I have to admit, I'm growing increasingly confused with nearly every moment. Not just confused — alarmed, if I'm honest.
I'm no spiritual giant, but it's been my longtime understanding that the Christian faith is to be centered on the person of Jesus. At least, that's the divine plot God seems to have written and the name many have boastfully placed on the marquee. Yet, when I survey the Scriptures and listen to His mind within me, I'm sadly left with no alternative but to be filled with disappointment and disillusionment. For the epic story of Jesus and His love that I had hoped would fill my senses with every scene you project into my seeing has become a horror show of conservative Evangelical Christian evil.
Perhaps, I've completely lost my mind and have fallen away from the Spirit — that's certainly not beyond possibility. Perhaps, that prayer cloth I discarded along with the accountability partner that came with it, has put a divine jinx on my capacity to discern the spiritual. It's probably all in my mind and a carnal figment of my imagination. Yet, I can't seem to ignore the sure duplicity and sheer insanity of what your faith understanding seems to be wielding upon the earth with ever increasing fashion.
I want to give you the benefit of the doubt and even come to my senses if need be. So please conservative Evangelical Christian, answer me this. I'm ready, and I'm listening...
Where does Jesus ever put the Bible (which hadn't even been written yet) above Himself or even in equal standing, and where does He say it's the perfect Word of God and admonish His followers to worship their own interpretations of it? In fact, on several occasions, I've noticed that Jesus reinterprets the Scriptures and turns over the table on their traditional meaning.
I don't have a problem suggesting that the Bible was inspired by God as long as we admit that divine inspiration doesn't automatically equate to human accuracy. Perhaps, that's why Christian scholars can't even agree to this day on how we arrived at the canonization of the Bible, let alone what books should be included. And not just that, but with more than 30,000 different denominations, we can't even put all of our bumper stickers in the same parking lot in regards to something as central as the essence of salvation. Yet, you want me to believe that your Bible, your version, and even your interpretation is the infallible inerrant perfect Word of God??? I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but I can't deny how that leaves me suspiciously wondering, if it's all so perfect, why would Jesus summon His Spirit (not you, me, or the Bible) to be humanity's ultimate guide in all truth? I'm trying to see Jesus in all this song and dance with the Bible, but if I'm honest, I just can't — at least not the Jesus who lives within me.
Please conservative Evangelical Christian, answer me this...
Where does Jesus ever utilize a weapon in an act of aggression or defense, or even so much as hint that there could be an occasion where his followers would be righteous and justified in doing so? I'm not suggesting that a person who owns a gun for mere sport, hunting, or nonviolent pleasure is unfaithful to the Master. I'm not even suggesting that a person who possesses a gun for self-defense is necessarily a bad person. But the more I experience the heart of Jesus, the more I become convinced — if you're going to own a gun which is purposed primarily on killing and harbor the willingness to use it against another human being, you're going to have to leave the person, example, and teachings of Jesus out of it and step outside of His ways to justify it.
Stock up on all the weapons you want, rationalize a love of guns any way that helps you sleep at night, and insist on your Second Amendment rights even to the mass murder of children. However, with all due love and respect, you can stop trying to convince me that God blesses your endeavors and Jesus supports your armament and willingness to do violence. He doesn't — at least not the Jesus who lives within me.
The fact that the NRA and conservative Evangelicalism have become two peas in a diabolical pod. The truth that many conservative Evangelicals propose that the solution to our gun problem is more guns. The reality that churches who claim to worship Jesus are now opening gun ranges. The daunting awareness that a majority of conservative Evangelical Christians are not willing to pick up their cross and lay down their love affair with guns when the safety of innocent people is undeniably in the balance. All of this tells me everything I need to know — Jesus has surely left the building.
Go ahead, keep on trying to convince me there is some ominous "new world order" that is trying to disarm Americans for the purpose of conquest. In the meanwhile, I'll be resting assured that if there is any influence in the world that is trying to strip us of our lust for power, privilege, violence and the guns that are symptomatic of such, that influencer is Jesus who, for the joy set before Him, chose a cross instead of an AR-15, Glock, or any other weapon. And yes, that's in the Bible.
Please conservative Evangelical Christian, answer me this...
Where does Jesus ever display, condone or dismiss any of the sin-ladened and anti-Christ attributes of President Trump? Most assuredly, no one is perfect and God uses imperfect people for great purposes. Yet, isn't there a difference between being imperfect and being an unapologetically pussy-grabbing, adulterous, racist, sexist, xenophobic, mental illness mocking, greedy, lying, vulgar, belligerent and bullying president?
In conservative Evangelical churches across our country, imperfect people are being used appropriately to do great ministry. Yet, I suspect, President Trump couldn't even qualify to serve in your nursery or youth ministry, let alone deserve the continued support and praise as the president of the Unites States from those who would claim to be Christian. Surely, you don't want a man who brags about grabbing women to be changing diapers or going on camping trips, do you? Yet, many conservative Evangelicals Christians, still to this day, can't help but to worship this president and declare His divine anointing — all while throwing a temper tantrum over an Olympic ice skater who is simply gay.
I'm not trying to be crass or push any buttons, but what is this insanity that we are becoming? In fact, I have this growing suspicion that if President Trump ever turned his back on conservative Evangelicalism or got in the way of their greedy ambitions, all of a sudden his nefarious character would become oh-so important and problematic. Until then, you'll keep trying to convince me that sleeping with the enemy is really sitting at the table with Jesus and washing His feet. So please don't be surprised when I cry, "bull****" I mean no disrespect, but this isn't about Jesus, faithfulness, and Godly living. That's the problem, isn't it?
See, the Bible, guns, and politics — everything seems to have become a weapon to you for emotionally, spiritually, and physically stealing, killing and destroying all that you perceive to be an enemy that you might nationalize, militarize, and globalize your faith ideology. Not because Jesus is telling you to do so, but because you're addicted to white, male, heterosexual power and privilege — the opioids of the Evil One.
I want to believe that your greatest desire is Jesus and knowing His heart for humanity. I want to believe that you care about children and the safety of innocent people. I want to believe that moral character, sacrifice, decency and goodness are important to you and foundational to your faith system. But every time you have an opportunity to take up your cross and show me, it seems as if you are more interested in taking up, protecting, and prospering white, male, heterosexual, right-wing, conservative power and privilege.
I know your heart is good and filled with honorable intention. I know you want me to believe it's all about God, the Bible, and Christian faithfulness. Yet how am I to conclude, with even just a small measure of confidence, that Jesus is your Lord and the King of your faith system when it seems there are so many things of Satan that you worship before Him?
Please conservative Evangelical Christian, answer me this.
Originally published at Red Letter Christians.
The goal of Red Letter Christians is simple: To take Jesus seriously by endeavoring to live out His radical, counter-cultural teachings as set forth in Scripture, and especially embracing the lifestyle prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount. Find them online at https://www.redletterchristians.org/