Once upon a time, Ms. Peggy Wehmeyer was a famous religion correspondent for ABC News in New York City. The late Peter Jennings personally hired her to cover religious affairs for ABC News back in the 1980s. She is an excellent journalist, and I remember watching a number of her television reports on the ABC Evening News in those days. Today Peggy lives and works as a writer in Texas. During her time at ABC News, she was a devout conservative evangelical, and at the moment she still is. However, today she is seriously considering filing for a divorce from Fundieland. Her adult Christian children have already done so—and their lives and choices are a major factor in her current deliberations—along with a bit of angst about conservative evangelical support for that abomination of desolation that sits in the Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. In the Dallas Morning News, she has written an excellent new article on her deliberations about fleeing from conservative evangelicalism. I think you will enjoy her fun and easy-to-read article below.
If you are a pastor, deacon, elder, or member of a Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical church, this article by Ms. Wehmeyer will give you a brief look at what your future and the future of your fundie church looks like as you watch the backsides of your young adults walk out your church doors—and never come back again. Yes, we have seen your own horrid statistics. We have also read several of your articles containing all the bullshit reasons you have conjured up in your heads as to why your fundie youth are leaving and never coming back. It appears that many of you prefer to conjure up fantasies and invent your own facts out of thin air—rather than actually listening to your late teens and young adults when they tell you the precise real reasons why they are leaving and never coming back. And no—it is not always because they want to bathe in lurid sex and sin beyond the judgmental eyes of the fundie church.
Many are leaving—as this article by Peggy Wehmeyer plainly implies—because you are spiritually blind, your fundie church is spiritually blind, and your support for Donald J. Trump is even more spiritually blind. In short, you and your fundie church are not like the Jesus of the New Testament—and your youth—who have learned Holy scripture well in your Sunday school classes—plainly see it—and want out. Many of your youth are actually leaving you to find Jesus, emulate him in their own lives, and do his work in this world—not work as you would do it—but work that is important to Jesus—based on his Holy words and deeds in the New Testament.
You may read this important article by Peggy Wehmeyer. Just click on the following safe link:
Is It Time to Divorce Fundieland?
Is it time for you to seek a divorce from Fundieland? If you are unhappy with your fundie church; you cannot see Jesus himself alive in it; you get verbally, physically, or sexually abused at your church; your church is thinking and behaving stupidly; or you feel that your fundie church only deepens your mental illness (e.g., clinical depression), then it may be time for you to file for divorce from your fundie church. That is a decision only you can make. Please just remember that you can divorce your fundie church without divorcing Jesus himself. They are not one and the same.
Many people divorce their fundie church to go find the Jesus of the New Testament for the first time. Why? It is because the view of Jesus they were taught in their fundie churches often turns out to be a false or highly distorted view of Jesus.
You can learn about the authentic Jesus of the New Testament—but it takes hard work to do it. Read all of his red-colored words in the New Testament. Apart from just his words, look closely at the things Jesus actually does in the New Testament—his behavior and actions. Watch for the word love throughout the New Testament—and take it seriously. Love Jesus. Love your fellow man and woman. Follow Jesus. Emulate Jesus. Have the mind and heart of Jesus in all that you do in life. Always remember and serve the poor people, hungry people, sick people, mentally ill people, lonely people, imprisoned people, and the other outcast people no one else wants. Jesus stands as one of them every day—so much so—that if you fail to help them—then you are failing to help Jesus himself—who was also an outcast in this world.
Take an objective, good, long, and deep look at how nonfundie denominations and churches understand Jesus and his mission on Earth. Dig in and do some in-depth research in Christian reference sources and books that were not written or compiled by Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals. You will not find such books in your local Christian bookstores because the vast majority of Christian bookstores in the United States are strictly fundie enterprises that are careful to stock books that contain only fundie content. Instead, we recommend that you talk about your research with pastors at nonfundie churches in your community. Ask them to suggest books to read and begin your research in their church libraries. A good place to start would be with your local Episcopal Church, a United Church of Christ (different from the fundie Church of Christ—look for the word “United”), or a United Methodist Church (UCM) that does not have a pastor with a fundie mindset. Unfortunately, a few United Methodist Churches are highly conservative and are run by pastors with a fundie mindset. You can ask around in your community and quickly find out which UMCs to avoid.
And no, the Christian faith is not all about fat-bellied, pastel-suited fundie preachers wearing white shoes and bearing names like Floyd or Buford—all saving souls evangelistically under a sweaty revival tent or in Hell-melted pews on a Sunday morning. The Christian faith does include saving souls, but the Christian faith is far bigger than just soul-saving and that alone. With regard to Jesus and the Christian faith—if you have been listening only to your fundie preacher or you have not been reading your New Testament wholly and carefully—you have probably missed out on the authentic Jesus of the New Testament and the authentic Christian faith.
If you think the New Testament wants you to be a Republican voter and do some version of this cartoon with your life, you have really, really, really missed the whole point of the New Testament, the Christian faith, and the mission of Jesus: