Thursday, December 6, 2012

My History in Fundagelicalism

I started life attending a Methodist church with my family until the age of 7. I remember that church fondly and thought everybody was nice. Then I remember my parents starting to talk about how they're found a new church that was actually preaching the bible and we were going to start going there. The new church was of the e-free denomination and is basically the southern Baptist church of the north.

Growing up in that church was no fun to say the least. I like to say that it was and still is a country club with Jesus. Not to mention it felt like we were the poorest people there. Most of the kids went to private Christian schools and were a walking Strongs concordance. During my childhood years I went through Awana and got my Timothy award the crown jewel for the biblical inerrancy boyscouts.

It was a real legalistic environment that sucked and everything that was secular was bad. In the 80s evangelicals had a fear of heavy metal rock music.  So much so our church brought in some road warrior hack to tell us how terrible all of the secular rock bands were. My parents bought into it hook line and sinker and I had to take my entire Van Halen cassette collection to the used record store and trade then in on dogshit awful Christian rock music. In the long run it backfired and I made new friends at school who were into punk rock that dubbed me some Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, The Cult etc. The worst kind of music to listen to if you want to fit in at a narrow minded evangelical church.

About this time I was a couple years into the youth group and was actually starting to enjoy church. I went on a youth group trip and rededicated my life to Jesus and did some street evangelism and lead a woman to the lord. I played the game well until I started skatebaording and the youth pastor that was my friend so I thought started to call me out and chastize me in front of the group to humiliate me. That back fired and I would snap back at him or ask a question during the lesson that would derail the teaching. It got so bad during my junior year that I was asked to leave for laughing at somebodys prayer request. I got up and walked out and never came back. One of the youth leaders that is still at the church told me 20 years later that I was the only kid that got up and walked out and never came back when they used that tactic.

Enough for tonight. I will bring up some more stories of my youth group years, after lots of reflection those years messed me up and it took some 20 years to fully get over the negative experiences I had.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Start of my midlife crisis

It all started about 4 years ago when I went through my workplace and decided to terminate a couple of long term employees in supervisory positions that were a drag on my operation. After I noticed improvement in my operations I decided to tackle a 4000lb gorilla in my personal life, getting my family out of the opressive evangelical church we were attending. I had no idea what a struggle this would be and how deep I would have to dig to win this battle.

Over the last fewereyears we were at this church a pastoral change was made and the theology became more Calvinist all of a sudden. It made me angry enough to go back in time to past hurt in my youth group days and cause me to go into a period of agnosticism that lasted for well over a year. It was a dark time in my life where I rejected the evangelicalism I had endured for 30 years of my life and realized no belief was healthier than faking it at the church I grew up in.

During this period, I bought the mustang midlife crisis car and started reading all I could get my hands on in the subjects of philosphy, theology, psychology, sociology and history. I even went to the pastors at my old church and was honest with them about my doubts (which is the equivalent of career suicide) and they did a Doubting Thomas class to try to convince me with the same tired apologetics I have heard time and again over the years.

I think the toughest part was for my wife, as she was very involved at the church and positioned herself to be fairly influential through working in childcare for 10 years. in evangelical circles those of us who arent rich can be a part of the volunteer slave class and get some sense of community there. This allows the rich folks escape their children so they can attend a self serving Beth Moore bible study that affirms their materialism and beliefs that the post easter Jesus is Santa Claus. To get back on track my wife was having none of my arguement to drop out of church and become "nones" and she didnt want to attend church without me either. We were at a stalemate and I read books on my blackberry when we actually went to service. Looking back she wasn't happy ther either and we usually volunteered in the nursery while our kids went to youth group and left after that.

I will go into more detail in future posts and include a list of some of the books I read. I will also talk about where I am today as well.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hello Blogosphere

I am new to this blogging thing and am ususally a lurker on other blogs. Thought it might be cool to post some of my journey and midlife crisis over the past couple of years. This will be more theraputic than anything else. All names and places will be changed to protect the innocent and the gulity (in my opinion). Will cover topics of faith, family, auto mechanics and other reflections that come up being employed in a dead end middle mangement job.