I was raised as a Fundagelical. I attended the church-run pre-school, elementary school, Jr. High School and High School. I wasn’t exposed to a secular education until I attended community college. The only reason I didn’t attend a Christian University, Biola was the preferred school that my High School friends attended, was for economic reasons.
Growing up in a Fundagelical bubble creates its own world of alternative facts. This is one reason it is so hard to argue with a Fundagelical. You may have Logic and facts on your side, but in their world, those things don’t count.
Let’s take a look at an example. One of the first things you are taught as a child is that the Bible is the Holy word of God. God wrote every word in the Bible. yes, he used men to do it, but the words in the Bible are directly from God. Every day you stand and recite the pledge of allegiance to the Bible in your classroom. For nineteen years, I started each day saying the pledge to the American flag, the Christian flag, and the Bible. To this day, I can still recall the words. “I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God’s Holy Word. I will make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. I will hide its words in my heart that I might not sin against God.”
The second thing you are taught about the Bible is that it is not only God’s word; it is authoritative. If it’s in the Bible, you must do it. After all, you don’t want to sin because sinners go to hell. This is why my High School handbook had a list of rules followed by a Bible reference after each rule. Breaking a school rule wasn’t just being a normal teenager; it was a sin.
The third thing you are taught is that the Bible is inerrant. It might shock you, but I learned that word in first grade. it means there are no mistakes in it. These three ideas are drilled into you every day until they become a core part of you.
Science classes are where alternative facts start coming in. When the teacher tells you that there was a worldwide flood and that Noah built an ark and took fourteen of every clean animal and two of every unclean animal, (By the way, we purebred Fundagelicals scoff at the ignorance of all you Bible illiterates who think Noah only brought two of each animal.) we believe it.
Even though there is no evidence of a worldwide flood, we still believe. Good science to us was any idea or theory that proved what the Bible said. I remember in sixth grade I was told there were fossilized remains of sea animals on top of the highest mountains. This proved they were once underwater. Therefore, the flood story was true.
Later in college geology facts, I would learn that plate tectonics forced the seafloor up to create mountains. How do you work around this cognitive dissonance? Simple, geology lies. Satan uses atheist scientist to invent stories to deceive people. The Bible says there were a flood, oyster fossils at the top of mountains support this; the Bible is always right so, that’s what happened. The whole plate tectonic thing was evil science trying to deceive people.
Evolution? Evil science trying to deceive. The Bible says God made all the animals and humans, and they lived together. What about dinosaurs and fossils? The fake footprints of a tourist trap in Texas prove dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time. The Loch Ness monster proves that too. So, growing up, I was filled with alternative facts about the world — facts like a worldwide flood; facts like dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time; facts like you can’t trust anything but the Bible.
That last fact is why you can’t argue with a Fundagelical. We were raised so that last fact became our identity. If you don’t believe every word of the Bible is true, then you aren’t a Christian, and we all know what that means . . . HELL!
Anything that contradicts the “truth” of the Bible is simply a trick by Satan. Satan is very busy created lots of fake science. Atheists love to become scientists so they can try to harm Christianity. Liberals want to take over the schools so they can try to prove the Bible wrong. Philosophy professors want to destroy your belief in Jesus by confusing you. (If you missed the guest post by a Christian Philosophy Professor, check them out here and here)
You can’t even trust yourself. Any doubt is just Satan trying to trip you up. If you are a good strong Christian, you dismiss the doubt and prove you have faith. If you allow doubt to stay, it will grow and fester and become a doorway to allow Satan into your life. Next thing you know, you’ll be an atheist junkie selling your body for your next fix. At least that’s what some of our Chapel speakers told us in the testimonies.
Fundagelicals have their own set of alternative facts; they spend their entire life defending those facts. If you back them into a corner, they become angry and will lash out. You will be denounced for the “spawn of Satan” that you are.
A few months ago, I was drawn into what I thought was a discussion about the LGBT community and the Bible. After a long series of back and forth points, I had presented enough evidence to show that the person’s argument was logically inconsistent and that he didn’t know any facts about human sexuality. He was backed into a corner and knew it. His response was simple, “You didn’t quote scripture, so you’re wrong.” That ended the discussion for him with victory on his side. I’m sure when he tells this story, he recalls how he defended the faith against a heretic like me.
Understanding the world of alternative Fundagelical facts and how they are entrenched in a person’s core being can help you understand how they can ignore the evidence. It can also help you understand how some people simply can’t leave the Fundagelical church no matter what. They will sacrifice relationships and their own children to protect their own identity and core being. It also helps you understand why so many who leave the world of the Fundamentalist and Evangelicals leave the Church and Christianity altogether. Deconversion stories are becoming more prevalent every day. When your entire identity is based on a lie perpetrated in the name of God, the loss of that identity prompts a total rejection of everything associated with the lie.
To the lucky few who have come out of Fundamentalist and Evangelical churches and have found a healthy faith in Jesus, I salute you, and I encourage you to tell your stories. You are the survivors who have weathered a storm that destroyed your house upon the sand and went on to rebuild your house on the rock. I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading! Please take a moment and share this post. Don’t forget to like the post and subscribe if you haven’t already. You can watch my vlog at Rev’s Reels on YouTube. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Join me and a bunch of other former Fundagelicals at Open Door Ministries in Westminster at the Westminster Mall.