Thanks for clicking your way in to Devangelical.com. Some people swing through here and make some pretty big assumptions at first glance, so it seemed like a good idea to make a nice, clean statement about what it is that I’m all about.
In a nutshell, I grew up in the Evangelical church. I have nothing against the Evangelical church on its own. I have friends and family in this community and love them to pieces. I love all of the teachers I have had through the church. They all strove to teach me their very best and from their hearts.
And then…somewhere along the way, I had a pretty serious crisis of faith.
I not only questioned the basics, but I also began to question a lot of the ways I had been behaving as somebody who was trying to be a follower of Jesus. I was—by choice—a member of a pretty fundamentalist community, after all. As a teenager, that life was all the more radical, too. I did exorcisms, listened for Satanic messages on records, witnessed somewhat aggressively, and basically saw the world in black and white and ready to be consumed in the fires of Armageddon any day. But as an adult, something was changing. My upbringing was telling me one thing about the world, but experience was telling me another.
So, in order to separate things in my own mind and to determine what was healthy and what was not healthy for ME, I decided to take a break from church culture. In the church, I had always heard that, sure, it’s OK to question—as long as you come to the right conclusions. But how is that honest? No. I believed that to take a true journey anywhere, I had to first make a departure.
And so, I went from being an Evangelical to a Devangelical. I gave myself space so that I could rebuild. Time in nature. I tried to hear God outside of the weekly chatter from the pulpit and figure out what I believed on my own. And what I discovered, surprised me. (And no, I will never push it on this site.)
What Devangelical is NOT about:
- Insulting Evangelical Christians
- Disparaging faith
- Being “Anti-Evangelical”
- Telling anybody what to believe (That’s your job. Yes, yours.)
What Devangelical IS about:
- Separating the Evangelical culture from faith
- Questioning interpretation that has been spoon fed to us
- Finding others who have left the church and discussing the “why”
- Laughing at ourselves for going overboard in our zealotry…and learning to forgive ourselves for it so that we can move on
- Encouragement to not give up on a spiritual path—even though a culture may have rubbed you wrong.
So, yeah. Sometimes things can get awkward. There’s no good to be found in dishonesty here. We’re all just people, after all. And sometimes you may read things that look like I’m making fun of scripture. It’s called parody. And it’s not my intention to question the validity of scripture itself, but our interpretation of it. Maybe sometimes I’m questioning our need to have a definitive interpretation of it. Call me baking soda, call me vinegar. Just trying to catalyze conversation.
In the end, this site is about turning a lot of our accepted beliefs on their heads, examining them upside down, and seeing where it leads us. And I invite the larger Evangelical community to do the same.
Like I said, I’d love to see the community change for the better. It’s my heritage. And no, it is not my intention to lump all Evangelicals together, either. I discuss MY experiences growing up, realizing full well that not everyone was like me. I am grateful for the differences between the communities. As a matter of fact, I believe that faith communities have the ability to do a lot of good.
And yes, I even belong to one.
Question on, fellow traveler.