Another good friend of mine sent me a link to a very interesting post on The Christian Left blog. The post is titled "The Big Four - Agree with Us Or You're Not A Christian" (http://www.thechristianleftblog.org/blog-home/the-big-four-agree-with-us-or-youre-not-a-christian). The thesis of the article is that Evangelical Christianity has evolved into something that resembles a cult (authoritarian leadership, exclusivity, isolationism, an aversion to independent thinking and various fear tactics which are employed to keep members in check. Membership within this community is limited to those individuals who believe that: 1) abortion is murder, 2) homosexuality is always a sin, 3) evolution is an absurdity and 4) global warming and environmental protections are stupid notions designed to undermine man's God-given dominion over this planet. It is also noted that a few additional parameters have been added over the last few years to the criteria which most Evangelicals use to define membership within their community (e.g. you can't be a liberal, you can't be a Democrat, you can't support President Obama on anything and you can't believe that Islam is a valid religious faith).
Of course, all of these beliefs are underscored by a literal interpretation of Scripture that doesn't allow for any error, mistakes or contradictions. The post underscores how these views have influenced/motivated both religious and political ideology/discourse in the United States. The article concludes with a call to action for Christians who happen to find themselves outside of the acceptable parameters of Evangelical Christianity: "It's beyond time for the followers of Jesus to speak up. The extremists have taken over the camp and they're running the show, and the nation. It is no longer Christianity. It's a cult. Now what are we going to do about it?" My answer to that question: We must continue to point out that God is bigger than their notions about "Him" and that you can have different views on these topics and continue to be a "good" Christian. What do you think?