So, I’m just going to confess this, speak the truth, unburden my spirit, and declare, sometimes I just can’t abide conservative evangelical Christianity and it’s prideful, religious spirit of heaping never-ending condemnation on other people.
I call it pharisitical spirit, because it reminds me of a cross between a pharisee and a parasite, a leech that just seems to want to drain and bleed the Lord’s nutrition right out of me.
I’m sure I’m winning over conservative hearts and minds already. How to win friends and influence people really is my skill set and special talent.
Just the same, it is like a slug in the gut every time I see it and not an edifying slug in the gut either, but a flee from all immorality because this is so not the Lord I know, kind of slug in the gut. That does not mean I am now delighted by more liberal Christianity, as if that were some kind of alternative. It means, we could do so, so much better if we just set down our darn pride, embraced some humility, and learned to develop some compassion for other people.
There are a whole lot of people on the internet, “Exvangelicals,” they call themselves, and they have their own issues too, their own sin and wounding, but doggone if 90 percent of that hasn’t been caused by the thoughtlessness of Christian people who seem to believe they are God ordained to hold others in condemnation for allegedly doing life all wrong. A bit like the pharisee of old, conservative evangelicals often got their rules and regulations handy, the law in their hands, but their hearts are just nowhere to be found.
Neither is the heart of Jesus Christ.
And I am one myself, pretty darn conservative biblically, conservative politically even. Just the same, I can’t get on board with some of these attitudes that just seem to want to kick out the Samaritan woman for having five husbands and blame the demoniac possessed by a legion of demons for bringing his troubles upon himself. Job’s friends, I’m telling you. Does nobody ever read the book of Job anymore?
Do we often miss the part in the bible about how, “there are none righteous, not one?” We do. We really do.
Somebody recently reminded me that the phrase, “pull yourself up by the bootstraps,” originated as satire and sarcasm, as something that was impossible to do. One cannot pull up on one’s shoelaces, defy gravity, and rise. Especially in our faith we should really get that concept, unless we actually believe we are all self saved by virtue of our own good choices?
I spent a good decade singing, “break my heart for what breaks yours, Lord,” and attempting to cultivate a heart for people. Christ’s heart for people. A heart that does not recoil and withdraw when staring at people’s numerous sins and epic fails. A heart that accepts we’re all sinners and have an equal need for the blood Christ.
That’s about the only “equal” I believe in, we all have equal need for the blood of the Lamb.
It’s so ironic to me, I can catch glimpses of that same heart for people on the streets, among the broken, in the midst of addicts struggling with recovery, but I often can’t find it in the church. The church is often more like a spiritual battlefield that leaves me emotionally exhausted and drained, dodging fiery arrows of gossip and condemnation, and fear, so, so much fear. Everybody is always so afraid.
Broken people tend to have a powerful faith, but those who seem to believe they got it all together, not so much. I guess desperation tends to bring about our genuine dependence on the Lord and we get it, we begin to grasp, “in Him I have my breath and being.” We ain’t got no time to worry about keeping up outside appearances.
I invite so, so many people to church, and I suppose it doesn’t really matter because they so seldom come anyway, but they have a tiny flame, the faith of a baby chick, and I fear for them, I feel as if I am just sending lambs to slaughter. I worry that tiny spark of faith will soon be extinguished among the rules and regulations, the bureaucracy and condemnation, the politics of the churchain world.
Morally, a bit like a mother hen here, the last place I want to send a baby chick with a candle flame of faith flickering within them, is to the church. The church is so not for the faint of heart, and I really think it should be, I think if the church cannot be place to go to nurture your faith, then it is not a place to go.
I’m frustrated people, I’m frustrated by those who would cast out and disqualify other people, who are quicker to point out the sins of people, then they are to point out the grace and goodness of God.
Here’s a totally non Christian song that really captures my mood today.