Wild Goose

Wild Goose to Feature Jen Hatmaker, a “Christian Mystic,” and other “Spiritually Non-Traditional” Speakers

on July 12, 2018

Institute on Religion & Democracy Press Release
July 12, 2018
Contact: Chelsen Vicari, Cell: 540-239-2170, E-mail: cvicari@TheIRD.org

Who: Jen Hatmaker, Tony Campolo, Frank Schaeffer, Shane Claiborne, Brian McLaren 

What: Wild Goose Festival

Where: Hot Springs, NC

When: July 12-15, 2018

Washington, DC—Evangelical and Religious Left groups will gather on a North Carolina campground in Hot Springs this weekend for the annual “Wild Goose” festival, a four-day festival of music, interactive story-telling, “reconciliation yoga,” and “progressive Christian mysticism.” The Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Chelsen Vicari will provide on-site coverage.

This year’s “Wild Goose” festival will feature Jen Hatmaker, an Evangelical author who liberalized her views on same-sex marriage, self-described “Christian-Atheist” Frank Schaeffer, “progressive Christian mystic” and United Methodist pastor Roger Wolsey, among other “spiritually non-traditional” speakers. Breakout sessions will highlight “Queerology,” “Reproductive Justice is…,” and “A Practical Guide to Getting Elected.”

“Wild Goose” is loosely patterned on Great Britain’s Greenbelt festival, Burning Man, Lightning in a Bottle, and SXSW.

IRD Evangelical Program Director Chelsen Vicari commented:

“Wild Goose is a bizarre attempt to refashion Christianity for disgruntled Progressive Christians attracted to postmodern sexual relativism, mysticism, and New Age.

“Wild Goose pushes against the boundaries of orthodox Christianity by experimenting with mysticism and vague spirituality. Sadly, some disillusioned young Evangelicals find this distorted version of Christianity alluring.

“Of all the progressive Christian events I’ve monitored on behalf of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, Wild Goose is the most troubling in my view. But the truth is no matter how modern the meditation practices or interactive the story-telling, progressive Christianity remains unfashionable as its leading denominations continue in decline.”


  1. Comment by Daniel on July 13, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    This is pretty horrifying, it’s like every stereotype of demonic behavior from 1980s religious horror movies.

    I used to laugh at the extremism of Chick tracts and obnoxious preaching attempts when they warned of new age heresy like this, but they sure make a whole lot more sense now with this nonsense. Christianity and New Age Mysticism do NOT go together!

    I believe in Angels and Demons, and I truly believe there are some evil spirits hovering over this event. What in the world is a “Christian-Atheist?” SMH

  2. Comment by Loren Golden on July 13, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    A “Christian-Atheist” is essentially someone who wants all the benefits of Christian community, bereft of Christian doctrine that he/she no longer believes.  Such are those who have grown up in the church, “who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,” but have “fallen away, … crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt” (Heb. 6.4-6), and yet are nostalgic for their lost Christian home.  When such are admitted as leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ (as has Schaeffer), the result is detrimental, if not catastrophic, for the life of the Church, for such unstable individuals do not proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but subvert it for their own private or worldly agendas—in Schaeffer’s case, the promotion of worldly sexual ethics at the expense of the Scriptural testimony and doctrine, pointing to man and his kingdom rather than to God and His.

  3. Comment by MarcoPolo on July 14, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Hallelujah, for Evolution!!
    As all things ebb and flow, so too, does Spirituality.

    Off topic side note: If TRUTH ever mattered in policy or practice to Christians, how and why would they ever tolerate the current president of the United States?

  4. Comment by Steven Vornov on July 14, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    “Hallelujah for evolution!” Let us praise St. Darwin the patron of Christian atheism.

  5. Comment by Sam on July 14, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    Yes. Because all Christians are a voting bloc. Who knew?

  6. Comment by theenemyhatesclarity on July 14, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    MarcoPolo, because choosing a president is different than choosing a spouse or a pastor. For the latter two, character is crucial. For the first, not so much. And if you voted for Bill Clinton, I am sure you agree.

    In Christ,

    The enemy hates clarity

  7. Comment by Michael Moore on July 15, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    A good answer. And also one must consider that the alternative to Donald Trump was one who personally was as flawed, if not more so, and probably guilty of crimes that, at the very least, should have put her in the penitentiary long ago.

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