Evangelicalism is a faith firmly planted on the shifting sands of experientialism and fear.
If evangelicals are brutally honest with themselves, they follow a baseless faith. Subtract experientialism, which is unreliable as the sole source of truth, and hope of heaven and you are left with a Bible riddled with errors, contradictions, incongruences, inconsistencies, implausibilities and textual problems. Anybody who disagrees with this statement has not spent thousands of hours studying the Bible from beginning to end. And those who have, a minute percentage, have persuaded themselves (like I did), such issues are beyond human understanding and reserved for heavenly disclosure.
Evangelicalism like most every other belief system on earth starts from childhood. It is cultural and also part of the national identity as in the case of evangelical nationals. There are no stats on inherited faith versus investigated faith because the latter is so rare as not to warrant evaluation. I, however, believe this phenomenon of evangelicalism has directly contributed to the current lethargy which seems to be its most salient feature. Kiddie conversions or baby baptisms are the norm not the exception for entrance into the faith. Devoid of a life changing salvation experience breeds a faith that is more one of a moral lifestyle than a dynamic outworking of New Testament ideals.
The dangers of inheriting your parents or grandparents’ faith are a preadolescent is it can compromise objectivity later on. Years of socialization and indoctrination within the evangelical culture has a profound effect on one’s psyche. Once an evangelical reaches adulthood, and is exposed to rational and scientific challenges to their faith, e.g., secular university or non evangelical acquaintances, gaining intellectual non bias can be a challenge. The result is either rejecting, compromising or reinforcing their faith. Most opt for the latter two.
A small number of converts enter the faith through the door of personal crisis. Fear of death later in life, a terminal sickness, mental health issues, depression, loneliness, financial distress, relationship struggles or a search for meaning in life are some of the paths taken to salvation. Evangelicalism offers a remedy for any and every problem facing mankind since all are ultimately rooted in sin and alienation from God.
In short, those comprising evangelicalism are the most gullible and easily exploited. Faith is deeply embedded in emotional dependance not reasonableness. As such, evangelicals fiercely defend the thing that brings them peace, comfort, security, guidance, joy, strength, meaning and hope. Attempts to challenge the faith with rational or scientific arguments are minimized or rejected outright as the product of sinful mans attempts to reason God away.
Religion has already outlived its usefulness and needs to be excised from society. It is an ideological virus infecting the lives of those least sympathetic to its dogmas. LGBTQ, women’s advocacy rights groups, immigrants, minorities, children, the environment and Middle Eastern stability are those most threatened by its pernicious teachings. Ironically, evangelicals themselves seem to be the only ones immune to their own noxious ideology. Their cure — hypocrisy.