57 Comments

Though late in timely comments on this one, I came across a song that seems to capture at least a partial picture of that "ex-evangelical" sentiment-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTfYJNp9H5A

Expand full comment

I know I'm late adding this comment, but I thought another positive note would be welcome. I live in Athens, GA and the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta has opened The Wright House, a semi-collective (2,

3,or 4 rooms with a communal living space) for 137 University of Georgia undergraduates. A goal is to be a safe space for students that have not felt welcome by other church communities.

Expand full comment

Yes, I left evangelicalism for good when I left the abusive husband I met at Bible study. The church and it's ministers were of no help to me, always encouraging me to stay. Telling me that man is more God-like than woman, because man was made in God's image and likeness, while woman was made from Adam's rib. What a crock! Unfortunately, my ex-husband suffered from mental illness and all the prayers on earth wouldn't bring a healing. He needed professional care and medicine. I couldn't help him either, since I couldn't even help myself until I left with the kids. Being born a man doesn't make you any more god-like than being born as a woman, and in fact, it may be just the opposite.

Expand full comment

thanks - never sure but I think it helps to know we're not alone and to remember that Jesus got beat up too. Thank Love for the power to heal and forgive. Blessings all

Expand full comment

It needs to be said: Jesus led where these ex-evangelicals follow: bringing light into darkness and being reviled for it.

Expand full comment

Thank you for this.

Expand full comment

Diana, Thank you for sharing your vision of the wounded Jesus holding and loving the whole room. That you connected it with the feminine, Mother God is so profound. I believe that's what will heal our world -- the feminine Spirit. With much gratitude.

Expand full comment

As a white, male, 75+ yrs., Retired United Church of Canada minister, I was in tears as I read your powerful re:answer. Faithful in your belief, powerful in the emotion, and VERY hard to do in reality. The LONGING STILL HAS POWER. Thank YOu.

Expand full comment

I think I’ve most of my life lived on the edges of these words and awareness you have just written about. How can an 86 year old non digital savvy legally copy this set of words, or buy a copy to be emailed to me or snail mailed to me? Who do I write to to give you my address and email to in a way that protects me from scam? (as might happen if written here in a public place?)

Expand full comment
author

Just reply to the email.

Expand full comment

I've been reading about mixed-gender partnerships and power sharing, it looks like the movement to restore belief to sanity is growing, but are there any numbers showing cracks opening up in the hard shell of Biblical Manhood?

Expand full comment

A late response for sure...I mused over "Near the end of the conversation, one person asked me what I thought of evangelicalism — if there was anything “good” about evangelical religion." For me, when "evangelical" went "ism" it lost its historic mission of transformation of humankind with heart attuned to Micah 6:8. Jesus is a dangerous memory to those who have gone empire; peace through violence whether it be through violent acts, violent communication or cohersive control rooted in self hate.

Expand full comment
Oct 20, 2022Liked by Diana Butler Bass

Oh, Diana, thank you thank you thank you! I am an evengelical refugee, having been raised in a Pentecostal bubble that limited me, wounded me, and scared me to death about being an accidental sinner and losing my place in the line for heaven. Now, as a retired public school teacher, I have found my way to the United Methodist Church and have certified as a lay speaker. I have found my spiritual home away from the condemnation. Mostly. I hope as the church conservatives leave with their prejudices in tow, the UMC can become the inclusive church is it is trying to be.

Expand full comment

I love your comments and insights... and yet in reading your reflection is think that the "whole" truth was both the affirmation of what is good and blessed about evangelicalism in its focus on a relationship with God AND the incredible damage that it has done and continues to do with its killing certainties. I think Jesus keeps calling us beyond our us vs. them thinking - always. I'm so grateful for your sharing the fullness of both of these stories. My heart breaks over the image of the ex-evangelicals. I also know that many of the people who are sharing the strongest voices that speak to my progressive faith are those who were both shaped and wounded by evangelicalism - a part of that shaping is what laid the groundwork for their strength. How do we claim and affirm that relationship with God and scripture while also standing firmly against the abuse and pain that has been justified and created by the tradition? I keep praying that our relationship with God's grace might someday move us all beyond our binary thinking into God's expansiveness.

Expand full comment

Not sure I'm finding the right words but I'll try: I tend to like "both-and" answers rather than "either-or" choices, so I was initially inclined to want to find good in both of Diana's answers. I keep thinking that there are so many good, kind, loving, helpful people in evangelical churches. But on further reflection I cannot help but think that the authoritarian nature of today's evangelicalism is actually hindering so many of those people from having a deep relationship with God - so that potentially positive aspect of evangelicalism is itself destroyed by the other aspects. Actually, I think this happened to me. I grew up in evangelical faith and drifted away when I just couldn't make it work with my understanding of life and reality. But there is still an empty spot where I never learned deep ways of spirituality that would actually work for me. It's a struggle.

Expand full comment

I found it!

Expand full comment

I need your help. Your sermon about the goats/Romans/Hebrews that illustrated the importance of exegesis to obtain the deeper meaning of the Bible is the best example I've come across. I like to use it in my teaching. How can I find it, please?

You have changed my faith!!!

Expand full comment

😢❤️. Thank you. What you said in truth about Evangelical churches is the story my children can tell. It is a painful story. Each of my 3 daughters went through a “hell” of a time in church as teens. They left. Their voice, their questions were never heard.

Oh that Jesus would reach out to them and gather them under his wings. Oh that he would gather me under his wings as well.

Expand full comment