Tag: conservative (Page 1 of 7)

To My Evangelical Friends and Family : I’m Sorry, I Just Can’t Reach You

I’m sorry, I just can’t reach you.

Trust me, I so wish that I could.

I get it. I truly do. You’re an Evangelical. White, conversative, and perhaps still a Trump supporter. I’ve been who you are, I was a conservative Evangelical pastor for 22 years. So, I understand completely. I’ve seen, heard, and lived it all.

But now that I’ve walked away from it, every bit of it, I guess I wonder why you haven’t too.

When I was entrenched in that system of faith, no one could pull me away. Not reason, not tragedy. Not family, friends, or even truth. I was a captive, totally submitted to the conservative Evangelical Borg. Yet, all by choice, if I’m honest.

You think I’ve lost my mind. That I’ve fallen away. To you, I’m now an enemy of sorts, a project to turn back to your beliefs and ways.

You ask, “what happened to you?” You quote the Bible at me. You hold the flames of eternal torture over my head. Silent treatments here, silent treatments there. You condemn to hell nearly everything about me, perhaps even praying for my demise. Apart from a complete return to your acceptance and approval, it seems that in your mind, there is nearly nothing worthy about me. I’m lost. A heretic. A child of the devil. A “woke,” “baby killing” reprobate.

No matter what I say, no matter how I feel. No matter the Bible verses I point to, no matter the changes in my heart that have set me free. No matter the hurt you cause, the people you isolate. No matter the suffering you create, the destruction you rationalize. No matter the science, history, or facts. No matter my patience, no matter my pleading. No matter the tears in my eyes, nor the pain in my face. Nothing seems to get through. I’m not searching for perfection, I’m just searching for some humanity.

Yet, like the orange that can’t be pulled from the tree, no matter the force, because it isn’t ripe, I can’t reach you, and to keep on trying only breaks me and emboldens you. Lord knows, I’d do anything.

So, I’m standing with the ones you reject. I’m extending the love you refuse to give. I’m embracing the God that frustrates and offends you. I’m giving voice to the ones you oppress. I’m chasing the evils of your beliefs out of the shadows.

I’m finally breathing for the first time. I’m hearing the Jesus within me for the first time. I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is thoroughly good: non-violent, inclusive, affirming, equality bringing, and unconditionally loving. I’m proclaiming good news to the poor, freedom for the imprisoned, and Light in the midst of darkness. For me, God is All and in all, inseparably and irrevocably. The Gospel in purest form. The earth is my sanctuary, humanity is my community, and love is my worship. And, that’s all I need to see, live, and believe. Finally, I’m alive and being me.

So, if I seem distant, it’s because I’m stewarding the Light within me. If I offend you, it’s because I am finally speaking. If I don’t participate in your attempts to change me, it’s because I’m at peace with who I am, and I’m finally realizing Jesus is too, and always has been.

I’m sorry, I just can’t reach you. Only an honesty from within yourself, ever can. And that is what I pray.

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Grace is brave. Be brave.

 

Check out Chris’ latest book, Stupid Shit Heard In Church available on Amazon (link below)…

What people are saying:

“After reading just a few chapters, I had to schedule an appointment with my therapist, it’s that good.”

“This book is changing  the world.”

“Profound, life-changing; that says it all!”

 

Jesus Is Un-American

Return Him back to His factory settings.

Return Him back to His original narrative.

Return Him back to His true vision.

There you will see, so much of what is embedded and intertwined into Americanism is actually foreign to Jesus. In fact, He often lives and loves outside of Her, and often stands against Her. Her good that can be seen, the good that She can be, and the good in which many of us believe, is often overshadowed by the darkness She casts and the darkness She becomes.

Yes, the Jesus that so many worship as if He is an American is actually completely and unequivocally un-American. Sadly, their “America” and their “Jesus” is far from His heart, plan, and embodiment. In fact, if He ever came to America, they’d be the first and fastest to label Him as, “un-American.” Oh, oh say can you see… the irony.

For Jesus filled not the sails of Columbus, not the inkwells of the Constitution, nor the weapons that formed Her. Jesus raises no flag; pledges no allegiance; favors no nation. He cannot be legislated, elected, or sworn in as a citizen.

Jesus is “un-American.”

There is no such thing as lesser, depraved, or subhuman. For Jesus, being white isn’t the gold standard, human standard, divine standard, or red-white-and-blue standard for measuring the divinity, rights, innocence, potential, and value of any person. He doesn’t see the white man as the default expression of humanity and everyone else, a “race.” For Him, all are one-hundred percent human, sacred, worthy, valuable, God-imaged, and of the divine–all the time, everytime, anytime.

Apparently, Jesus is “un-American.”

Certainly, He is not a Christian, politician, nation, or faith. Instead, He is a person; fully human and fully divine–as are we, and as are all. His teachings are universal and of the Universe–He is all and in all. Jesus is not a road to be traveled, a way that is exclusive, a creed to be confessed, or a Lord to be feared. He cannot be written on a page, contained in a church, nor confined to any one faith. He is not a mascot, book, brand, logo, slogan, bill, lobbyist, spokesperson, school, college, band, style, party, PAC, or perfume sprayed by the privileged.

