Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving, Belated

Dear Fundamentalism -

Thank you for everything you taught me.  Without you, I wouldn't be the person I am today.

Without you, I wouldn't have learned the importance of sound doctrine.  Because of your heterodox handling of, among other things, the sovereignty of God, the nature of sin, and the nature of salvation, I better learned the orthodox view.

Because of you, I've seen firsthand the worst possible way to deal with abuse victims.  Because of how badly you failed, I have learned the importance of abuse advocacy and know reporting laws a lot better.  (By the way, this should absolutely terrify you.)

Thank you for being so blatant in your contradictions. Unfortunately, it took me 25 years to figure it out myself; now that I have, I can't believe it took me that long.  You claim you believe salvation is by faith alone and not works; then you turn around and question the salvation of anyone whose works you disagree with.  You emphasize the importance of separation on issues as trivial as clothing and music yet fail to separate from abusers, rapists and those who protect them. You preach about honesty and then lie on national TV about unbiblical policies. You make it impossible for someone to afford to work for you without both husband and wife working, and then condemn mothers who work out of the home or in "traditionally male" occupations. Your overemphasis on separation and standards finally went beyond the pale and shattered the whitewashed facade.  Thank you for pushing the envelope so far.  It's easier to see the underlying logical fallacies when reality starts to resemble cariacature.

Thank you for being different enough from God that I didn't leave Him along with you.  Because of your inconsistencies and lies, your assertions that you alone represented God, His teachings, and the purest form of Christianity rang hollow.  And when that noisy gong and clanging cymbal insisted one too many times that it was instead a symphony of love, I finally threw away my counterfeit tickets and discovered the True Composer's performance was all around me.

So thanks to you, the wine is sweeter, the dance more joyful, the music freer, and the love more poignant.

From the bottom of my heart,

Clara English

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