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Peter Heck: The unfolding tragedy of ‘exvangelicalism’

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There have been a number of news stories in the past year of high profile people of faith claiming that, after a change of heart, they are leaving the church.

People leave churches every day for a variety of reasons. But, thanks to social media and a Christian-hating media in general, these young people abandoning church are generating headlines. It’s news not because they leave, but because of the tendency to bash Christianity as they’re walking away.

In a recent blog post, independent journalist and pastor Peter Heck poignantly addressed this movement, now referred to as “exvangelicalism.”

“For the uninitiated, “exvangelical” is the catchy term that those walking away from the doctrines of Protestant evangelicalism use to describe themselves,” Peter wrote. “Many of these individuals, spurred by “traumatic” experiences or teachings in their conservative church upbringing, gravitate towards progressive Christianity, which sadly often serves as nothing but a transitory bridge to their eventual rejection of the Christian faith entirely.”

He cited former mega-minister Rob Bell, former “Desiring God” author Paul Maxwell, former best-selling author Joshua Harris, and former Hillsong worship musician Marty Sampson as examples of people who recently walked the “deconstructing” path.

“While alarming and disappointing, the phenomenon is anything but surprising – either biblically or culturally,” Peter wrote. “The pressure to conform to the patterns of the world have never been stronger than it is today, and I suppose that it is even more intense in the entertainment world in which Max has tried so desperately, for so long, to make a name for himself.

“In every generation, fools clamor that if only God would perform some miracle, offer some kind of undeniable evidence of His existence, His authority, His investment in humanity, they would put their faith in Him,” he added.

“They demand a supernatural experience in order to believe, all while denying themselves that very thing by refusing to simply pick up a copy of scripture and encounter their Creator personally,” Peter wrote.

To read Peter Heck’s entire blog post, visit www.notthebee.com.

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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