I’m guessing, Jesus is “un-American.”

He doesn’t have a dream to be dreamed, a status to be achieved, or a ceiling to break through. He doesn’t have an economy. He doesn’t have a currency. He doesn’t have borders, “illegals,” or immigrants. In Jesus, everyone is a citizen in full union and communion. All are equally “in” and all are equally “free.”

Yes, Jesus is “un-American.”

When Jesus commands the rich to prioritize the poor instead of exploiting them, He is un-American.

When Jesus commands the rich to generously share their wealth instead of hoarding it, He is un-American. When Jesus commands the rich to place people over profit, He is un-American. When Jesus declares, “the first will be last and the last will first” and the best way to calibrate your mindset, heart, life, and agenda, He is surely “un-American.”

When Jesus turns over the tables of greedy, manipulative, unethical, and deceptive money swindlers stepping over people to get ahead, He is un-American. When Jesus vehemently rants against the religious ruling class and calls out their fakery, evil, self-righteousness, and blasphemy, He is un-American. When Jesus admonishes Peter to put down his sword and choose a nonviolent path, He is surely “un-American.”

When Jesus feeds thousands for free without demanding a drug test, work plan, or valid license, He is un-American. When Jesus provides healthcare, healing, and comfort for the downtrodden regardless of income or financial capacity, He is un-American. 

When Jesus praises and upholds examples of workers being compensated equally and generously in a way that tilts the scales towards the less fortunate becoming more fortunate instead of the wealthy, He is surely “un-American.”

When Jesus uplifts, empowers, and treats women as equals, Jesus is un-American. When Jesus refuses political gain, leveraging, inside handshakes, and deals with the powerful, Jesus is un-American. When Jesus demands that we love our neighbor as ourselves, Jesus is un-American. When Jesus disproportionately sides with the oppressed, unproductive, displaced, condemned, forgotten, and the falsely accused, Jesus is un-American. When Jesus pronounces the least as the greatest, the outside as the inside, the different as the designed, the unsaved as the saved, the doubters as the faithful, the weak as the strong, and the meek as the divinely favored, Jesus is surely “un-American.”

Yes, the Jesus that so many worship as if He is an American is actually completely and unequivocally un-American. Sadly, their “America” and their “Jesus” is far from His heart, plan, and embodiment. In fact, if He ever came to America, they’d be the first and fastest to label Him as…

“un-American.”

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Grace is brave. Be brave.

Check out Chris’ latest book, Stupid Shit Heard In Church…

Conservative Evangelicalism, Are You Going To Kill Me Too?

The Bible is laced with stories of murder.

Christianity is laced with stories of murder.

Conservative Evangelicalism is laced with stories of murder.

 

Fact, fact, fact.

 

Everywhere you turn, it’s here, there, and everywhere; past, present, and future.

Whether intended or not, spiritual, emotional, and physical death are the wake your creeds have long created upon the sea of humanity. It’s undeniable, well documented, and refuses to be erased. Sadly, yours is a murderous brand of believing. Tough to hear, sad to say.

Don’t believe me?

Noah’s Ark, the Crusades, Indigenous Indian colonization, Black slavery, the list goes on and on. And now, your continued brutal assault on the LGBTQ community, the black community, the poor, women, minorities, and any and all of those who would stand against you and your pursuit to nationalize your white, male-driven, conservative Evangelical faith and the white supremacy it enables.

I understand, perhaps not all individuals within the conservative Evangelical faith support these pursuits, but as a former conservative Evangelical pastor of 20+ years, I know for sure, beyond any doubt, that your system of faith is a well-oiled catalyst, breeding ground, and incubator for violence of every type and kind. That’s the truth.

You know the saying, “If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it probably is a duck.” A past of repeated, consistent behavior is a trustable indicator of the future. Patterns are powerful at predicting. One only needs to connect the very dots your faith system hopes to conceal. As your Lord and Savior Donald Trump declared, “I love the poorly educated.” 

Yes, I’m concerned. And, I wonder why you aren’t. Because now, more than ever, it seems that many among your faith system are willing to knowingly and cheerfully embrace any evil and all costs to lie, cheat, and bully your way into having democracy vanish and your dictatorship emerge, even to the spiritual rationalization of murder. 

You actually called the murder of a police officer during the January 6th insurrection, a “legitimate political discourse.”

You called the reality of school shootings a clear need for more people to have more guns, “if only the victims had been carrying guns.”  

You tell women in the inevitable event of a rape to, “lie back and enjoy it.” And don’t forget, there is such a thing as, “legitimate rape.”

You position yourself as against abortion, “every life is a sacred gift from God,” but refuse to support the solutions that actually work to remedy it. It’s as if you’ve decided that you can benefit from the problem more than the cure. 

You declare that, “America is not racist” while frantically trying to erase all the clear history that  reveals the contrary. In fact, it wasn’t until 1995, that your SBC finally admitted your supportive role in black slavery. Which, by the way, makes me wonder, how do you admit to fostering black slavery in the past and try to erase the history of it now? 

