Entries by Rick Pidcock

Conservatives’ agenda for America is starting to read like my Bob Jones University student handbook

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on February 29, 2024. Perusing the news is beginning to feel like reading my Bob Jones University handbook a quarter century ago. Every page unveils another clutching of control that mortifies and confounds until the reader doesn’t know whether to laugh, cry or rage. This isn’t a new […]

On sitting in the shade of another’s tree

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on February 23, 2024. One of the most notable differences since leaving conservative evangelicalism has been my body’s reaction to justice-themed events on the calendar. If the day or month had something to do with LGBTQ people, my immediate reaction would be one of defiance. These events were […]

Of Elisabeth Elliot, Beth Allison Barr, Kristin Du Mez and Karen Swallow Prior and who gets a seat at the table

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on February 16, 2024. It seems no matter what table a Christian chooses to sit at these days, powerful men are determining who gets a seat, when they can talk and what stories they’re allowed to tell. This marginalization of voices on the underside of sacralized machismo is evident in […]

When it comes to child care costs, Dave Ramsey is the one who’s ‘dumber than crap’

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on February 9, 2024. “Come on dude. That’s just dumber than crap. Seriously. Good God,” the conservative evangelical financial celebrity and New York Times bestselling author Dave Ramsey ranted at a parent who called into his radio program asking for advice. Ramsey’s co-host Jade Warshaw piled on, “It’s time to take the […]

Who is Alistair Begg, and why are American fundamentalists so upset with him?

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on February 1, 2024. “I’m not ready to repent over this. I don’t have to,” Alistair Begg boldly declared in a sermon titled “Compassion vs. Condemnation” at the non-denominational Parkside Church in Cleveland last Sunday. The accusations being leveled against Begg are that he has caved to the LGBTQ movement […]

Why are conservatives so afraid of Taylor Swift?

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on January 31, 2024. The Kansas City Chiefs have booked their fourth trip to the Super Bowl in five years behind the leadership of head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, two of the best individuals ever at their respective roles. With 269 total wins, Reid has […]

What grief, denial and fear have to do with the evangelical fascination with Trump

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on January 26, 2024. “Whether Trump means it or not is kind of irrelevant because he’s saying the things to people who are hurting,” filmmaker Michael Moore told a gathering of voters in his 2016 documentary TrumpLand. “It’s why every beaten down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part […]

As MAGA pastors gain influence, let’s talk about peace instead of power

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on January 19, 2024. “Kind of disturbing” is how journalist Katie Couric described an Axios piece about how Donald Trump built an insurmountable lead in Monday’s Iowa caucus by catering to evangelical MAGA pastors. “They say obviously they embrace Trump because of the Supreme Court justices who helped overturn Roe v Wade,” […]

Will Christian Trump supporters exchange their humanity for ignorance or for violent delights?

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on January 10, 2024. “MAY THEY ROT IN HELL,” Donald Trump posted in all caps on Truth Social Christmas Day. “AGAIN, MERRY CHRISTMAS!” Although this message was par for the course when it comes to Trump, it also offered a moment that caught many people off guard. “What […]

Reflections on 2023 and a vision for the new year

It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since I left my cleaning business with the intention of being a stay-at-home dad and pursuing my writing. Three months after the transition, BioLogos published my first piece, which was a co-written interview about my album Consider the Stars. Then four months after that, I began writing […]

Pope Francis vs. John Piper: Two views of ‘masculinizing’ the church

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on December 27, 2023. “One of the great sins we have had is ‘masculinizing’ the church,” Pope Francis admitted to the International Theological Commission last month in what could potentially become the most impactful theological repentance of the year. “Women have a capacity for theological reflection that is […]

In dialogue with Doug Wilson and the ‘pop Calvinists,’ at least Wilson is consistent

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on December 14, 2023. Twenty-three years after John Piper called Doug Wilson an “absolute genius at sarcasm and irony,” pop Calvinists are still wringing their hands over how to respond to the conservative Reformed pastor from Moscow, Idaho. “You’re very clever, really clever. And I think we need […]

How you connect apocalypse to Advent affects how you interact with the news

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on December 8, 2023. Few activities fuel a connection with Advent like reading the news. Stories about weather catastrophes, wars and rumors of wars have many Christians across the theological and political spectrum wondering if the apocalypse is near and perhaps finding themselves praying the words, “Even so, […]

