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Polarization of Churches


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47of74

Disinformation has taken hold in fundie churches 

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Jared Stacy is still processing his decision to leave Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Va., last year. Until November, he was ministering to young parishioners in their 20s and 30s.

But in the four years since he had joined the church as a pastor, Stacy had found himself increasingly up against an invisible, powerful force taking hold of members of his congregation: conspiracy theories, disinformation and lies.

Stacy has seen the real consequences of these lies build up over the years; he says it has tainted the name of his faith.

"If Christians in America are serious about helping people see Jesus and what he's about and what he claims, then the label 'evangelical' is a distraction because it bears, unfortunately, the weight of a violence," he told NPR. "I would not use that term because of its association with Jan. 6."

 

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PennySycamore

Thanks for sharing that @47of74.  It amazes me that more evangelicals don't recognize the harm that their embrace of the right-wing does to the evangelical cause and the Christianity in general.  

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JermajestyDuggar

Do evangelicals believe like fundies? Do they actually believe the Bible is literal and all of it literally happened? Because if so, then I get how they would be more likely to believe conspiracy theories. 

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47of74
23 minutes ago, PennySycamore said:

Thanks for sharing that @47of74.  It amazes me that more evangelicals don't recognize the harm that their embrace of the right-wing does to the evangelical cause and the Christianity in general.  

I wonder if some churches and denominations will continue to use the term Evangelical in their names because of the damage the reich wing has done to that term.  It would not surprise me if the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America decided to rename itself someday due to the negative connotations with the term Evangelical and their desire not to be a subsidiary of the GQP.

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hoipolloi

A blogger I've followed on and off over the years -- a married evangelical white woman in the midwest, college-educated -- has steadily gone off the deep end into QAnon & related conspiracies in the past 2-3 years. She once struck me as being fairly rational, despite being a conservative Christian. She began unraveling with the Kavanaugh nomination, spewing major vitriol at Dr. Ford for her testimony & denouncing the #metoo movement for harming innocent white men . Although she's scrubbed a lot of this stuff from her blog since January 6, shortly before that day, she warned her readers about the rampant pedophilia in the US and, of course, ranted endlessly about the "stolen" 2020 election. 

Given examples like the above, I can only conclude that the poison runs deep and wide in US Evangelical circles. Unfortunately, many evangelical churches and organizations like TGC profit from this profound ignorance both by maintaining control over the people who believe this shit and taking their money. Until that changes somehow, I can't see an end. I also used to think that much of this poison would go away with the die-off of my boomer generation. Unfortunately, it appears that plenty of healthy younger folks are the Evangelical gravy train, one way or another. 

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PennySycamore

@JermajestyDuggar,  not all evangelicals are fundies and not all fundies are evangelicals.  There are liberal, non-fundie  evangelicals -former President Carter comes immediately to mind- and some fundies do not hold with the extremes of fundamentalism.  One president of Bob Jones University opined  that being KJV only verges on idolatry, for example and BJU allows women students to wear slacks at times.  The school is still quite conservative though.

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RosyDaisy
4 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

Do evangelicals believe like fundies? Do they actually believe the Bible is literal and all of it literally happened? Because if so, then I get how they would be more likely to believe conspiracy theories. 

Not all.  I identify as a liberal progressive evangelical Christian.  The only thing I have in common with fundies is the belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God.

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47of74

Another effect of the reich wing, polarized churches. 

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Steve Bezner, senior pastor of Houston Northwest Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Houston, Texas, said the effects of partisan tribalism, intensified by social media, are increasingly apparent in the feedback he gets from church members on both sides of the divide. “Talking points become drivers of opinion instead of Scripture,” he said in a telephone interview. “When I recently preached a sermon in which I spoke about caring for the poor, there were a couple comments made to me afterward about how that was pushing a ‘liberal agenda.’ Obviously, caring for the poor is pretty central to the New Testament.”

Lydia Bean is a sociologist and author of a book on evangelical churches on each side of the U.S.-Canada border. She’s also a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for the Texas House of Representatives and a member of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. At Broadway Baptist, she said in a telephone interview, “most leaders in the church would say that their goal is to be welcoming to both Republicans and Democrats.”

Trumpism’s aggression, however, is difficult to map onto even the most pliable Christian moral framework. How do you christen a policy of strategic sadism inflicted on migrant and refugee children? 

“It just made it really apparent that there’s not a shared moral worldview between those who support and those who oppose Trump,” Bean said. “Either separating children from their families is wrong or it’s not. But, all of a sudden, that’s supposed to be something that we agree to disagree on in the congregation? I don’t think so.”

 

Edited by Coconut Flan
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RosyDaisy

Caring for the poor is one of the basic tenets of Christianity.  There's nothing liberal or even political about that.

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gustava
6 hours ago, RosyDaisy said:

Caring for the poor is one of the basic tenets of Christianity.  There's nothing liberal or even political about that.

However, too many "Christians" seem to prefer the angry God of the OT, rather than the more compassionate Jesus of the NT.

