Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Looking at Fundamentalism from the outside

With being gone for a little over a year from my culty country club with Jesus former church, I am beginning to see what constraints this type of environment imposed on my family. Gone is the trying to keep up appearances to fit in or worrying about what you say and what others might think. Also, that place was insular and you never got out of the bubble and experienced anything different that wasnt church related.

I have occasional interaction with people from the old church or new acquaintances that are in a very conservative denomination. One thing I see is a sort of tunnel vision where the members of the group can't seem to grasp why people leave or don't see things the way they do. Once you buy into a highly authoritarian belief system I think it is difficult to look back at others that don't buy in or worse yet leave. Many people have their entire social group or careers on the line so confirming your beliefs are correct is paramount.

You can look at any sub denomination from the western church family tree post reformation and see enough books on any theology to keep you busy for years to come. The hack evangelical world I came from that is embracing Calvinism as they see fit do this too. They churn book after book out saying basically the same thing. Each book can be jettisoned after reading the first chapter since the subsequent chapters repeat the same topics brought up over and over again. If you look at what all of the prematurely sainted authors by the gospel coalition churn out in one year it would make you think you have stumbled on an erudite theological camp.

With these constraints gone I have grown in ways that I never thought possible. I am getting out of my shell and getting involved for the first time in my adult life. My wife has gone and made several pen pals from around the world and expanded her horizons as well. She even got a new gym membership and is stepping outside her comfort zone to get in better shape.
My getting better and maturing has helped my family out too. I wish I would have come to this point years ago, but things happen for a reason sometimes. It was too painful to be stagnant anymore.

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