That’s hard for me to say, because I still consider myself a Christian… In that I consider myself a follower of Jesus. I love Jesus. I love what he was about. I believe that the closer human beings get to being like Jesus, the better off the whole world gets. But I don’t really want to call myself a “Christian,” because that brand is such utter garbage. And I suppose that works out well, because most other people who identify as christians don’t want me calling myself a christian either. I don’t think the Bible is infallible or “written by God.” I don’t consider Jesus the only source of truth in the world or the only leader to ever speak for God. I don’t believe that someone had to die in order for us to be close to God. I don’t believe in hell anymore — Although 2020 is pretty damn close. I don’t exactly know how to describe my concept of “God” anymore. But I believe in GOODNESS… And the more I look around, the clearer it gets: Christianity does more harm than good.
This is not to say that ALL Christians are individually doing more harm than good. There are some amazing people out there loving and helping their neighbors, and working to make the world a more Just, more Equitable, BETTER place… And they are doing it because of what they believe about Jesus. So save your time with the “Not All Christians” comments. Obviously not all Christians are actively working to make the world a shittier place… But MOST of them are. And barely any of them realize that’s what they are doing. Let me give you an example. Here is a scene from an outdoor worship service this weekend…
There’s this guy named Sean Feucht. If you don’t know who he is, you are not alone. Most people don’t. He worked for a church called Bethel in Redding, CA. He leads worship. He ran for Congress (and lost) on a pro-trump, anti-immigrant platform. You may recognize him for his long, curly, reddish hair… Sean is the one “reaching out in faith” and touching trump’s garment/arm is this photo op of worship leaders at the White House:
He’s been in the news a little more lately after he showed up Uninvited in Minneapolis (the very unsuccessful, straight-to-DVD sequel of “Sleepless in Seattle”) at a rally for George Floyd, and put together an impromptu worship service. I guess he looked at the Black-led protests and thought, “You know what they could use? A long-haired white guy with an acoustic guitar… That’s what.” And then he posted video of that on social media and talked about “what god was doing.” In addition to his self-promotion, he also took advantage of the outrage at him showing up, and played the “persecuted christian” card.
You see, many christians around the country have been fed the idea that they are being attacked. It started with “the war on Christmas,” and now many of the ignorant masses are convinced that this virus is made up to keep people away from Church… And that mask mandates are just a plot to get people used to face coverings for when the democrats declare Sharia Law and force everyone to wear burkas. So this guy comes up with the Feucht-up idea of utilizing that narrative to tour around the country and put on worship concerts… Defying local laws and mandates about sizes of gatherings made to prevent the spread of this deadly disease. Here is Sean explaining that “God is going to release a wave of healing” on the lungs of the people who attended his gathering in Portland.
Isn’t it interesting that christians will post memes about how “police won’t bother people if they just obey the law,” and they’ll quote Romans 13 (about “submitting to governing authorities”) when justifying the death penalty… But suddenly protest becomes “American” again when THEY are breaking a law that makes THEM feel “oppressed.” And by “interesting,” I mean “hypocritical.”
Here’s the thing: Bad theology kills people. It is one of the deadliest things on the planet. And in America right now, the majority of the people with REALLY bad theology are calling themselves “christians.” This is especially true of charismatic christians. For many of them, Reason is looked at as a BARRIER between them and the almighty. The sort of person that questions authority or challenges contradictions is looked at as a threat. They are told to “turn off their brains” in order to hear from god. They’re made to believe they hear directly from god… And when everyone is hearing from god, paranoia can be interpreted as the voice of the holy spirit, and finding some QAnon conspiracy theory site in a dark corner of the internet can be viewed as god “leading them.” And to top it all off, they are told the world will hate them, so if they are being total asses and everyone is getting mad at them, they’re like, “I must be doing something right!”
The frustrating thing about Sean Feucht is that I’d bet just about anything that he doesn’t see himself as a force for evil. Like so many other forces for evil in the world, he has no clue that’s what he is… He’s not like donald trump, who knows darn well that he doesn’t believe any of that “christian” nonsense, but knows he needs to fake it to get more power. But Sean almost certainly believes that he is NEEDED at a George Floyd rally in Minneapolis. He believes he is being “called.” It stands to reason that these folks believe in white saviorism… Most of them think Jesus was white — Their whole religion is BUILT on the idea of a white savior. And when he sees those crowds, he probably believes that God is going to keep those people safe. When he baptizes people and dunks them in that COVID water, he believes he is participating in SAVING those people from going to hell.
And when he runs for government, there was never any option for him other than running as a republican. He has grown up listening to preachers say that god is on America’s side… In churches that fly the American flag up front. He has probably figured out a way to use the Bible to justify christians carrying guns and being ready to kill folks. Imagine calling yourself a “christian” and being willing to kill someone with a gun to “protect people,” but not being willing to put a piece of fabric over your mouth to protect people from this virus…
And this is NOT me saying “Christians should be democrats.” In normal times, there are good reasons to vote republican… But now is not a normal time. I genuinely believe that voting to remove the evil that is donald trump from office is a moral imperative… And the best/only way to do that with the system we currently have is to vote for Joe Biden. But there are many people in this country who don’t see that. And at this point, if you can’t see that trump is objectively one of the worst people on the planet who should be kept as far from power as humanly possible, it doesn’t come down to a “difference of opinion” on political issues — It’s a fundamental difference of understanding what is meant by the word GOODNESS… It’s a totally different definition of Morality.
The single greatest reason for christians becoming a force for evil in the world is their longing for power. In 2016, trump told a crowd in Sioux City, Iowa that “Christians will have the power” (Click on that article. You need to read it), and they believed him. There is a deep hypocrisy where Christians profess to believe that PEOPLE should take care of people — Not the government… But then they need the government to enforce their vision of morality. And they profess to believe that God is on control of things… But they don’t trust God to take care of things unless christians are electing leaders who give them more political power. Their longing for power belies a lack of faith.
The Bible tells a story of Jesus being tempted with power. It didn’t take. It’s the exact opposite of who Jesus was. The people wanted a king on a horse, but they got a carpenter on a donkey… And most people calling themselves “christians” don’t get that at all. The degree to which christianity is a force for evil in the world is directly correlated to how little christians resemble Jesus. Christians have largely become noisy gongs & clanging cymbals. They are willing to break the law & risk other people’s lives in order to pray “on the street corners to be seen by others.” It’s all wrong. It’s wanting to rule, when you’re called to serve. It’s carrying a gun, while testifying of a god who is supposedly powerful enough to protect you. It’s being willing to kill to protect your neighbor, but not being willing to wear a mask to protect your neighbor. It’s hypocrisy. And it is — for lack of a better word — evil.
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