One of my favorite people is Red Letter Christian Tony Campolo. My favorite quotation from Tony sums up the dark cloud that descended upon American Christianity with the birth of the militant Christian fundamentalist movement (circa 1910) and modern conservative evangelicalism (circa 1970). Here is that quotation—delivered in front of a live Christian audience—and it is as true as the day is long:
I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said “shit” than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.
Frank Schaffer was raised from birth as a Christian fundamentalist by two of the most famous Protestant Christians in modern history: Francis Schaeffer and Edith Schaeffer. He was a devout Christian fundamentalist for most of his life, and he was one of the key founders and drivers of the so-called Religious Right in the United States. Throughout his life, he was close friends with many of the fundie leaders (and their family members), including the Billy Graham family.
Then one fateful day, Jesus removed the scales from Frank’s eyes. He awakened to the reality that Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism were doing far more work for Satan than they were for Jesus Christ. In other words, the Lord of Darkness had blinded American Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals unawares—and appropriated them. Frank repented of his blindness, left Christian fundamentalism, denounced the Religious Right, kept his faith in Jesus Christ, and joined the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The Eastern Orthodox Church is one of the oldest and largest churches on planet Earth, tracing a continuous history all the way back to the 2nd century A.D. Frank is still a faithful member of this church, and he is a regular churchgoer.
Just one week ago, Frank Schaeffer gave a talk at the Common Good Christian Conference in Colorado. It was a strong talk with some strong language—from a man who really does care that 30,000 children died last night as a result of malnutrition and disease. However, that was not the subject of his talk. His subject was the dark, Satanic cloud that has descended upon much of the American Protestant Church and the insidious new personality cult it has created within the church. If you would like to see and hear this short talk at a safe link, please click on the safe link below. (Note: If there is no sound after you click, please place your cursor on the little screen and look in the bottom right hand corner. If there is an X on the speaker symbol, just click on it to turn the sound on and drag the little white ball vertically to increase the volume.)