You want us to believe that you are, “pro-women” and “pro-life” but yet hold fast to patriarchal leadership and the demonizing of a woman’s choice, all while you objectify their bodies. Not to mention, all the violence and death you are quick to rationalize when it serves your purposes and decry when it doesn’t. 

Violence, murder, death, and abuse. 

Everything you touch that refuses to be white-washed and converted is subjected to your brutality. The history and present, they don’t lie.

Which leads me to wonder, are you going to kill me too?

For some, that may seem like a barbaric question. But at frequent moments in time, yours has been a barbaric system of faith. I would be ignorant not to consider the possibility. History and the present clearly shows me, it’s what you do.

So, I’m wondering. 

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, when I refuse to pledge allegiance to your so-called Christian flag, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, when I refuse to give up my land and property into your ownership and control, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, when I refuse to work in your camps and serve your plantations, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, when I profess to be a “progressive” and refuse to attend your churches, sing your songs, and believe your brand of believing, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, if I should have an LGBTQ child who I affirm, support, and empower, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, if I should stand between the barrel of your gun ready to shoot an innocent black man, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, if I should refuse to surrender my daughter into your sexual pleasure and service, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, when I can no longer benefit your pursuits or become a burden, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, when I feed the poor, heal the sick, favor the brokenhearted, proclaim justice for the oppressed, visit an adulterous woman at a well, give hospitality to a Samaritan, feed thousands for free, dine with “sinners,” proclaim that all are equally imaged in God, place my hope in Love not a nation, denounce your politics, and stand in fierce resistance to your self-righteous, evil religiosity, are you going to kill me too? 

 

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Grace is brave. Be brave.

I’m Progressive, And I’m Walking Away From “Deconstruction”

I was a conservative Evangelical pastor of 20+ years.

Racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, Republican, hell-preaching, bible-weaponizing, hateful, and hurtful; that was me.

Until I came to a moment of suicide.

It all started with my collision with honesty. An honesty that wrecked me. Coming forth from within, it forced me to realize and admit that the conservative Evangelical faith simply doesn’t work. Not even close. Everything that I had devoted my life to revealed itself to be a scheme. I had memorized the Scriptures, prayed the right formulas, and performed all the to-do steps. Yet, faced with the Light of truth breaking free from within me, I was confronted with the reality that nothing in my life had become any better, only worse. My faith was a fraud. Fake, empty, and cruel. I had become a monster far removed from the example of Jesus. 

At the height of those moments of devastating inner clarity, I told my wife to find a better husband and my children a better father. I was a broken down man. Beat to the pulp of my very core. Death, seeming to be the only way out. It was a darkness beyond darkness. 

There was much that was uncertain back then, but I can certainly tell you this now, not a single “deconstruction” sage, book, or conference could have talked me off the ledge upon which I was standing. “Deconstruction” could never have rescued me, nor turned back my desire for the ending of me. It could never have given me a new beginning from what I thought was an inescapable tragedy. 

And so, I’m here; alive, changed, progressive, affirming, inclusive, and empowered. But not by “deconstruction,” but rather by something far greater.

Please hear me well. I deeply love all my “deconstruction” friends. I love all “deconstruction” people, and I desire no conflict with you. We are all taking a journey of faith. Furthermore, I’m not writing to condemn “deconstruction” or those whose lives have benefited from it. I’m just telling my story, the lessons I’m learning, and what I’m discerning.

In reality, I have never been an intentional part of the “deconstruction” movement, though perhaps many would say that my writing has played a significant role in their “deconstruction.” 

For that, I am truly honored and appreciative. 

Yet, though I have no desire whatsoever to disconnect with anybody, I find it necessary to “walk away from deconstruction” in the sense that my path is increasingly moving in a different direction from what I see “deconstruction” increasingly becoming. And, here’s why.


First, in truth, there’s no such thing as “deconstruction.”

This is what I’m learning and this is what I’m discerning.

This whole faith “deconstruction” thing, it really isn’t about deconstructing at all.

In fact, there is no such thing as “deconstruction.” White, conservative Evangelicalism has already deconstructed all of us. There’s nothing left to deconstruct.

Piece by piece, they’ve taken all that was already holy, pure, beautiful, and divinely created about you and I and smashed into pieces.

We were perfect from the beginning, affirmed by the Universe, innocent from eternity. There was nothing wrong with us, yet they whispered such accusations into our ears and we believed them. And not just believed them, we believed them all the way

We bit the apple. Sucked in by the tractor beams of the white, conservative Evangelical Death Star. With Jesus as the hood ornament of their world bulldozer, they plowed over all that is good and of God with lies, manipulation, shame, guilt, and fear.

Seduced by their evil wizardry, we became less than human. Haters, judgers, bullies, and fakes. Nothing like Jesus.

See, we don’t deconstruct, we are the deconstructed.

They told us that we’re depraved, an evil blemish at birth.

They told us that we’re lost sinners in need of the salvation of a fire-breathing God who would joyfully drop-kick us into hell if we don’t repent in all the conservative Evangelical ways.

They told us that we’re not good enough, incapable of spiritual discernment, and that we need their guidance, discipleship, steps, formulas, discipline, and accountability to draw closer to God and keep Him there, lest we err and block the gleam of God’s eyes and summon the withdrawal of His favor.