The horror of Let Us Prey may not be as far from home as you think

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on November 30, 2023. “Every IFB church is a powder keg ready to explode,” says Eric Skwarczynski on Let Us Prey: A Ministry of Scandals, which released last weekend on HBO Max and Investigation Discovery. The four-part docuseries follows the stories of sexual abuse survivors within the Independent Fundamental […]

If Good News Clubs get access to public schools, so does After School Satan Club

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on November 21, 2023. The Satanic Temple agreed to a settlement with Pennsylvania’s Saucon Valley School District last week for $200,000 in legal fees and access to their buildings for their After School Satan Club. It’s another victory for those who oppose Christian supremacy by appealing to the same religious […]

Is it weird that Mike Johnson’s underage son is his porn accountability partner?

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on November 13, 2023. The latest theater of conservative evangelicalism’s multiple-front spiritual warfare cosplay is being dubbed the “War on Technology” by Cypress Baptist Church of Benton, La. It began as a gathering in October 2022 that promised to “help families win the technology battle in their homes.” […]

Association of Certified Biblical Counselors needs to look deeper than Bill Shannon to understand what ails them

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on November 7, 2023. The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors has removed Bill Shannon, women’s pastor and counseling pastor at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church, from their approved counselors list due to credible allegations of protecting abusers and harming women. The accusations were cosigned in September by Hohn Cho, […]

You don’t have to demonize us just because we’ve left the faith as you believe it

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on November 1, 2023. One of the most dismissive and hurtful statements ex-evangelicals hear from our conservative evangelical family and friends after we deconstruct their walls is: “You must have never been saved to begin with.” Another way they say it is, “You must have had a head […]

Home: A Short Story

Eden lay silent and still on her bed as the shadows watched from every corner of her large drab room. Each stone wall stood tall and featureless. Her latched door seemed to be a world away. And all she could hear was the sound of her breath. As she gripped her thin blanket, Eden closed […]

Retributive theology opened the door to growth of the prosperity gospel today

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on October 26, 2023. Is it any wonder that the two most influential definitions of the “good news” in a Western society built on capitalism and retribution would be about people getting paid or being punished? In conservative evangelicalism, we see a heavy emphasis on the punishment side. […]

‘The moment we allow our hearts to go numb to the deaths of any children is the moment we shut down our humanity’

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on October 17, 2023. As someone whose ancestors immigrated to the United States from Lebanon, the faces of children suffering in the war in Israel remind me of my own children. The limp body of a 5-year-old girl being carried through the rubble, and the bare, bloody shoulders […]

Here are some ways to listen to Palestinian Christians

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on October 10, 2023. With war raging once again in Israel and Palestine, it seems far more people have opinions to proclaim about it than openness to listening. After the horrific attacks carried out by Hamas in which more than 1,600 people were killed and many more injured, […]

It’s Al Mohler vs. Andy Stanley, part two, with Christianity Today joining the fray

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on October 5, 2023. “Farewell, Andy Stanley.” So seems to be the response from Al Mohler, Christianity Today, and many other evangelicals to Stanley’s defense of North Point Community Church hosting the Unconditional Conference for LGBTQ Christians and their parents. Sam Allberry, writing for Christianity Today, argues Stanley “seriously undermined” a “New Testament sexual ethic.” As […]

Religion’s Power: What Makes It Work (Review)

This article originally appeared at ‘Reading Religion,’ a publication of the American Academy of Religion. In Religion’s Power: What Makes It Work, Robert Wuthnow investigates the power dynamics of religion by studying the mechanisms by which it is practiced. Drawing on his ethnographic and historical experience in sociology and religion, he proposes that religion’s power to […]

What does Shannon Harris think now?

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on October 2, 2023. We first met her nearly two decades ago as a neatly wrapped character named Shannon Hendrickson in a bestselling “Boy Meets Girl” book written by her ex-husband about his theology of courtship after kissing dating goodbye. The character we were told about had led […]

Criticism of Andy Stanley is rooted in father wounds

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on September 21, 2023. LGBTQ kids who grow up in conservative evangelical families tend to have father wounds because evangelicals view LGBTQ people as given over by God to a reprobate mind for the degrading of their bodies and therefore eternally condemned. The challenge many conservative evangelical parents […]

Must we change our language to reach climate change deniers?

