It won't take you long to see that I have a lot of criticism of the Evangelical church leaders, but don't mistake my criticism as that of an atheist or someone uninformed.
First, a little about me. As I grew up, my faith was a major part of my upbringing. Indeed, as my father was very un-involved and cold in my upbringing, I sought out a church to fill that void of love that was absent from within. Further, as a person that was sensitive and caring, it gave me an outlet to love others...or at least attempts at doing that.
I was always very much a bible reader, and I read it with a passion. Then, there was a period, after I left the Army, when my oldest daughter was having ADHD issues with her school. She was being isolated by a school that didn't know how to deal with it at the time. So, I homeschooled her for 7 years. I am not sure if I would make that choice, today, with the school systems being more sensitive and perpared for it, now. However, I was there for her in that time, and it gave me time to finish my bachelor's degree, online, which I did at Liberty University in their Bible Studies B.S. degree program. I picked that program, because it was focused on study of the Bible without all the "religion" and church structure courses to go along with it, and that study inspired me to write many books, as I studied the Bible which was put out online for sale and download, as well as my own engaging in online evangelism being inspired by the charismatics and evangelicals.
Most of those books are not, now, for sale at my OWN choice to withdraw them, as I began to realize the things that I am putting in this blog post about WHY I left the evangelical circles.
You see, after the homeschooling ended, I was able to start work, again, which I did in Accounting and business in which I had undergraduate and graduate study leading to an MBA. If there is one thing that you can know about accountants, it is this... they want facts. You can't do a budget on... they said they WANTED to pay me or I HOPE that I make enough or etc. Being the kind of person that would do this career, I have always been a person that looks for how things ARE, not how they are said to be.
And...then... I began to apply that to the church at large, and it began a process of evaluation and discarding of one fallacy after another that people in the church just do not challenge, and the reason that they don't challenge it is this. They feel that... being a new to the church, they have no right to know what is "christian" and that any objections they see in the Bible to it must just be from not having read it, enough, not realizing that the Bible is either True or it is NOT, regardless of how long it has been repeated by a cycle of new believers and those collecting money from them.
What I found is that those church leaders are the LEAST interested in Bible exploration or questions and the most interested in re-inforcing the status quo, and it makes sense why that is. The entire charismatic / evangelical structure is built around their ego and their income. They don't even hide it. They hold entire prayer conventions and "revivals" about their need to get a bigger building, while there is little to NO mention of programs to say .. feed the poor, give shelter to the needy, provide healthcare to the elderly, or ANY other physically ministerial program, IF those programs exist in the church at all.
Of course, this is at odds with the Bible that I studied saying, Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27) Indeed, while Jesus was telling the rich man to "sell all that you own. Give the money to the poor" (Matt 19:21) to be saved, the Evangelical pastors were driving up in their fancy new cars or putting their new private jets on the cover of their newsletters they mailed out to their donors in which they asked for more money. They don't hide it...they straight up FLAUNT their wealth. Have you SEEN the TBN Paul Crouch show and the GOLD and WEALTH that adorns the set, as they talk about all the travel they have done, right before they ask for MORE money, and sure as anything, the drones that watch the programs GIVE, even though they can see with their own eyes where that money is going, so that a few people can be UBER rich, paid for by taking money from the very ones in need, under the DECEPTION of the "promise" that if you make THEM rich, that God would make you rich, as well.
But, remember that I am a factual person. So, as I was seeing LARGE churches built and seeing the community around them crumble faster than the areas around gambling casinos, my eyes could not bypass the truth. People in those congregations were getting POORER, while the RICH in the church were getting richer. Rather than following the words of Jesus, who rebuked the rich as being unable to enter heaven and told the rich man to sell his goods for the poor, what we are seeing ACROSS THE BOARD IN ALL EVANGELICAL CHURCHES, no matter the denomination, is the POOR selling all that they have to give to the RICH in direct contradiction of Jesus, Himself.
Then, we got to the last election, and that was the absolute last straw for me, as we saw entire religious groups defy the very foundational principles of their "faith" to not only vote for but to promote a RICH man, spending none of his own money, running for President, who not only was not giving to the poor but was a self confessed adulterer (having cheated on each of his wives with his next wife), who never repented of his sins (a condition Jesus put on salvation), someone that preached war (instead of being a peacemaker Jesus promoted), and running in a party whose platform was cutting benefits from the POOR to enable tax cuts for the RICH....but, as we saw above, they were brainwashed and conditioned for just that. So, why WOULDN'T they give all their money and support to someone that was taking from THEM to make himself RICH so they could feel they were doing GOD a service in doing it.
So, yeah. I am not a member of any evangelical church. For that matter, I am not a member of ANY denominational church, any more, as the protestant denominations in America are not much better. Just think back to commercials you have seen or buildings you pass on the side of the road for the poor and needy....shelters, food pantries, clothing distribution, crisis pregnancy centers, etc. Are ANY of them done by a CHURCH or one of the groups the evangelicals are condemning, today (United Nations, United Way, Planned Parenthood, or other "liberal" groups condemned for being too ... "bleeding heart" for society).
Am I believer in the love of Jesus? Yes. Am I believer in religion to carry it out? Well, not until my eyes see evidence of that love, and right now those eyes see those churches seeking riches more than opportunities to serve and self-glory rather than self-sacrifice, and that is to me....very un-christian.