They told us that if you are a woman, you’re hopelessly inferior to men and incapable of the same leadership, discernment, value, and authority as they.

They told us to prequalify people for love, abandon our LGBTQ children, and believe that they have the one and only true faith—a faith that God exclusively approves and ordains to take control of all of society, at any cost.

They told us that the Bible is the perfect Word of God, church is our home, the world is the enemy, they know all the answers, and we should never think or believe without them.

They told us that Jesus is a warrior, God is a Republican, progressives are going to hell, and racism is best served with “thoughts and prayers.”

They substituted trust with fear, Grace with conditions, inclusion with exclusion, divine affirmation with divine wrath, equality with privilege, social justice with selfish selfishness, peace with violence, integrity with hypocrisy, the Gospel with self-righteousness, and Jesus with the devil.

They deconstructed us all like Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck, spiritually policing the life out of us.

Make no mistake, everything that white, conservative Evangelicalism touches is deconstructed into ashes.

For we are the deconstructed. 

We are the deconstructed.

I repeat, we are the deconstructed.

It’s not something we do or can do, it’s who we are. 

That’s why there is no “deconstruction,” there can only be “resurrection.” And the difference between the two is cosmos-quaking and life changing. 

It’s resurrection. 

It’s the moment, like Lazarus in the tomb, that we hear and respond to the call of Jesus screaming from within our soul to, “get the hell out of there!”  “You’re alive, you’re good, you’re whole, you’re holy, you’re secure, you’re saved!” “Always have been, always will be!”

It’s resurrection.

The moment that the Light within us breaks free and pushes away the stone, kicks over tables, and shakes the conservative Evangelical dust off our feet. 

It’s resurrection.

Yet, like Lazarus, there’s a holy and sacred process of being unwrapped from the conservative Evangelical burial clothes that long entombed us and covered from our eyes all that was and is good about God, ourselves, and the world around us. 

It’s resurrection, not deconstruction. 

One bandage, one shroud at a time. Unraveling the layers of brainwashing, condemnation, and hate that strangled us.

It’s resurrection, not deconstruction.

One lie, one half-truth, one fear at a time. Peeling away the twisted images we believed about God, ourselves, and all of humanity.

It’s resurrection, not deconstruction.

The revealing and reclaiming of our true self, the good that was already there and already enough. 

Scales being resurrected away. 

Learning to breathe anew, learning to believe anew.

Learning to love anew, learning to be loved anew.

Learning to know ourselves, love ourselves, and be ourselves anew.

It’s resurrection, not deconstruction.

We were always beautiful, always loved, always affirmed, always included, always secure, forever and forever.

It’s resurrection, not deconstruction.

For we once were the deconstructed.

But now, we are the resurrecting.

The difference is night and day, and that’s why I’m walking away.

Second, “deconstruction” is just another spiritual treadmill.

It’s hard to say, but I believe it to be true. 

Please hear me well, yet again. I deeply love all my “deconstruction” friends. I love all “deconstruction” people, and I desire no conflict with you. We are all taking a journey of faith. 

Yet, I can’t deny nor hide what I’m seeing. So much of “deconstruction” has largely become conservative Evangelicalism wrapped in shiny new “progressive” paper. It has all the Evangelical components. Do this, don’t do that. Study this, read that. Try this, try that. Attend this, pray for that. Quote this Scripture over here, use this commentary over there. Listen to this podcast here, go to this conference there. It’s all so Evangelicky. 

Much of “deconstruction” isn’t about working out a God-driven “resurrection” from within that reveals and reclaims who we are, who God truly is, and seeing the world anew. Instead, it’s about a human-driven effort to “reconstruct” ourselves, “reconstruct” our faith, and “reconstruct” God. What is Jesus rolling away Evangelical stones from around our soul, “deconstruction” has turned into a human effort to tumble down walls through “better” exegesis and “better“ creeds.

It’s just conservative, Evangelical, performance-driven, behavior-management, belief-conforming religion with progressive make-up plastered on.

Truly, I mean no disrespect and desire no harm, but the term “deconstruction” reduces a holy, sacred, miraculous, and Spirit-driven process into a journey of human effort, steps, and measurements. 

In fact, I have never had so many people reach out to me in tears when they began to see their journey away from conservative Evangelicalism as a sacred-centered “resurrection” and not just a human-centered “deconstruction.” For them the pressure was removed, the divine was revealed, the process was given room to breathe, and real, lasting change could emerge.

The difference is night and day, and that’s why I’m walking away.

 

Third, many progressive “deconstruction” voices have turned a holy, sacred, and miraculous process into a monetized program of profiting sages pimping their books, talks, conferences, and ministry empires.

It’s all so triggering. It’s like going backwards instead of moving forward. Not just going backwards, but even worse, it feels like a falling from Grace. 

I’ve even heard the idea of starting a “deconstruction” worship service. 

What’s next, a “deconstruction” Bible?

I’m reminded of Joshua’s “stones of remembrance” described in the Old Testament. It is said that God instructed that they be placed to remind the people of Israel entering into the Promised Land to never go back to the slavery of Egypt. God knew that some would actually not be satisfied with the Promised Land and would either want to return or try to have one foot in both worlds. 

