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Howl

Exvangelicals are people who have left Evangelicalism in the rear view mirror.  Many are children of famous fundy families. 

Abraham Piper, John Piper's son, is exvangelical and now has a huge following on TikTok. 

A Pastor’s Son Becomes a Critic of Religion on TikTok John Piper is one of the most influential theologians in America. His son Abraham calls evangelicalism “a destructive, narrow-minded worldview.”

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Abraham Piper became a sensation on TikTok nearly overnight. He posted his first video in November, and he now has more than 900,000 followers, many of them young people who thank him for capturing their experiences so precisely. His unlikely path to online stardom: irreverent critiques of evangelical Christianity aimed at others who have left the faith...

...Melissa Stewart, another popular “exvangelical” personality on TikTok, grew up in an Independent Fundamental Baptist church in Minnesota. When she married at 18, her pastor used John Piper’s work in premarital counseling sessions...Ms. Stewart is now divorced and in law school. On TikTok, where she has about 179,000 followers, she posts about feminism, sexuality and atheism. “To see someone who didn’t just come from that world but came from that family, who has clearly done the work to get out, and is so introspective and gentle and grounded” gives a lot of people hope, she said in an interview. 

...[Abraham] Piper is one of a number of children of prominent conservative Christians who have publicly rejected elements of their parents’ teaching. Jay Bakker, the son of the televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, is an advocate for L.G.B.T.Q. acceptance in the church. The five children of the combative evangelist Rick Joyner recently told the Times columnist Nicholas Kristof that they vote Democratic...

...In his videos, Abraham Piper repeatedly insists he is not trying to convince anyone of anything. “Do you know how boring and soul-sucking it is to base your whole life on making sure other people change to become more like you?” he asked his followers in February. It’s not that nothing matters, he added. “But you get to pick what. You decide what matters. Lighten up, get laid, go bowling.”

Some exvangelicals to follow: 

Chrissy Stroop

  • Twitter
  • cstroop.com
  • Empty the Pews: Stories of Leaving the Church Chrissy Stroop and Lauren O'Neal put together a collection of  "Twenty-one timely, affecting essays by those who survived hardline, authoritarian religious ideology and uprooted themselves from the reality-averse churches that ultimately failed to contain their spirits." 

Blake Chastain: 

Daniel Ortberg: Twitter.  

 

 

Edited by Howl
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clueliss

OOOH - thank you!!!  (I feel like maybe I fit in that category)

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Jasmar

I am a devout exvangelical, thanks in part to Free Jinger (although there were a LOT of other influences and reasons for my shift). It makes me so happy to hear from others who left that supremely toxic subculture, and who are calling it out publicly.

 

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sleepy_doggos

I would add to your recommendations The Life After podcast and secret group on facebook. It's a very supportive deconversion/questioning community!

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Howl
Posted (edited)

Former Desiring God Writer Paul Maxwell Renounces His Christian Faith

Is it something in the air?  Is it contagious? 

 Paul Maxwell wrote "The Trauma of Doctrine: New Calvinism, Religious Abuse, and the Experience of God" so with a title like that this announcement isn't much of a surprise: 

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“...I love all the support and friendships I’ve built here [Instagram]…I think it’s important to say that I’m just not a Christian anymore, and it feels really good. I’m really happy…I’m really happy.”

and 

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I’m in a really good spot. Probably the best spot of my life. I’m so full of joy for the first time. I love my life for the first time…and I love myself for the first time.”

Apparently,  Paul Maxwell being happy about this makes many male Calvinists very unhappy, and there will be a lot of snippy remarks and huffing about this including The Very Dr. Reverend DUI, who hopes that Paul Maxwell, among others, wander miserably in the dark night until they re-find Jesus.   

I don't think Paul Maxwell could GAF, he's in too good a mood. 

 

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kmachete14

This is a trend on TikTok. Exvangelical and Ex-Mormon accounts getting hundreds of comments from fellow ex-es. Lots of deconstruction of beliefs as they call it. Mostly millennial and Gen Z people, but a few older as well. It's pretty heartwarming to see their testimonies or how they broke free. It's like the entire fever dream of Free Jinjer and it is pretty amazing. 

