No, Conservative Evangelical Christianity, This Isn’t About Sin

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If there’s one message that much of right wing conservative Evangelical Christianity desires for all people to hear with crystal clarity, it’s their frequent declarations of that which they vehemently stand against and hope to convince the world they should do so as well.

Vigorously combing the sands of our culture with their high-powered sin detectors in hand, much of conservative right wing Christianity seems to revel in moments where they can point the finger at perceived sin and parade their admonishment of it. Their aggressive stances, statements, and resolutions against the LGBTQIA community, including the recent “Nashville Statement,” are some of the many striking examples. To be sure, conservative Evangelical Christianity would love nothing more than to have us all convinced their agenda is altruistically focused on what they perceive to be sin and its negative impact on people and society.

Not true.

In fact, there’s something much deeper and disturbing under the surface.

For if the focus, mission, and heart of conservative Evangelical Christianity was truly pointed towards confronting sin and its devastating effects, several things would be happening that certainly aren’t.

Conservative Evangelical Christianity would be aggressively focused on their own sin, not others’. The teachings of Jesus that call our attention to give personal sin far greater importance than the speck perceived in another, would be given top priority. The primary sounds you would be hearing from conservative Evangelical Christianity would be the continuous cries of their own repenting for the countless atrocities that have been wielded from their system and manners of faith. Statement after statement and resolution after resolution would declare their continued remorse and commitment to personal change and soul searching. Thousands would be desperately ridding their lives of gluttony, greed, judgementalism, racism, sexism, bigotry, legalism, discrimination, imperialism, nationalism, and countless double standards. Churches would be selling their multi-million dollar state-of-the-art facilities and moving to much more cost effective solutions in order to gain the resources to reach the “least of these” instead of building ministry empires and franchising Jesus. Countless churches would be begging for mercy in response to all the ways they have put the color of carpets, the style of music, their personal preferences, the worshiping of the Bible, their spiritual navel-gazing, and the keeping of traditions far ahead of extending the love of Jesus to people. The world would tire of hearing the deafening laments and pleas for forgiveness pouring out endlessly from conservative Evangelical circles—if it was all about sin.

Conservative Evangelical Christianity would be communicating far more Grace and kindness. In fact, conservative Evangelical Christians would be ascribed as undeniably being the kindest most gracious people on the planet, trumpeting the message of the pure Gospel of Grace at every opportunity—knowing and teaching that, “It is God’s kindness that leads to repentance,” and “It’s the Grace of God that teaches us to live rightly.” Sin would be taken so seriously that pure Grace would be valued as the only solution. Change away from sin would be so important that kindness and Grace would be uplifted and protected as the only catalysts to freedom. All because, nothing else works and we don’t have time to waste prescribing the cancer and not the cure—if it was all about sin.

Conservative Evangelical Christianity would be truly and completely trusting the Spirit. For the Christian calling isn’t to change people, but to love them unconditionally while the Spirit does what only the Spirit can do. In the presence of perceived sin, conservative Evangelical Christians would be doing everything possible to get out of the way of the Spirit and to doubly make sure they didn’t serve as a detriment or distraction to the Spirit’s work. They would be so sensitive to this movement in people’s lives that to potentially error on the side of thwarting God’s transformative hand through fostering guilt, shame, and condemnation, would send shivers down their spine causing them to value restraint above all else—if it was all about sin.

Conservative Evangelical Christianity would be serving and loving to the extreme. In fact, conservative Evangelical Christianity would be declared the greatest friend a person could have, especially those labeled as “sinners.” The way conservative Evangelical Christians generously served, put their needs aside, and extravagantly loved people who have been marginalized, condemned, and demonized would be so world-renowned that people might become attracted to engage in sin or experience religious oppression just for the overwhelming love and selfless serving they would receive in response from conservative Evangelical Christians. In fact, the unconditional love and serving of people deemed to be sinning would become such a priority for conservative Evangelicals, there would be little time for much of anything else to do, dream, or desire—if it was all about sin.

But sadly, it’s not, and these actions, values, and attitudes are rarely seen within much of right wing conservative Evangelical Christianity.

Why?

Because here’s the revelation of the century, for so much of conservative Evangelical Christianity, it’s not about sin and it never has been.

It’s about power—their power.

Sin has been used, abused, and fabricated into an ultimate diabolical distraction away from their primary aspiration and goal—power.

For if it were all about sin, there is no clearer example than much of conservative Evangelical Christianity’s election and continued support of President Donald Trump. It would have never happened, but it did. Why? Because it’s never been about sin, it’s always been about power.

Conservative right wing Evangelical Christianity, we’re not fooled—at least not anymore.

What’s the bottom-line allure beneath your insistence on biblical inerrancy? Power

What’s behind your aggressive necessity to continuously condemn and demonize the LGBTQIA community? Power

What’s at the center of your determination to believe in a hell of eternal torture for those who believe differently than you? Power

What’s underneath your mixed-gospel filled with conditions, loopholes, “to do” lists, and spiritual gymnastics? Power

What’s at stake behind your continued manifestation of sexism, nationalism, and elitism? Power

Power to condemn, power to control, power to Lord over, power to legitimize your existence, purpose, and actions, power to spiritually justify hate, and power to manipulate people into your fold.

No, conservative Evangelical Christianity, this isn’t about sin—it never has been.

It’s always been about power.

Thankfully, the good people of Nashville will have nothing of it, and neither will I nor countless others.

Grace is brave. Be brave.

12 Comments

  1. As I understand- The Catholic Church gave itself the ability to declare sin. Then with enough gifts to the church the ability to pray a soul out of purgatory. If there were more focus on the Beatitudes rather than the sins. I may still be going to church more often.

    • ckratzer

      August 30, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      Troi, well said. It is indeed a vicious religious cycle. I am sorry for your negative church experience, you are not alone. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

      • Chris, every time I read one of your sermons, and I read everyone you send, my heart aches–for how to get ‘conservative evangelical Christians’ to hear, to read! To believe. . . Many of us who believe exactly as you do, and so clearly express, have the same longing. How I wish they’d ‘wake up, and get to their job on time!’

        • ckratzer

          August 30, 2017 at 9:59 pm

          Gale, sometimes, the most important thing isn’t to be heard by those you desire to influence, but it’s to speak so that those who are oppressed know they are loved, affirmed, and have one who will stand with them in solidarity.

  2. I like to dream of a church such as you describe. So far I’ve never caught sight of this rare specimen, but it is something I could get behind and give my life to.

  3. Chris, I am a mother, a Christian mother, of a transgender child whom I love and adore with all of my heart. I never skipped a beat when my daughter finally had the courage to tell me that she was a boy. It’s been a year and a half since I found out and I have since realized how hateful the Evangelical Christian truly is. I have felt very much alone because there is truly no safe place for me to land. But you have given words to my thoughts.
    Thank you Chris, for you have given me some light on a very dark and lonely path.

    • ckratzer

      August 31, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Lavonna, thank you so much for sharing a bit of your story, you and your daughter are deeply loved and not alone! I pray we can stay connected somehow, and if there is any way I can serve you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. If we aren’t already, let’s be friends on facebook… https://www.facebook.com/chris.kratzer

  4. Neither my cousin nor my grandnephew are sinners. They are wonderful, loving
    Men who contribute to society in a mighty way. We are the sinners if we think anything less of them because of their sexual orientation.

  5. My favorite part: “Vigorously combing the sands of our culture with their high-powered sin detectors in hand, much of conservative right wing Christianity seems to revel in moments where they can point the finger at perceived sin and parade their admonishment of it. Their aggressive stances, statements, and resolutions against the LGBTQIA community, including the recent “Nashville Statement,” are some of the many striking examples.”

    That’s really it in a nutshell.

  6. “Let God be true and every man a liar.” Satan knows and quotes the scriptures, but only to manipulate.

    I’ve heard about every twist of the gospel there is as the daughter of a minister who tragically lost his way. My family died over 30 years ago except for one sister. She has made it her mission to torment me with her endless spiel you concur with. She goes this secretly. No one else to witness.

    My ex was likewise involved in many forms of perversion. God gave me a tremendous desire for sincerity. It’s not a small thing to change what’s natural unto something else. I saw the vivid results in a very broken man. Even pastors and doctors were duped by him. Not to mention investigators. The man I prayed for sought only to destroy me. Indifferent. I believe he will find peace. Because the Lord is that rich in mercy.

    But to preach as you do is utterly false. I know. I lived it.

    Sooner or later, you’ll know.

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