Evangelical Christianity has Become Alien to me

All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

Psalm 14:2-3

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. I’m quite frankly ashamed and embarrassed.

While the evangelical church has always had its problems, the past six months has brought out some of the worst. 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, or if they even truly understand what it is they believe.

Jesus made no bones about hating evil, and having nothing to do with the wicked. He literally turned tables over on people whose agenda didn’t align with his own. Both the old and new testaments are chock full of warnings and 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. Christianity teaches of a savior who repeatedly demonstrated his disinterest in politics, from “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’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 abuse politics to make up for their complacency. Christians had no political clout until the third century, but today have become obsessed with their power. Installing judges and other political saviors to legislate morality, 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 for influence. Christians are in turn enabling hate, violence, racism, and division through their choice of allies and leaders, and by trafficking in misinformation to lie about it to, at the very least, each other. The net effect of this is Christians are engendering 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.

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 the character of Jesus Christ in today’s American Christians.

In retrospect, this has been a long time coming. It is of no surprise that Christians now support racist leaders, as the church has become the most segregated institution in the country. White Christians have spent generations basking in the privilege of not having to think or preach about things like racism and inequality, while black and brown Christians in churches down the road are haunted by it daily. The ability to remain blissfully ignorant of racism has been the darling sin of every white suburban Christian church since history was first tormented to create a white Jesus. And is it any surprise that Christians have become so extreme anti-science, even in the broad daylight of infectious disease killing millions? Over a thousand years before Christ, Jewish communities had more modern medical sense about social distancing and face coverings than Christians do today (Leviticus 13:45). The relationship between the church and science has been a contentious one for centuries. The church’s inability to grasp their own God as chief architect with any tools other than magic has caused otherwise intelligent people to become modern society’s imbeciles.

Politics have become a walking hypocrisy among our faith. Christians vehemently reject “my body, my choice” arguments from the left, yet as soon as the government began talking about masks and life saving vaccines, Christians began whining “my body, my choice”, while images in the news show mass graves and outdoor crematoriums that literally look like hell. Christians demand access to abortion clinics to disperse literature for women believing they have no other option, yet it is because of Christians that they have no other options. The church has long lobbied congress to fight against prenatal and perinatal health care, contraception, and other programs for expectant mothers, ensuring that low income moms indeed have no other options. Christians today seek to subject people to dire circumstances and then punish them for it. If Christians were really interested in reducing abortion statistics, they’d be open to doing it with a carrot instead of a stick.

How on Earth are Christians not terrified of standing before God one day to give an account for the evil they have engendered? We are called to be innocent of evil, not to align ourselves with it. How is it possible that Christians can support the gross immorality of those we elect to govern us, or to support fringe people and groups, when it has so clearly borne the fruit of the violence, hatred, and death we see every day now? This is not the church I know, and certainly not any kind of church Jesus is associated with.

As a Christian, this grieves me in a way I cannot describe, because I know that this doesn’t resemble the God that I worship, study, and aspire to be more like. But why should I be the one to abandon my faith? Most of the church seems to have already done that. The church has thrown their reputation out the window for a generation, in exchange for the kind of influence and power that Jesus would yawn at. No, it’s not my faith that’s been abandoned here. And these things will not go unavenged, much to the misery of so called Christians who don’t care who they align themselves with, or who they spread disease to, or what atrocities they help fund. Throughout scripture, God has held men accountable for the deaths of others, and wouldn’t be true to his word unless he held Christians accountable for those they’ve affected through their alliances, their apathy, and their indifference – he knows every hair we’ve harmed.

I am left with no other conclusion than the church is apostate. The famous words Jesus uttered, “I stand at the door and knock” in Revelation was directed at the church, who time and time again seems to leave their own savior out in the cold. Whatever false religion the evangelical church seems to have adopted and mislabeled Christianity, it in no way represents Christianity. Can it recover? Throughout history, God has defended his good name. Historically, persecution caused the church to scatter and distill down to those left with true conviction. Let us hope the church finds a way to heal itself before it destroys itself. My faith in God is unshaken, but my faith in the church and in what people are trying to pass off as Christianity has never been more disgusted. I am truly grieved by the so called church.