Our Little Exvangelical

Of all the annoying words that unfortunately carry usefully definite meaning, I have to say “exvangelical” is my least favorite. But I just listened to the “Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” podcast and so it is now in my lexicon.

In any case, this is a word which upon one hearing the meaning is clear. Or rather, in one use we can tell what it does not mean. It isn’t denoting apostasy from Christianity, it is just expressing that the tenets of evangelical Christianity are too much too bear.

Well, tonight I discovered the exvangelical roll has an additional name.

My step-son, A-, is twelve, as I have mentioned. That’s seventh grade.

He is playing traveling basketball, which here in rural Minnesota is not quite insane or indicative of his abilities or desires. It’s just what they call the most base level of youth basketball. Two practices a week. A few three-game tournaments.

Traveling basketball as a term is also useful because, we have learned, there is another kind of youth basketball being played in the winter months—school ball.

Long story short, since hearing that there is such a thing as school ball, A- is now practicing or playing basketball 6 days a week. What can I say? Basketball is something A- enjoys. I’d rather see him do something he enjoys than yell at him for being (fill in the blank with undesirable qualities) all day and night.

For my part, too, I have been fascinated at comparing my youth basketball experience with my local church experience.

Remember my, “Guests cannot speak. Not even me.” post? That was church world. Now, in youth sports, as of a few weeks ago, I am coach of the B Team.

Why did they let me? What are my qualifications? Did I go to the equivalent of seminary for basketball, you may ask?

I simply had to display interest and availability.

Next thing I knew, I was choosing tournaments and directing where the money should be sent.

Back to our little (and new) exvangelical.

Tonight at dinner, keep in mind it is Wednesday night, I said to A-, are we still aiming to make YTH tonight? (Out loud you would’ve heard “youth”, but the trendy multi-site Assemblies church calls it YTH.)

“Oh,” he says sheepishly. “I kinda forgot about that.”

I then said, chuckling, “Well, now you know what it feels like for every other Christian in America.”

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