Some of you know that my faith background is within the charismatic word-of-faith prosperity gospel circles of the 80s and 90s. I mean, I graduated from Oral Roberts University. Was a partner with Kenneth Copeland from a young age. You name it, I was in it. /1
I have seen some THINGS over my years. And not just negative things. I have seen beautiful, life-giving, rooted-in-sincerity things within this flawed movement. But I left in my twenties because they could give me no real, good, compassionate answer for suffering. /2
Yet even now, I can’t make a caricature out of these folks. They introduced me to Jesus. I’m grateful for that. And for the bone-deep stubborn conviction I still carry that God is good, is Love, and yearns to see all of us flourishing. /3
It’s a tight knit community. Everyone knows each other. Every one of these teachers, worshippers, and leaders came up together or worked together or fed off each other. It’s insular. Any criticism or nuance is seen as persecution of the true Word. Ranks are closed. /4
Sadly, it is zero surprise to me that this movement has fallen hook, line, and sinker for the cult of Trump, American nationalism, conspiracies, and capitalism as religion. It wasn’t a sudden reversal but a natural conclusion to an over-realized eschatology. /5
So I speak now as an outsider, I guess. An apostate but a daughter of the movement still. I turn to my siblings of the house and beg you still: repent. You're mocking the Spirit. Stop baptizing Babylon in sacred language. You fool no one./6
I remember our movement making a big deal out of this line from one of John’s letters: "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." (We loved us some KJV language. I still do. Sometimes.) /7
Elders, siblings, you who introduced me to Jesus: your soul is not prospering. You know it’s true. Your soul is withering and dying apart from the Vine. You no longer abide in the love of God. The secret place of the most high has become an echo chamber of selfish greed. /8
You are on the side of Pharaoh, you are Pilate, you are Babylon now. You sold Jesus for the Supreme Court, for power, for the White House, and now you're choking on your thirty pieces of silver. /9
I pray that you would repent like Zaccheus repented: not simply with apologies but with reparations, with restitution, with repentance. I pray you would hear the voice of Jesus saying, “Climb down from your yearning perch, I’m coming to your house today.” /10
Do not be surprised by the generation of the Church emerging who have simply handed you over to your desires, you fooled no one. You wanted political power, you wanted to be special, you wanted control: enjoy your reward. May God have mercy your irrelevance to redemption. /11
I don't think I'll ever stop being heartsick at how the people, leaders, and teachers who introduced me to Jesus have wandered so far from the ways of Jesus. /12
To those of you who are on the inside still, I pray that you would be given hearts to understand that when the fruit is bad, the tree is rotten. You have permission to leave that rotting vineyard for the generous, wide, inclusive, loving welcome of God. It's not too late. /13

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