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danvillebelle

One of the many (MANY) reasons I refuse to be part of any formal church gathering ever again.  I still love Jesus and I still read the Bible every day, mostly as a comfort habit.  But all churches around here undoubtedly have Trump supporters and I'm just not even interested in sharing the same airspace with them.  

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smittykins
20 minutes ago, gustava said:

However, too many "Christians" seem to prefer the angry God of the OT, rather than the more compassionate Jesus of the NT.

Republican Jesus.

ETA:  this video was preceded by an ad called “Stop Socialism.” 🤢

Edited by smittykins
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quiversR4hunting

I follow Fr. James Martin on fb - https://www.facebook.com/FrJamesMartin he gets push back because of his "liberal" slant. He is preaching social justice which is what we all should be for no matter what creed we believe or don't believe. Sadly so many so called christians from fundie to evangelical to traditional dominations don't follow anything that Jesus spoke about in the Sermon on the Mount. Or what Jesus says in John 8 about the woman caught in the act of adultery (this story bothers me because why wasn't the man also brought in? If she was caught in the act, there had to be another person with her) "let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." 

All these so called christians don't want to follow what Jesus actually says. It is very sad. 

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  • Coconut Flan changed the title to Polarization of Churches
Hane
9 hours ago, gustava said:

However, too many "Christians" seem to prefer the angry God of the OT, rather than the more compassionate Jesus of the NT.

What I find interesting is that mainstream Jews, who follow the OT, don’t glom onto all this “wrath of God” stuff, and tend to do more social justice work and service to the poor.

Edited by Hane
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MamaJunebug
On 2/22/2021 at 7:40 AM, danvillebelle said:

One of the many (MANY) reasons I refuse to be part of any formal church gathering ever again.  I still love Jesus and I still read the Bible every day, mostly as a comfort habit.  But all churches around here undoubtedly have Trump supporters and I'm just not even interested in sharing the same airspace with them.  

Hail to thee, from another "free-range Christian." 

17 hours ago, Hane said:

What I find interesting is that mainstream Jews, who follow the OT, don’t glom onto all this “wrath of God” stuff, and tend to do more social justice work and service to the poor.

It certainly seems so!!!

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47of74

Some evangelicals are pushing back on former guy worship 

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A coalition of evangelical Christian leaders is condemning the role of "radicalized Christian nationalism" in feeding the political extremism that led to the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by supporters of former President Trump.

In a new open letter, more than 100 pastors, ministry and seminary leaders, and other prominent evangelicals express concern about the growing "radicalization" they're seeing, particularly among white evangelicals.

The letter notes that some members of the mobthat stormed the Capitol carried Christian symbols and signs that read, "Jesus Saves," and that one of rioters stood on the Senate rostrum and led a Christian prayer. It calls on other Christian leaders to take a public stand against racism, Christian nationalism, conspiracy theories, and political extremism.

"I wanted to sign this statement just to say that Christian nationalism is not only wrong, but it's heretical," Riggs told other leaders on the Zoom call, adding that evangelical leaders must take responsibility for "rooting out this evil in our churches."

 

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danvillebelle

I appreciate them doing that, but the phrase too little, too late leaps to mind.  They should have all been screaming it from their pulpits in 2015 before Fuckface was even elected.

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quiversR4hunting

I saw a post yesterday that the local evangelical, prosperity gospel, mega church in my area preached Sunday about "cancel culture". 🙄

Edited by quiversR4hunting
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hoipolloi
4 hours ago, danvillebelle said:

They should have all been screaming it from their pulpits in 2015 before Fuckface was even elected.

Yes, but first they wanted to pack the courts first with asshat forced birther, anti-BIPOC judges.

Only then would it be time for being sanctimonious fucking liars sorry.

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Ozlsn
On 2/23/2021 at 12:31 AM, gustava said:

However, too many "Christians" seem to prefer the angry God of the OT, rather than the more compassionate Jesus of the NT.

At which point you really have to ask why they call themselves Christian.  Find another name, seriously.

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Howl
2 hours ago, Ozlsn said:

At which point you really have to ask why they call themselves Christian.  Find another name, seriously.

Be careful what you wish for. 

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON, AND Q: WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO SEE QANON AS A ‘HYPER-REAL’ RELIGION

<snip> 

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The QAnon theology (conceptions of the sacred, gods, spirits, demons, the ancestors, culture heroes and/or other superhuman agents) is rooted in American evangelicalism and neo-charismatic movements developed in the 1970s and 1980s—specifically theology involving a worldwide cabal that controlled governments and aimed to control the freedoms of people through technology, medicine, and liberalism. For example, QAnon reworked elements of the Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) panic (aka “satanic panic”)that originated in the U.S. in the 80s. SRA was the belief that a global network of elites was breeding and kidnapping children for the purposes of pornography, sex trafficking, and Satanic ritual sacrifice. 

and because Scientology was formally recognized as a religion...

Let me preface this by saying that Nick Carmody's thread DRIVE. ME. NUTs.  Each post in his thread usually references another post. BUT, his points are spot on. 

 

Edited by Howl
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