The Texas Bohemian

Word artist. Jack of all Trades.

Walking away… briskly!

I have left Christianity.  I continue to distance myself from everything “Church” and “Christian.”  I’m not running but I’m certainly walking rather quickly.

I can’t believe I used to be one of THEM!

I am not one of them any longer.  I am still dealing with the results of decades of brainwashing.

Were Evangelicals–was I–as freaky, weird, disconnected, closed minded, self righteous back then as they are now?

It’s hard to tell since my perspective on those years is skewed.  I was inside looking out.

Looking back I ask myself, “what the hell was I thinking?”  The answer is, I wasn’t really thinking at all.

It’s not just politics.  Politics is the most prevalent part of Evangelical pigheadedness but not the only one.  I know I was more like them than I want to admit.  It makes me so ashamed.  I’m serious, I’m totally ashamed and disgusted at the person I once was.  I was prejudiced even as I claimed prejudice was wrong.  I was self-righteous even as I condemned the same in others.  I was stupid.

My zealot nature pushed me into doing so many stupid things I can’t count them.

True, I’ve always been somewhat of an outsider.  I mean, I believe if a person is going to accept something like the teachings of the church as Truth then the person should actually LIVE by them.  And ALL of them, not just a hand-selected few.  I tried.  I screwed up.  The problem was–and is–that the convoluted, complicated, contradictory set of rules Church Fathers have established were never supposed to be followed.

Church rules were made up for the sole purpose of making people feel guilty.  They were invented by sharp-minded religious pragmatists who realized the church would quickly fall apart unless people felt their souls were in danger.  Making people fear for their soul kept them seeking salvation which kept them coming to the church and also kept them under the thumb of church leaders.  If the people stopped worrying about their soul the power church leaders held would evaporate in a second.

But this is history.  All this process took place hundreds of years ago.  Today protestant Christianity, especially Evangelical churches, are a mere shell.  Only the deepest-minded theologians understand.  The church elites,  talking heads like Dobson, Robertson, LaHaye, most likely know what I’m talking about but they’ll dare not say so.  Some of them, even, may be so stubborn and closed-minded that they won’t admit the truth even to themselves.  I personally believe, however, that Dobson and Robertson and company are conspiring to destroy this country.  Their goals are insidious, their theology extremely dangerous, their methodology unscrupulous.  But, unfortunately, brainwashed Evangelicals hang on their every word.

When I started writing this little blog this morning I didn’t intend to drift off into church history.  I digress.  Sort’of.  The thing is, I used to be a huge fan of Pat Robertson, and Dobson.  Some of the others, like LaHaye and Wildmon, were to radical for me.  Falwell I never could stand.  I was a strong-willed Evangelical but never a fundamentalist.  Anyway, I used to have a place within the fold.  Like every other Christian I picked and chose my theology from the smorgasbord of choices offered by assorted denominations.  I dined at the table of moderate pentecostalism.  Now the thought of it all makes me sick.

It is true, people “have a right” to believe anything they want to.  But choosing to believe something because of some kind of “feeling” or gut reaction or whatever is not the same thing as seeking and accepting Truth.  One cannot define Truth.  Don’t tell that to Evangelicals.

I’m still off the point.  Let me return.  I have already left Christian theology, the Church, and all the trappings.  Even so I continue to struggle with residual thoughts.  I never realized how much of Christianity is pure brainwashing.  It’s not deliberate brainwashing but an unconscious (and more sinister) type of brainwashing practiced and perpetrated by people who “mean well.”  It’s a kind of “Pavlov’s Dog” process where all the tid-bits of Christian theology are shoved into one’s head from infancy.  Ideas such as hell, sin, obedience, the Jewish “God,” as well as the specifics of what sin is and isn’t (depending upon denomination, of course) are drilled into children from infancy.

The illogical, unreal, sometimes ridiculous theologies I’ve had no trouble in rejecting.  The little stuff keeps cropping up and grabbing at my gut.  The little stuff is what still twists my innards into knots and sends brief flashes of “what if” fears down my spine.  It’s those that I really want to get past.  It’s those that keep me walking quickly away from everything Christian.

I see those little “programming effects” in my family.

The truth is, not many people have the courage to question the talking heads of Evangelicalism.  They think those men (very, very few women) are much more learned and, therefore, must know more.  They do know more but they’re sure not going to tell it.  They’d loose their audience and the mega-bucks they make off that group of suckers called the Christian community.