Sadly, I fear this is already happening. Much of “deconstruction” has taken on the empire-building, franchising, profiteering, legalism, churchiness, and religiosity of Egypt and brought them into the progressive Promised Land of “resurrection.”

The telling of “resurrection” stories has been polluted with ”deconstruction” to-do steps.

Listening to the mind of Christ within has been polluted with intellectualism, “new” biblical scholarship, “woke” exegesis, and the wisdom of wise “deconstruction” sages. 

The self-revelation of “resurrection” has been polluted with the self-improvement of “deconstruction.” 

Jesus’ statement, “You have heard it said, but I say unto you” has been polluted into a “deconstruction” call to somehow read the Bible in front of you better, instead of a call to read the mind of Christ within you better. 

One reveals the real you through “resurrection” and the other tries to change you, through you, through your “deconstruction.”

For me, the difference is night and day, and that’s why I’m walking away.

 

Fourth, it’s easy for Evangelicals to dismiss and condemn “deconstruction.”

Why? Because it’s filled with human effort. And human effort always and eventually breaks down.

It’s so easily criticized, and perhaps, rightly so. Why? Because it all boils down to their opinion versus ours. Their interpretation versus ours. Their understanding versus ours. Their beliefs versus ours. Their mind, versus ours. Their scholarship versus ours.. 

Yet, how much more difficult is it to discount, disarm, and disqualify a person’s “resurrection?”

How much more difficult is it to discount, disarm, and disqualify a community’s “resurrection?”

A resurrection that begins and ends through and with the power of God alone.

A resurrection that is ”worked out,” and not “worked on.”

A resurrection that flows like a river welling up from within, not franchised like a business.

A resurrection that is an experience, not an exegesis. 

It’s far more difficult, I would say.

Because the difference is night and day, and that’s why I’m walking away.

But not without leaving some suggestions for the “deconstruction” movement, if you would allow me…

1) Consider not calling it “deconstruction.” 

2) No more steps, only stories. Tell your story, and let that be enough. 

3) Refrain from enabling “deconstruction” consumerism, conformity, and gated community.  

4) Take the needle out of your veins of becoming or being a “deconstruction” sage and building a ministry empire.

5) Be a team player. Value all voices, not just your own.

 

Grace is brave. Be brave.


 

 

I Can’t Vote For Trump, The Bible Tells Me So

I just can’t do it.

My faith is grounded.

The reasons are stacked far too high.

You can pressure me, guilt me, shame me, and lure me with gold.

I can’t vote for Trump, the Bible tells me so.

Not just tells me, but screams it into my soul.

Starting with abortion. 

The Scripture writer declared, “From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.” Jeremiah 6:14-16 

In this passage from the Bible, God is upset. The religious people of the day are exploiting harmful problems for personal, political gain and not addressing their true solutions. They act like they care, but intentionally allow the issues to remain unresolved. They outwardly insist that they desire a way forward, but inwardly they have no real desire at all. 

Trump and many conservative Evangelicals treat “abortion” the same. They outwardly declare that they are “pro-life” and detest abortion. They feverishly rant against how many “babies” are being murdered. Many make abortion their defining issue as to the reason why they support Trump. They posture themselves as wanting to make it illegal, as if that was the cure. It all looks and sounds so spiritual to the casual observer. Yet, inwardly, they have little-to-no heart for a real solution. For if they did, they would be addressing, providing for, and adopting the proven remedies that positively impact abortion. But, they don’t. 

Instead, with deceit, they want to keep the abortion issue alive because it manipulates their voters. It’s a political false flag, the last card they have in their deck. Without it, they have no drum to beat and no provocative enemy upon which to summon their troops to fight. The need to create the illusion that they lead the way against abortion while making sure it remains unresolved, that they might remain in power. 

In fact, perfectly credible and widely known statistics show that abortion rates have gone down significantly with the kind of Democratic leadership that approaches abortion wholistically and addresses the real issues that can bring real change. Yet sadly, these same statistics reveal that under Republican leadership, abortion significantly increases–that’s the facts. Yet, with Trump at their side, conservatives ”do not even know how to blush” at the truth about abortion, how they expoit it, and how they resist actual remedies. Instead, they declare “Pro-life, pro-life” where there is no pro-life among them. All in hopes of drowning the biblical voice crying out in the wilderness, “Make straight the ways of the Lord to heal abortion and cure its causes.”  

Like most people, I detest abortion. I want to see it become a non-issue in our society. I want to see it remedied by real people who really care, who are willing to apply the difficult, but real solutions that work. I’m tired of people who are more interested in politics than life.

That’s why I can’t vote for Trump, the Bible tells me so.

Or, how about unrepentant sin.

Most everyone agrees that sin is bad. Even Trump supporters acknowledge that he is an overly sinful man. All of the Seven Deadly Sins listed in the Bible, Trump blatantly exudes–no question about that. In fact, for some Trump supporters, they love his rebellious spirit, even against God. Yet, right in the face of the Bible, Christians who support Trump wave their many flags of excuses such as, “Everyone sins,” “We’re not electing a pastor” or, “Look at David in the Bible, he sinned, but God used him.”

To be sure, those statements are true. However, in Scripture, there is a huge, defining difference. God never raised up anyone for leadership who didn’t first repent of their sins. Not one, period. Scripturally, repentance has always been a precursor for being lifted up by God.

Yet, without any pause in their biblical steps, for many Christians who support Trump, they believe God anointed Him for leadership and to do His will in America and beyond. However, given the fact that Trump has never repented of his sins, even when given the chance, this is a biblical impossibility. In fact, in many conservative Evangelical churches, Trump couldn’t even qualify to become their janitor without a repentance of sins, but somehow he can become their God-appointed President?

Still to this day, Trump refuses to repent. How do I know? The “fruits of repentance” that John the Baptist insisted upon in Scripture are nowhere to be found in Trump. 

“But when John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his place of baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit, then, in keeping with repentance.’” Mathew 3:7-8

Trump is undeniably the same lying, profane, greedy, mocking, bullying, divisive, jealous, arrogant, narcissistic, and hateful man he was at the beginning of his presidency. That’s not a judgement, it’s an inescapable observation. Despite the lipstick Evangelicals want to put on this pig, God is not interested in Trump’s appearances of meeting with Evangelicals, closing his eyes during prayers, randomly using Christian jargon, or waving a Bible around. Instead, He is interested in a humble, genuinely contrite heart. Sadly, a heart Trump neither has nor apparently desires.

As Jesus warned in Scripture, no unrepented, sin-ladened Trump-like tree can “produce good fruit.” 

I want divine goodness for America. I want integrity and decency in our leadership. I want humble, teachable, kind people at the helm who show strength through maturity and stability.

That’s why I can’t vote for Trump, the Bible tells me so.

But, what about the lies?

Yes, 20,000 documented lies or misleading statements since Trump was elected. Certainly, by now, he must be giving the Father of Lies a run for his money. With this blatant stronghold of deceit and lying manifested in Trump’s life and leadership, to willfully follow him, vote for him, or give him loyalty is to pledge yourself to evil, is it not? How can it be anything different?

“No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.” Psalm 101:7

“Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool—how much worse lying lips to a ruler!” Proverbs 17:7

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord” Proverbs 12:22

Most Christian Trump supporters insist that the LGBTQ community is biblically declared an “abomination” to the Lord and should never be supported, followed, or given influence in our society. Yet, these same Christians joyfully give a man, who the Bible declares as a lying “abomination,” their praise, worship, and anointing as a healthy, worthy, divine leader. How can this possibly be? For it’s certainly not biblical.

“Let me describe for you a worthless and a wicked man; first, he is a constant liar; he signals his true intentions to his friends with eyes and feet and fingers. He is always thinking up new schemes to swindle people. He stirs up trouble everywhere. But he will be destroyed suddenly, broken beyond hope of healing.” Proverbs 6:12-16

Most recently, Trump was caught lying to the American people about the severity of the  Covid-19 virus. Once again, declaring “Peace, peace” where there is no peace. In fact, long after he knew about the lethal severity of the virus he labeled it a “hoax.” Trump lied, 200,000 people have died. 

The Bible clearly teaches, nothing of God ever comes from lying. 

I want a truthful President. I want leadership that places honesty over personal gain. I want to be led by people who believe that “the truth shall set you free,” even if that truth is unpopular, difficult, or alarming. I want the Father of Lies not to be an object of political aspiration, but the subject of human and societal rejection. 

That’s why I can’t vote for Trump, the Bible tells me so.

Enter, the immigrant, refugee, and the foreigner.

No one wants illegal immigration or open borders as a national policy, regardless of how conservative Evangelical Trump supporters label the position of progressives. Once again, Trump supporters seem to relish in creating issues that aren’t real to deflect from addressing the ones that are.

If America is a Christian nation, what happens when immigration (illegal or not) happens? How, biblically, are we to treat the foreigners and immigrants among us, no matter how they arrive? What happens with refugees who come to our border? And, how are we to biblically treat those who seek asylum and new life within our country?

The Bible has crystal clear answers.

Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” Exodus 22:21

“When the alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as a citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt:  I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:33-34

“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner.” Leviticus 19:9-10

“As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name— for they will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.” (1 Kings 8:41-44)

“Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:5

For the Lord your God…loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing.  You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:18-19

“The Lord watches over the strangers…” Psalm 146

“The aliens shall be to you as citizens, and shall also be allotted an inheritance.” Ezekiel 47:21

“…I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:31 (Jesus speaking)

Notice, Jesus doesn’t say they, “caged me,” “abused me,” “neutered me,” “separated me from family,” “starved me,” “made immigration nearly impossible for me,” “mocked me,” “slandered me,” or “murdered me.”  

No, he said of His true followers, they “welcomed” me. 

Sadly, this is not the policy of president Trump, nor the Republicans, nor the desires of many of his Christian supporters, even the ones who claim their faithfulness to the Bible and its infallible inerrancy. What God admonishes, they resist.  

For if you take the Scriptures seriously, the immigrant, the refugee, and the foreigner should not just be “welcomed” with sacrificial hospitality, but “wanted” as God’s own favored blessing. They should be lifted high among all others. They should be loved, protected, and provide for with the same passion we love, protect, and provide for ourselves. They are not to be objects of resentment, oppression, rejection, exploitation, or inconvenience. Rather, they should be honored as angels sent from above. They are us, and we are them. For in Christ, “there is neither Jew nor Gentile.”

I want a country in sync with God’s heart for the immigrant, the foreigner, the alien, and refugee. I want a country in step with God’s biblical, unconditional “welcome,” “want,” and generous care for those outside of our borders who desire to come, live, and find new life within us.  

That’s why I can’t vote for Trump, the Bible tells me so. 

But perhaps, most of all, loving your neighbor as yourself.

“‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Matthew 12:31

“But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” Matthew 5:44

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

As a former white, conservative Evangelical pastor of 20 years, I know deeply how the system works. I’m not trying to slam the faith or the people within it, but the unbiblical evils must be chased out of the shadows, especially the hate of love among so many.

For most everything within white, conservative Evangelicalism isn’t focused on having a neighbor to love, but rather based upon having an enemy that must be hated. Fear of these enemies is the ultimate motivator, not love. They will create it, fabricate it, and inflame it. For they are nothing without fear and the hate it awakens…

If we love minorities as ourselves, they’ll take over the church and society, and we’ll lose our white church, white way of life, and white power. 

If we love black people as ourselves with true equality, true police accountability, true legal fairness, true economic justice, and true opportunity, we’ll have to admit our racism and white privilege, lose our white way of life, and surrender our white power.

If we love our wives as ourselves and remove the requirement that they must submit to us unquestionably, they’ll take over the family, usurp male power, and run the church and society into the ground.

If we love the LGBTQ community as ourselves, our patriarchal power will be dismantled, God will punish our life, and all of white, male-driven, conservative Christianity will be flushed down the drain.

If we love special needs people as ourselves, we’ll have to make an honored and equal place for them in society, overpowering our “normal” lives with inconvenience. 

If we love the least-of-these as ourselves with economic equality, free health care, free college, a living wage, social security, long-term care, and the removal of poverty, we won’t be able to fund our industrial military complex and foster our diabolical economic system of socialism for top and capitalism for the bottom.  

If we love the environment as ourselves with significant building and development restrictions, environmental controls, and clean energy standards and investments, we won’t be able to feed our insatiable appetites for economic and personal greed. 

“Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me.'” -Matthew 25:41-45

“He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich–both come to poverty.” -Proverbs 22:16

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” -Ezekiel 16:49

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” James 2:8-9

See, where God admonishes that our highest motivation should be the unconditional love and care for all of humanity equally, in contrast, there is truly no other fuel that drives the Evangelical Death Star than having enemies to fear, hate, marginalize, fight, and treat unequally.

This is why Trump has the addictive support and allegiance of most conservative Evangelicals. For the only thing they understand is fear, and Trump speaks their language like no other. He mocks special needs people, bullies his perceived enemies, embraces racism, fosters white supremacy, mistreats women, ignites division, worships greed, and loves himself above all things.

Biblically, this is the ultimate blaspheme of the Spirit.

To see love as the enemy.

To see fear as the friend.

To see enemies as the goal.

To fight at all cost, with lies, violence, duplicity, and sin.

To see a white, conservative, Republican, American Jesus as the way, truth, and life.

To see white, conservative Evangelicalism as the Kingdom.

I want a President with whom love is greater than fear. I want a country where to love all people equally is a friend and not an enemy. I want the character of a great person, a great society, a great economy, and a great nation to be defined by their love for all people equally, not fear nor hate. 

That’s why I can’t vote for Trump, the Bible tells me so. 

 

Grace is brave. Be brave.

Check out Chris Kratzer’s book getting rave reviews… Stupid Shit Heard In Church.

 

If White, Conservative Evangelicalism Gets Its Way

The evil is real, the danger is ever present.

This is not a test, this is not a drill, this is not a time for rose-covered fields of denial.

Honestly, I’m not sure we understand nor grasp the weight of what’s at stake.

If they play out their faith system, if they believe it all the way, if they fully act on the aspirations of their ideologies, do we really comprehend what the world would look like when conformed to their true desires?

I’m sounding the alarm.

I’m blaring the siren.

Hear this and hear it well, if white, conservative Evangelical Christianity gets its way, I fear that our future is more terrifying than we ever imagined.

Simply observe the many horrible, pivotal moments in history where white, conservative Evangelicals (as a whole) have actually won their desires. Closely examine their commonly held beliefs and the diabolical future those beliefs envision. 

Or, just consider this, the most prized accomplishment of conservative Evangelicalism in all of its history was the election of Donald Trump. Not just the election, but their continued support.

Yes, their most celebrated and esteemed accomplishment… Donald Trump.

How can this possibly be?

For history undeniably reveals that his character, priorities, and leadership clearly created a world where the wealthy became richer, the poor became more vulnerable, greed was expanded, bullying was further desensitized, corruption was protected, white privilege flourished, elitism was unleashed, minorities were further marginalized, racism was energized, sexism was normalized, the LGBTQ community was increasingly demonized, and right-wing Christian conservatism was increasingly prioritized. 

