The Real Reason Nobody Wants To Be In Church
This ‘research’ by the Pharisee George Barna is nothing more than the quadrupling down of Reformation theology where an all-powerful God demands your obedience or else you will be punished.
It succinctly summarizes Evangelical beliefs to a ‘t’.
Point #2 is a statement of disempowerment. If you believe it you are instantly giving up your power, giving up all hope because if you don’t obey God you’re dead to the likes of Barna and deserving of punishment.
Evangelicalism’s entire existence rests on an illogical interpretation of Genesis 3. Sin is defined as moral failing and Eve is blamed for the fall of all humanity, thus we shouldn’t ever expect anything good in life because of Eve. Even Adam goes full blame-shame mode.
But look at what actually happens, take your Evangelical blinders off and tell me exactly what happened in Genesis 3. It ain’t hard. It doesn’t require a degree in theology to figure it out.
Eve believed she wasn’t like God, so she ate the fruit, and instantly she felt naked and afraid. God notices something is off and asks Eve, “Where are you?”
Eve replies that she felt naked and afraid so she hid herself. “Who told you that you are naked?” A better question would be, “Why did you believe?” but that’s implied because being created in God’s image means that your default setting is to believe.
‘Eve believed’ was changed to ‘Eve sinned’ and the sin was disobeying God’s command to not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
(Wait, God created a lying talking snake? God created a tree of knowledge of good and evil? That’s just weird.)
So, obedience to God’s commands become the de facto modus operandi. Disobedience is punished and bad thing happen when you don’t obey.
This became the world’s oldest and most effective business model: perform an action in order to achieve/receive what you already are/have. Eat the fruit to be like God. Accept Jesus as your Savior.
When I went down the rabbit hole to find out how beliefs work, I popped up out of the rabbit hole of Genesis 3. I understood that sin is the symptom of believing the wrong things about yourself. When you believe the wrong things about yourself, you believe and feel and think and act and physically manifest the wrong things about everything else.
Sin is believing the wrong things about yourself that cause you to devalue yourself and others which opens the door for fear to take over.
Every miracle of Jesus involved responding to beliefs, be they misbeliefs about self (the paralytic of Capernaum) or beliefs in God (the woman with perpetual menstrual issues, Jesus’ mom, the gay Roman Centurion).
When you believe anything in Barna’s ‘research’ you instantly become disempowered by it.
Jesus addresses the harm that comes from listening to other people, especially those who identify as religious authorities. Everything he said in Matthew 23 applies to Christianity today. He spoke truth to their false power. He unmasked them for the hellish people that they are. Those words are what got Jesus killed.
There’s no love for anyone outside of the toxic, heartbreaking Evangelical ecosystem, and even then it’s conditioned on your continued obedience to arbitrary rules that disempower the creativity we each are born with.
I’m happy that I came across that report during my research because it confirms that the cornerstone of a note written to me by the wife of a prominent Evangelical 40 years ago is still causing harm.
“Peter, the reason you are deaf is because you didn’t have enough faith.”
Contrast that with Leviticus 19.