Pathways was Inevitable

Dear editor: As a recovering Pentecostal I understand the brainwashing that led to the recent cult murders in Montego Bay. Growing up I questioned many of the literalist interpretations of the Bible that were thundered from the pulpit every Sunday, but instead of answers I was told to basically shut up and believe! There was almost a requirement that you check your brains at the church door as critical thinking was eschewed and seen as virtually demonic.

When I was thrust out of the church because of my same-gender attraction I mourned for some time. However, the more distance I put between myself and my home church the greater clarity I got. I learned most importantly that while many Evangelical pastors are literate (i.e., they can read the Bible) they do not understand what it means in context. No wonder they engage in such cognitive dissonance of claiming that judgment belongs to God yet take it upon themselves to be judge and jury over lives and loves that they do not understand. And whenever any pastor dared suggest a moderate and inclusive approach there was a splintering of the congregation giving birth to another extreme sect, like Pathways. Ironically, this extremism was always a logical conclusion of the uncritical theology preached in the first place! Sexual repression and exploitation were also rampant in these churches because of the absolute authority of the “Lord’s anointed”.

In the words of Voltaire, those who will get you to believe absurdities will get you to commit atrocities.
Yours truly,
Maurice Tomlinson

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