Friday, August 28, 2020

The prurient scandal surrounding the Falwells causes me to reflect back on the 25+ years I was a fundamentalist evangelical charismatic Christian. 
The culture of fundamentalist Christianity inculcates in its adherents that those in authority (pastors, televangelists, self-proclaimed prophets, etc.) are not to be challenged or scrutinized, lest one be branded as rebellious and ostracized from the church community or be guilty of attacking "God's anointed" and incur the wrath of the Almighty. I was once called a "son of Absalom" for questioning a pastor's authority (Absalom was David's son who committed rebellion against the king and was summarily executed for it). A common epithet applied to a woman who questions authority in the church is that she has a "Jezebel spirit" (named after the wicked biblical queen who worshipped pagan gods and suffered a gruesome death). 
This authoritarian culture within the fundamentalist Christian world results in a serious lack of accountability among its leaders. And then when a leader's transgression does come to light--be it financial or sexual or whatever--the response is "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." In other words, a demand for grace cheapened to the point of worthlessness is called for (unless the fallen one is a women and the matter is sexual, in which case she will never be allowed to forget or rise above her transgression). 
The end result is that the fundamentalist evangelical Christian world is riddled with sin and scandal and cons and scams perpetrated by leaders, and the "flock" gets fleeced over and over again. I've seen it with my own eyes so many times...


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