Right Over Her Own Body – It Belongs To God’ Well, if I follow that logic, and my body indeed belongs to God, then you don't get a say what happens to it either, you misogynistic moron!
  7. Happy Hallowe'en! In celebration of the season, I was reading this piece on Vice today, about evangelical Hell Houses, and especially Trinity Church's famous ones. The piece is written by an ex-Evangelical, and contains lots of videos. https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/3kvkmy/evangelical-hell-houses-are-waking-nightmares I am fascinated by this - we don't have these in the UK as far as I'm aware, so I'm about to jump down a rabbit hole. I can't imagine how they'd work on a non-believer like me, because they seem so camp/kitsch, but I can see them making people who do believe feel even more guilty about being gay, having an abortion etc. I guess I don't understand them, so I was wondering, dear FJers - have you been to one? Or acted in one? Did they work? What was it like? I'd really love to know more, and of course, if you guys have any articles etc that you like about it, I'd love it if you shared. That Vice piece lead me to these, for example: https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/av4d78/the-best-little-hell-house-in-texas https://www.buzzfeed.com/sarahburton/evangelical-hell-houses-that-will-terrify-you-if-youre-int https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/oct/31/halloween-texas-hell-house-wayward-christians-scared Happy Hallowe'en!
  8. Talk about a damn buzz kill. Things start to get a little intense at the end of the video when he's confronted by several beefy guys who are telling him to shut up and leave. I suspect things got even more intense after the video ends.
  9. From the part of the UK that still bans marriage equality and abortion (Northern Ireland) Ashers bakery have lost their appeal over initially agreeing and then refusing to bake a 'sinful' cake which included the message 'support gay marriage'. They have to pay the guy who ordered the cake £500. They intend to appeal to the Court of Appeals in London. The business owner is 25 with 2 kids and a wife who looks at him adoringly in a ATI kind of way. Ugh. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/oct/24/born-again-christian-ashers-bakery-lose-court-appeal-in-gay-cake-row
  10. I have been on FJ for a few years now (although posting much less than I did when I first joined) and have spent a lot of time reading secular/rational/atheist blogs and listening to podcasts and watching videos. There seems to be quite a divide among Christians. So many Christians are saying, "I'm 'mainline" and I am not one of those Christian crazies." I hear the word "evangelical" quite a bit alongside fundamentalist. There seems to be some kind of ideological divide and belonging to one church or another automatically puts you on a side. I just don't understand these divides and what makes someone a Christian vs. a CHRISTIAN. I'm not sure if I'm making sense, so I'll give background on my own experience to spell it out. I was raised Catholic and thus spent my formative years learning the Catholic rules of salvation. You went to church every week. You received communion. If you sinned (including missing church) you were out of grace and you had to confess to be placed back into a state of grace and receive your salvation through communion. I was a fearful child who worried about hell and Satan and I was never sure if I was doing Catholicism right (I never went to confession after missing church for example). When I was 10 my Presbyterian (I'm told this is considered a "mainline" denomination) invited me to join her in the Sunday School class. I really enjoyed the intimacy and family atmosphere of this church - less cold and formal and distant than the Catholic. They told me if I didn't want to go to hell, i needed to be saved. I needed to "ask Jesus into my heart". The language wasn't all that different from what I hear from the fundies we snark on here on FJ. Throughout the years I spent attending this church and going to Bible camp, everyone delivered the same message. You needed Jesus in your heart to be saved. Jesus had the be the driving force in your life. You should do your best to help save others as well. The politics were conservative. They were all dedicated anti-choicers, although now and then I would run across someone who would concede to rape/incent exceptions (one speaker at summer camp said he hated the idea of the baby being punished for rape, but could empathize too much with the mother not wanting to give birth to a rapist's baby). They were not anti-birth control for married couples, but believed that no couple should avoid having children altogether. They looked at me patrionizingly when I said we should vote for candidate willing to reduce nuclear armaments and work harder for peace in the world. They couldn't quite fault me for my beliefs that ran in line with the peaceful message of Jesus, but they knew right-wing politicians were still best for the country even if it was only because of abortion. They were not into YEC. When asked about the creation of the world in 7 days, they would say things like, "God's time is not our time," and concede somewhat to scientific evidence. I grew up believing that all non-Catholic Christianity was based on salvation and asking Jesus in your heart. I didn't know that this was some kind of special belief that isn't present in most churches. But why was it present in this group of supposedly mainline churches? Let me point out I am not living in some Bible Belt backwoods. I live in the in a wealthy NYC suburb. The camp director of my Bible camp was pastor at a church in Manhattan. Can a mainline church still be evangelical? Is there something beyond the idea of being "saved" that divdes a mainline church from an evangelical one? What is the line between evangelical and fundamentalist? Does it mostly have to do with whether or not you believe in evolution vs. creationism? Another example is a friend of mine who was saved about 20 years ago. She is hardcore in her beliefs and politically aligned in most ways with the religious right. She believes strongly in creationism and tells her children that while they have to answer the test questions in school the way the school demands, they must understand that school is wrong. Her church is Lutheran ("mainline", no?) She frequently gives her testimony to the congregation as a shining example of what a positive influence her salvation has been on her life. On the other hand I have another friend who after years of detached near-agnostocism (with a belief that Jesus had a good example) became a Christian and is still a liberal and is also a Lutheran. She did get baptized though. She doesn't talk about her beliefs with me though because she knows my beliefs once similar to hers have become outright atheism and she correctly assumes I won't take her beliefs too seriously. She's obviously not as fundie/evangelical as my other Lutheran friends, but does she consider herself saved? What makes someone a Christian and what defines a type of Christian? For those of you on this board who identify as Christian, what do you believe, what church do you belong to, and what do you feel is the ultimate purpose/end for your beliefs? (Are you concerned with the afterlife? Do you feel your Christianity makes you a better person? etc.)
  11. http://www.alternet.org/belief/why-people-dont-take-right-wing-evangelicals-so-seriously-anymore Totally hits the nail on the head: Americans are waking up to the fact that evangelicals are sex-obsessed, bigoted, greedy, indifferent to reality, and in general, the kind of people Jesus would've run screaming from. And if you replace every instance of "evangelicals" in the article with "Duggars," it totally works!
  12. clueliss

    Wait? Does That Make Her A...

    So, I've had an odd moment where those things that fascinating me in a train-wreck can't keep watching kind of way meets what we'll label here as my real life. Almost six years ago I moved because I had lost my job and the economy was crap and I put my trust in God and decided, since I don't have children or husband tying me to one place, to take my job search nation wide. i wound up 2.5 or so hours east of where I had been in a neighboring state. After I moved at one point I went through a period where I seriously weeded out my former Facebook contacts from real life. Some I regret - some I don't. I had a lot of contacts from being very active in children's ministries as a small group leader (think Sunday School Teacher) and in women's ministries. Then a couple of years ago when I made a person faith shift, some things and people that had been fine before began to grate on me. I mention this because there was a reason (or more) that I weeded C from my contact list. I knew C from church before the move. I will tell you before I begin this story that I had one of her children in my group for a while. It makes it difficult to snark on. It also puts me in an ethical odd territory because I know things about her children that others might not know. Church is a wasteland of gossip. Some things were shared with me because as a small group leader you need to know things about 'your kids.' Other things get shared in women's ministries and fall under confidentiality. I won't be discussing any of those things because morally I just can't. (and well, HPPA folks). So late last week C tags a bunch of people in a Facebook post. I'm no longer friends with C but due to various people I am still friends with and their Facebook settings I can see the tags and her post. She's having a fundraiser. For an adoption. For two children. From China. Okay. C has 3 bio kids (1 daughter, 2 sons) and 3 adopted children (2 daughters from Korean, a son from China). Thanks to my awareness here at FJ my brain screams 'baby collector.' The last previous adoption this family did took place before I moved 6 years ago. And now they're being called to adopt. By the way, it did not surprise me that it was two. And if it was one, I might mentally figure on another to follow. But that's only because she has a naming pattern. I told you, things you learn at church? In women's ministries? Yes. 2 L's. 2 J's. 2 S's. So, my mind put a check mark next to 2. I consider this family evangelical by my own definition. Might put them in fundie light based on things I've heard from C back before I moved. Their kids go to public school. In fact C's husband is/was a school counselor. Child 1 went to university (a small mainline christian university a bit south of the larger city/state university city we lived in/next to). I think Child 2 went to the military. Child 3 is over 18 and graduated from high school last year I believe. I did some poking around on the net that day and the next. I saw various articles about C and adoption. Not surprised because I knew she was involved some how with a Christian adoption agency. And because she did some adoption seminars at the church I used to attend. I'm still reeling a bit on the crashing of my worlds. So pardon me while I wander off to continue process some of this. here
  13. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... gle+Reader An anthropologist researching evangelicals writes about how evangelicals communicate with God.
  14. Has this been discussed in-depth here? The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children by Katherine Stewart. (Obligatory Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Good-News-Clu ... 356&sr=1-1 ) Someone mentioned it here a week or two ago, and I immediately ordered it through World Cat's interlibrary loan (I live in TN, my copy came from George Mason University in DC. Fascinating!). I'm just about finished with it, and it's one of the scariest books I've ever read. The sneakiness, the backhandedness, the absolute glee with which these people break the spirit of the law, it's horrifying. I've had to stop reading it a few times because it upsets me so much. This should be recommended reading for all FJ'ers, seriously. (Do we have a sticky book recommendation thread? I can't remember, as I'm typing this, but if not, we should. I've read some really amazing books that were recommended here, so thank you all for that!)
  15. Pretty cool little article from CNN. It goes on to give some statistics, some of which are pretty heartening.
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