Exvangelical Meditation: The Good Samaritan — A Deconstructor’s Retelling

The following is based on the parable Jesus tells in Luke 10: 25-37. Historical context has been added to provide readers with some perspective on this parable -- which, in its essence, is a story about religious deconstruction. ---- A man comes up to Jesus as he is preaching. He asks Jesus how to inherit …

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Exvangelical Meditation: How Our Bodies Carry Our History

As someone working through my own religious trauma, I have come to both comprehend and try to own the fact that both our bodies and our souls carry our history, often in ways we do not expect. Working through my trauma is therefore a lifelong process in which I am learning how to pay attention …

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Exvangelical Meditation: “The Signs of the Times”

"Signs of the Times" is a popular Evangelical phrase derived from a speech Jesus gives in Matthew 24 in which he foretells of "wars and rumors of war" as the way to know that the Kingdom of God is at hand. The chapter -- along with strange apocalyptic imagery in the Old Testament books of …

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Exvangelical Meditation: God-Shaped Hole

I was indoctrinated from a young age into believing that I had a "God-shaped hole" in my heart that only a personal relationship with Jesus could fill. In its way, teaching the exclusivity of this theological belief (as if it is a one-size-fits-all salvation package) is very deceptive, because when a "relationship with Christ" didn't …

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Exvangelical Meditation: Hell Theology is Child Abuse

Here is today's brief reminder that Hell Theology is child abuse, and I am doing what I can to be a part of the change that will make it reportable to children's services.  To those of you who have experienced the psychological trauma of Hell Theology: There is help and resources, and the anxiety you …

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Exvangelical Meditation: Mass Graves and Residential Schools

Whether or not religious abuse is real isn't up for debate, as the recent discovery of mass graves at residential schools for Native American children continues to prove. I've heard some evangelicals use gaslighting language to try to isolate the issue (and to shift blame exclusively on the Catholics, as they are keen to do), …

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Exvangelical Meditation: The Sin of Pride and Religious Trauma

Marlene Winell's book LEAVING THE FOLD, in which she coined the phrase "religious trauma syndrome," was immensely helpful in my own healing -- particularly in recognizing the ways I still carried abuse and trauma from my experience in church. (I left the church in 2006, but did not read the book until 2018.) For example, …

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