From the Archives: Can We Be Evangelical w/out the B.S.?


6/1/2011
I recently visited a private Christian school.  I couldn’t get the imagery of the movie Saved!out of my head.  I kept waiting for the principal to do backflips across the gymnasium floor.
I was awed by the good behavior of these teenage kids.  They sat respectfully, no objects flying through the air… they were even better behaved than at the large Pentecostal youth group I used to volunteer at.
As the ceremony began, the principal asked everyone to bow their heads for a prayer.  Somehow, it didn’t cheese me out.  My b.s. tolerance is pretty low these days, so I was shocked.  I thought to myself, “This isn’t so bad.  Why can’t we have THIS… faith, respect, reverence, high standards… without culture wars, xenophobia, intolerance and – well – fundamentalism?”  But I’m not sure we can.  At least, I certainly haven’t seen it.  Not in evangelical culture.  Faith and fear go hand-in-hand.  Afterall, these kids go k-through-12 hearing that the earth is 6,000 years old, and that evolution is a godless lie.
When I got out to the parking lot again, the first vehicle I saw had two bumper stickers on it:
“KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF MY GUNS”
And…
“OBAMA:
One
Big
Ass
Mistake
America”
So there it is.  Maybe we just can’t have it both ways…

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