It is sad.  The world could be a beautiful place.  If Evangelicals actually followed the peaceful teachings of the one they call but do not respect as their “Savior.”  I put that in quotes because while they claim “Jesus as savior” they are not at all free as he said they would and should be.  Evangelical “salvation” is a plastic, absurd, “when I die” kind of save-my-ass ideal.  It was never meant to be that way.  Like Buddha before him and with more authority Jesus taught a way of life that would, indeed, revolutionize the world.  Also like Buddha the masses wound up deifying the man while ignoring the truth.  Except that in Christianity the culture has become a self-serving, self-righteous, bellicose, mean-spirited enclave of people who consider themselves completely superior simply because “they have Jesus.”  The saddest of sad is that if they would SHARE the TRUE teachings of Jesus (rather than hording them) and practice them themselves this world would be a true heaven.

When I was an Evangelical I believed and preached that.  I was ostracized for my zealotry and told I was being “unrealistic.”  Go figure.

So now I am neither an Evangelical nor a Christian.

If only I could tell my head that.

September 7, 2008 - Posted by | Religion | , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. G’day to you!

    I’ve just been perusing through blogs and I’ve come across your post. I have to first say that I love what you’ve said under your Blog title – a “Texas’ Trailerpark Scholar–self appointed!” That’s good!

    I’ve just read your post, and for what it’s worth, it broke my heart. I know you’re not looking for pity or sympathy, but I feel for you in what you’ve experienced.

    Much of what you’ve written about Evangelicalism and “Christianity so called” is unfortunately true to some extent. For example, you said, “in Christianity the culture has become a self-serving, self-righteous, bellicose, mean-spirited enclave of people who consider themselves completely superior simply because ‘they have Jesus’.” To that I’d say, AMEN!

    Again, for what it’s worth, I’m sorry for the experiences you’ve had that have brought you to this point. It sounds like you still want to be “religious” [we all are], but you don’t want to be associated with what you’ve been in.

    Texasbohemian, you just don’t know how many people I’ve met in similar situations. Now I don’t know if this is you, but in the ones I’ve met and talked with, I got the impression that their eyes were totally on others and their imperfections [and believe me, there are many, and I have many] and they had somehow lost their focus on God Almighty and His Christ.

    You wrote, “The saddest of sad is that if they would SHARE the TRUE teachings of Jesus (rather than hording them) and practice them themselves this world would be a true heaven.” Again to that I’d say, AMEN! I have a little saying as a pastor I “half-jokingly” use many times – “The ministry would be great if it wasn’t for the people”.

    I sincerely appreciate your post, but I pray that one day the bitterness born from the hypocrisy of others would be far removed from you.

    I don’t consider myself an “Evangelical” – in fact, I have a very hard time with them. I believe there are many who name the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ – they “profess” Christ, but they do not “possess” Christ. My humble opinion is that’s where the true problem lie with all of this. There are those who are trying to be something they’re not…and in doing this, they fail even more miserably than true believers do and cause real problems for the cause of Christ.

    But anyway…I guess my point is: Many people will let you down – all the time, but Jesus will never let you down as you follow Him.

    Where was your focus when you came to your conclusion, Texasbohemian…on man or on Christ? Did God disappoint you and let you down, or did man and his hypocrisy let you down?

    Thanks for letting me comment, and Lord bless you.

    Comment by Pastor Szekely | September 7, 2008

  2. Thank you, Pastor, for your understanding response. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the people….

    I’m glad you liked my “self-appointed” title.

    You are correct in suggesting I’m not leaving religion, just a particular group of religious people. And no, I do not seek sympathy. Understanding, maybe, though that is a rare jewel within Christianity. The understanding you express in your reply is greatly appreciated.

    In my recent past I did suffer at the hands of Evangelicals… or more specifically because of their indifference. Bitter would have been an understatement. The silver lining within that very dark cloud is that when I began to come out the other side I looked for Truth beyond the confines of my Christian past. As a result I found a different but equally fulfilling faith in the Creator and respect for Jesus.

    I am no longer a “follower” of Jesus as a Christian I do accept his role in Creation as a son sent from God, one who fulfilled a particular purpose and one who teaches Truth.

    To answer your question, my words were written about people, not God. I have never understood the penchant of religious people to toss God out the minute they are discouraged. I’ve always assumed it was I, not the Creator, who has gone wrong. My conclusion is that Jesus has little to do with what “Christians” do, especially Evangelicals.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Ted

    Comment by texasbohemian | September 7, 2008


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: