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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Evangelical Casualties III - Disaffected Deviationists

The third category of the casualties and dropouts of the modern evangelical movement are the disaffected deviationists, many of whom have now turned against it to denounce it as a neurotic perversion of Christianity at best, or used it to denounce Christianity as a whole at worst.

Here, too, is a breed we all know too well, and who likely are among those who occasionally visit Team Hammer. It is distressing to think of these persons, both because their experience to date discredits our evangelicalism deeply and also because there are so many of them. Who are they?

They are people who once saw themselves as evangelicals, either from being evangelically nurtured or from coming to profess conversion from within the evangelical sphere of influence, but who have become disillusioned with the evangelical point of view and have turned their back on it, feeling that it let them down. Some leave it for intellectual reasons, judging that what was taught them was so simplistic as to stifle their minds and so unrealistic and out of touch with facts as to be really, if unintentionally, dishonest.

Others leave because they were led to believe that as Christians they would enjoy health, wealth, trouble-free circumstances, immunity from relational hurts, betrayals, and failures, and from making mistakes and bad decisions; in short, a flowery bed of ease on which they would be carried happily to heaven - and these great expectations were in due course refuted by events. Hurt and angry, feeling themselves a victim of a confidence trick, they now accuse the evangelicalism they knew of having failed and fooled them, and resentfully give it up; it is a mercy if they do not therewith simply accuse and abandon God himself, though this is often the case.

Modern evangelicalism has much to answer for in the number of casualties of this sort that it has caused in recent years by its naivety of mind and unrealism of expectations. But here again, the ministry that can aid these casualties is the same that will aid the restless experientialists and the entrenched intellectualists.

- My final post in the series will give an overview of this ministry.

1 Comments:

  • Hammer,

    Sorry to bother you...and please forgive me if I use this inappropriately...but I met a young man here in EKY who I believe could use your advice.

    He's an intelligent young man who wants to be a copter pilot. He's joined the Marines as an enlisted on the delayed entry program. I beleive he and the country would both be better served if he went to college and actually pursued his desire to fly helo's.

    Do you have any good advice for him. What person in the recruiting scheme of things would it be best for him to talk with?

    Thanks!

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 2/18/2006 04:42:00 PM  

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