Evangelical Christianity has Become Alien to me

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

Isaiah 5:20

It’s very rare for me to have such big feelings about something, but also at the same time to be almost entirely speechless in my ability to articulate them. Here’s a shot. I’ve been a Christian for the vast majority of my life, but what Christianity has become to people in this country is completely alien to me. I don’t recognize the church in the midst of the overt bigotry, racism, hatred, and lies that Christians proliferate in the name of politics. I’m quite frankly ashamed and embarrassed.

While the evangelical church has always had its problems, the past six months has brought out the worst I’ve ever seen in this generation of Christians. I’m not talking about some fringe group either; it’s easy to dismiss groups like Westboro Baptist as an example of what Christianity is not. I’m talking about the mainstream evangelical church – relatives, friends, and people I’ve even grown up with – who were once a much needed example of Christianity to me – have severely disappointed me in the way they’ve conducted themselves, causing me to question if I ever truly understood what they believed for the nearly 30 years I’ve been a Christian.

Christianity celebrates a meek savior who saw the intrinsic value in people regardless of their race, their past, or their status. He called for the lifting up of those who were downcast and mistreated by society. He called for sacrificial love of the disenfranchised. To reflect compassion. Generosity. Selflessness. He thought that we were valuable enough to give his own life for. Christianity should be, by definition, a mirror image of Christ’s love for humanity, and an example of integrity and truth, even to one’s own detriment. I don’t see this character of Jesus Christ in today’s American Christians anymore.

God also made no bones about hating evil, and having nothing to do with the wicked. Jesus literally turned tables over on people whose agenda didn’t align with his own. Both the old and new testaments are chock full of lessons about the dangers of aligning one’s self with wicked people, supporting agendas that bear the fruit of the wicked, and condoning values that are contrary to God’s own. Christianity teaches of a savior who repeatedly demonstrated his disinterest in the irrelevance of politics, from the moment he said “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” to his markedly uninterested appearance before an irrelevant Pontius Pilate; yet it’s the laziness of Christians to impact society that has led the church to use politics to make up for their complacency. Christians today have become obsessed with installing judges and other political saviors to legislate morality for them, even if that means aligning themselves with white nationalist groups, vigilante groups that condone hate and murder, and expressing blind, cultic loyalty to immoral demagogues in exchange for influence. Christians are in turn proliferating hate, violence, racism, and division through their choice of allies and leaders, and by trafficking in misinformation to lie about it to, if at the very least, themselves. The net effect of this is the very wickedness God hates; the antithesis of the virtues that Christianity teaches. The church cannot condone immorality, lies and hate, yet expect the world to see Christians as the arbiters of morality. This has destroyed the church’s reputation, and rightfully so.

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