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stylites
1 hour ago, Howl said:

Apparently,  Paul Maxwell being happy about this makes many male Calvinists very unhappy, and there will be a lot of snippy remarks and huffing about this. 

 

Largely because much of their identity is that of a consumer of this particular ‘brand’.  For all their talk about ‘functional idols’ they will put their roles in their bios (father, husband, pastor, etc) and plaster their feeds with pictures of the latest theological tomes they bought. 

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MamaJunebug
4 minutes ago, stylites said:

Largely because much of their identity is that of a consumer of this particular ‘brand’.  For all their talk about ‘functional idols’ they will put their roles in their bios (father, husband, pastor, etc) and plaster their feeds with pictures of the latest theological tomes they bought. 

I’m afraid I agree. Same song, different verse. 

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Jasmar

I wish I were as buoyantly joyful as Paul Maxwell seems to be, but I honestly miss believing in God. I do NOT miss fundigelicalism, the misogyny, bigotry, willful ignorance, corruption, black and white thinking, anti-intellectualism (or the reverse, the spurious pseudo-intellectualism of Calvinism). But I do miss believing that someone had my best interests at heart and loved me unreservedly.

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Howl

Opposing perspectives on how to deal with your "ex". 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Sarcastically spinster

I was raised fundie.  I've seen this process happening with many of my friends.  We were raised in the church.  We were taught a set of beliefs.  I had some exposure to viewpoints and worldviews outside my own, but for many fundies, they deliberately tried to shelter their kids from that.  They might say that they taught their kids about other worldviews and religions, but they rarely engaged honestly with them.  It was a caricature more than anything, and when that caricature couldn't stand up to Christianity, then it was assumed that a child who was raised right would never walk away from Christianity.  There was an illusion of independent thought, but not reality.  And so many in my generation walked into adulthood thinking that we believed Christianity.  In reality, for many of us, it was all we knew, and we thought what our parents thought.  

Faith that is based primarily on what somebody else believes is shallow.  For generations before that grew up in a "Christian culture", where everybody went to church and not attending was stigmatized and made one somewhat of a pariah in "good society", many people were never challenged or given a reason to question or explore anything else.  Being a Christian was often associated with certain social behaviors and expectations (which feeds into what I see with many folks in their 40s and up who have difficulty distinguishing the church and the Republican Party).  

There's been a major shift.  Very few people get to cruise through life without having their beliefs seriously challenged any more.  And by this time, many of those in my parents' generation have so much capital invested into where they are that they tend to bury their heads in the sand rather than face those challenges.  Or else they already worked through it at some point in the past.  

But for my generation, we're less invested.  We want to know what *we* believe, not just what we always heard growing up.  Those are our parents' beliefs - and some of us were very committed to our parents' beliefs!.  But we have to decide whether to make them *ours*.  The exvangelical movement is largely driven by a generation who, at roughly the same time, are all going through the process of figuring out what *we* believe, of separating religion and culture.  

Some of us have moved out of fundie-land *because* we've learned that we're still Christians.  We've learned that, while we may differ from what our parents and families believed, we still love Jesus.  And we see how much some of the churches we were raised in do not reflect Jesus.  We've learned that much of what we were told was Christianity was really just culture. And I've seen that be absolutely heart-wrenching for some of my friends.  Loving and valuing the church but struggling to find a safe church.  Calling yourself a Christian still but coming to terms with how much damage has been done in the name of Christianity.  Dealing with ripple effects in family relationships (all the rest of my family is still fundie).  

Others have left Christianity altogether.  They've realised that those beliefs aren't theirs.  From what I see, most of them have an easier time processing the change - not that it's not difficult, but they don't have the internal conflict of trying to separate out beliefs, once they've decided they retain none of them.  Many of them say they are happier than they ever were before, and I believe that they are, because they're living according to beliefs that *they* now own.  I think for many of them, there's an inner conflict that is now reconciled. 

One of the great arguments many in Vision Forum made against college was that so many Christian young people went to college and rejected their faith, and that was proof that college was evil.  College made them lose their faith.  No, the reality is that college challenges you to be an independent thinker and exposes you to different points of view, and gives you an opportunity to figure out what *you* believe, and some walked away in that process, as always happens when people start to figure out their own beliefs.  All Vision Forum did was delay that process for those raised in it.  

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