Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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Eye on Steeplejacking

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]dagoski) I was out for the big brouhaha over [info]swisscelt's earlier post. As for myself, I'm not entirely sure where I stand on the whole issue. I tend to be very bigoted towards Christians, unfortunately, with very good reason. The church I was dragged to a a kid would change the denomination listed on its sign every six months or so presumably as they received cease and desist orders from the leadership of those denominations. And no one seemed to notice. What I remember of the theology was very twisted including a lot stuff about race that just didn't fit with what I saw outside. The experience was not pleasant nor have my other experiences with Christianity been positive. I wish I knew more about what was going on, but the Church pretended to be quite normal. Only as time wore on did its craziness become more and more evident. In a way, I think this is a metaphor for what's happening to Christianity in this generation. Based on conversations I've had with some of the better religious people I've known over the years, the brand of religiosity we now know as Dominionism started in the South as a reaction to the victories of the Civil Rights Movement. From there it's spread. I'd appreciate reading [info]dogemperor's thoughts on this. I'm guessing that not only did they found weird stealth churches like the one I went to, but they were invading other congregations even in the 1970s. And that brings me to the actual point of this post. On commenter in [info]swisscelt's post mentioned a book with an interesting title: Antagonists in the Church. I went looking on Amazon to see what this is all about and turned up a second book along the same lines Clergy Killers: Guidance for Pastors and Congregations Under Attack .  The first one was written in 1988 and the later in 1997.  Both books talk about the attackers in terms of mental illness.  Neither mentions anything about organized efforts, but the awareness of disruptive elements in the midst of more mainstream congregations goes back quite sometime.  Steeplejacking seems like a new term that's come up only in the past few years, but these books both make it very clear to me that an organized effort to take churches over has been underway for a very long time now.  Read the reviews of these books and note their dates.  What we're seeing in terms of Dominionism might not necessarily be rooted in the scripture, but rather rooted in a fundamentally political movement that seeks to develop power for its own sake.   What do people know about the history of steeplejacking?  Do we know how long it's been going on?  Have any of you in the community been through it?  If so, please share your experiences.  

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