Read Where Do Ex-Evangelicals Come From?, a moving, insightful piece on the challenges and baked-in difficulties of leaving an evangelical Christian community.
Christopher Stroop is an ex-evangelical who writes the blog Not Your Mission Field. His June post provides a cogent look into the evangelical mindset, and why it is so incredibly tough and traumatic for those raised in an evangelical community to leave it. (This relates back to politics in that evangelicals and fundamentalists embraced Trump in overwhelming numbers; the rigidity of their worldview is a feature, not a bug.)
If you have friends who have left or are trying to leave an evangelical community, it will help you see what they’re up against (it’s a lot). It also offers advice on how to help them in their journey out. Key passage here:
“With respect to those you may know who may be thinking of leaving, or who are leaving, or who have recently left, offer them your care, empathy, and support. Listening to them is more important than anything you can say to them, but do let them know that there is meaningful life outside fundamentalism, and that they do not have to give up faith in Jesus or Christianity altogether in order to leave behind the toxic fundamentalist variety. It is my firm conviction that we must validate both religious and non-religious paths out of fundamentalism. Finally, in order to reach and help those you do not know personally, do what you can to highlight ex-Evangelical and ex-fundamentalist voices and stories so that those who are doubting or looking for a way to leave can become aware of the possibilities and of the resources available to them. For many of us, knowing we’re not alone and connecting with others are key to healing.”
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