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on September 19 2023. How can journalists reach evangelicals who get triggered by the term “climate change”? This is the question Rebecca Randall asks in a piece last week for BioLogos. Despite the fact that 97% of scientists accept climate science and 92% of Americans who identify as “highly religious” […]

A new metaphor could change the views of white evangelical conservatives

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on August 29, 2023. Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington is an opportunity to reflect not only on the vision of Black liberationists, but also on how conservative white evangelicals’ resistance to change is continuing through an entitlement to power rooted in insecurity. Al Sharpton, […]

Another C.S. Lewis knock-off letter shows what evangelicals get wrong about sex

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on August 22, 2023. Note: This article includes an explicit discussion of sexuality. Desiring God’s latest installment of cheap Screwtape Letter knockoffs features Greg Morse attempting to mimic C.S. Lewis’ classic novel by writing a letter from a “marriage counselor” demon named Grimrod to his dear nephew Globdrop. In […]

Here’s how Fox News misled viewers in support of Kirk Cameron’s anti-woke book tour

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on August 11, 2023. Last Saturday afternoon, historian Kristin Du Mez sat down at her computer to see if her new friend Lindsay Booker had posted any updates about the gathering Booker organized earlier that day at the Madison Library in Huntsville, Ala. Even though Du Mez was […]

Appealing to religious freedom is the way to counter Christian supremacism in America today

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on August 7, 2023. Christian supremacism has gotten completely out of hand in the United States. We’ve seen it in the insurrection warfare of the New Apostolic Reformation, the battle against librarians by the likes of Kirk Cameron, the desire to punish homosexuality by Al Mohler, Dan Patrick’s claims that God wrote the […]

Why the patriarchy is hyperventilating over Barbie

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on July 28, 2023. I wasn’t allowed to watch Toy Story 2 when I was 21 years old because the trailer depicted a group of Barbies in bikinis led by Tour Guide Barbie. So when I found out some influential conservatives were having a conniption fit over the Warner Bros new Barbie movie, […]

What’s really happening with the ‘never attenders’ and what does Donald Trump have to do with it?

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on July 21, 2023. I haven’t attended church in almost four years and can’t imagine going back. I don’t share this lightly. I was so dedicated to the church that I structured my entire career spanning two decades cleaning restrooms and floors in order to have the flexibility to volunteer many hours […]

2023 was the year the evangelical obsession with Pride month turned violent

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on July 13, 2023. I toted my brood of children through Target, as Kevin DeYoung suggested, when suddenly I noticed the display of Pride T-shirts. At first, I thought it was nice that my LGBTQ neighbors would receive kind messages like “Free Mom Hugs” and “You Belong.” It seemed especially […]

Why I have empathy for Karen Swallow Prior

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on July 5, 2023. “I’ve been struggling with regret lately, specifically in feeling like I wasted my whole academic career (given how things have turned out),” tweeted Karen Swallow Prior three months after resigning from the faculty of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. When she announced her retirement in March, Prior […]

Complementarianism may promote the death of the family

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on June 28, 2023. “Lois! Get me my 10-cubed Pepsi!” my former Bible professor would yell across the house in their biblical home. His wife would immediately drop whatever she was doing, fill a glass with exactly 10 ice cubes, pour his Pepsi, and hand it to him […]

This is a story about the gods of the oil industry, capitalistic greed, religious fundamentalism, Islamic terrorism, Christian supremacy, Islamophobia and a federal investigation of Donald Trump

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on June 13, 2023. The PGA Tour shocked the world last week with its  announcement of a collaboration with LIV Golf. As much as this is about the business of golf, it’s also about the complexities of systemic injustice and the need to deconstruct hierarchies in the global clash […]

How to connect the dots while watching Shiny Happy People

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on June 7, 2023. Collectively watching Amazon Prime’s Shiny Happy People docuseries is foolish if we’re not willing to deconstruct the entire conservative evangelical tower of Babel it reveals. Of course, individuals watching the series may have deeply sensitive trauma they’re reminded of and still processing. Rebekah Drumsta, a survivor […]

Three billboards outside Nashville, Tennessee

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on June 2, 2023. During most trips down the interstate, drivers mindlessly zoom past billboards bombarding them with a blur of messages on their way to wherever they’re going. But every once in a while, travelers are confronted with a message about a different destination — their eternal […]

Yes, Tim Scott is a Black man, but he’s still promoting Christian nationalism

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on May 25, 2023. Republican Sen. Tim Scott entered the presidential race this week, hoping to loosen Donald Trump’s grip on the party with “an optimistic, positive message anchored in conservatism” while appealing to voters who are willing to welcome common sense and common ground. His emphasis on […]