Light was exchanged for darkness. The everything of the Son of God was traded for the everything of the Father of Lies.

Sadly, this is not by chance, and certainly not by error.

White, conservative Christians violently and illegally attempting to overthrow the government and murdering innocent people… not by chance and not by error.

Blatantly lying about the integrity of the election of President Joe Biden… not by chance and not by error..

Inventing and inflaming conspiracy theories about Covid-19, vaccines, and preventative solutions… not by chance and not by error.

Turning a blind eye to police brutality against black people… not by chance and not by error.

Mocking disabled people… not by chance and not by error.

Discriminating against women… not by chance and not by error.

Refusing to adopt proven solutions to remedy abortion… not by chance and not by error.

Falsely and intentionally demonizing socialistic solutions that would benefit society while deceiving the public into supporting socialistic systems that benefit the wealthy… not by chance and not by error.

Hoping to erase our white, American, genocidal history of torturing, enslaving, abusing, incarcerating, exploiting, and murdering indigenous, black, brown, and Asian people for the sole purpose of creating and keeping a white, conservative Christian, patriarchally-ruled nation… not by chance and not by error.  

In fact, among many conservative Evangelicals, these realities are joyfully received as nothing less than welcomed outcomes. For conservative Evangelicalism has long resulted in the spiritual justification and activation of some of the most evil atrocities ever committed on planet earth.

That’s why, never before has there been a more urgent time for us to connect the dots.

Conservative Evangelicalism teaches its followers that faithfulness to God leads to financial prosperity, wealth, and a blessed life. Having pastors with six figure salaries, churches with multi-million dollar facilities, and followers with luxurious lifestyles are seen as a reward from God not a departure from the ways of Jesus. In the mind of conservative Evangelicalism, if you are struggling financially, devoid of financial abundance, or even physically unhealthy it is likely that some aspect of your faith life is askew. As “works” are an essential aspect to the establishment and keeping of their relationship with God, their primary solution to issues of poverty, struggle, and lack in people’s lives is simply to “work” harder. Ministry and Christian “success” are largely defined by the increase and accumulation of “more”—more money, more power, more influence, more privilege, and more blessings for them. In the world of conservative Evangelicalism, more is never less, more is always more—even at the expense of others. In the end, enough is never enough.

Conservative Evangelicalism sees people primarily as spiritual projects for the ultimate goal of conversion into and obedience towards their faith system. Even helping the poor and hurting are largely a means to a faith-serving end that builds their kingdom with more converts and satisfies the obligations of their faith. Poor, hurting people are ultimately helped only to the extent in which it somehow serves the Evangelical faith system and appeases their ego. In fact, within conservative Christianity, poverty and hardship are often deemed as a result of unfaithfulness and wrong belief. Everyone and everything is a means to an end. Even expressions of care and concern are ultimately distractions away from their ultimate pursuit—power and privilege.

Conservative Evangelicalism manifests a territorial greed that desires to conquer people, groups, communities, perceived enemies, and the planet at large, not for the purpose of serving humanity selflessly, but rather garnering its submission to their faith system. No evil is out of the question if it enables the furthering of their dominance over all of society. 

Conservative Evangelicalism largely portrays Jesus as a white man. Not just a white man, but a white man who is a Republican, gun-owning, violent, racist, bigoted nationalist who is wrapped in the American flag and ready to kick ass. 

Conservative Evangelicalism manifests a good-old-boy-club mentality for white male heterosexuals that gives them a hypocritical privilege, license, and authority over women, often leading to their sexualization, discrimination, control, and abuse. In fact, the only sins that truly matter in conservative Evangelicalism are the ones that are different from theirs and that enable them to condemn those who would threaten their white, male, heterosexual, Christian privilege and power.

Conservative Evangelicalism declares the Bible as being the infallible word of God and their interpretations exclusively faithful and accurate to the discerning of its meaning and truth. Their capacity to auto-tune the Scriptures to serve their agenda is their ultimate method of controlling people and spiritually justifying their evil. Blind obedience to their authority, the denial of science, a life of submission, and the turning off of one’s intellect and free thinking are all signs of faithfulness and spiritual maturity.

Conservative Evangelicalism portrays a god who is justified in killing his enemies, destroying entire groups of people, and sentencing disobedient non-believers to a hell of eternal torment. Conveniently, in their minds, God has and will call his faithful people (them) to, at times, do the same.  

So, make no mistake, what we see unfolding before our eyes is nothing less than the manifestation of the dystopian dreams of much of conservative Evangelicalism. No matter how much they might sprinkle it with spiritual glitter and dress it up with stage lighting and smoke machines, the finish line of their faith-understanding is a violent future that ushers in a kingdom where anything that does not prosper white, male, heterosexual, conservative Christian power and privilege is eradicated from the earth. Spiritually rationalized racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, nationalism, greed, violence, and hypocrisy are all merely pieces of a much bigger puzzle.

This is put on display, perhaps, in no more profound fashion than through the current television show produced by Hulu, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the novel by Margaret Atwood. This prophetic drama puts forth many images, occurrences, and realities that can be easily seen as reflecting the dystopian fruition of the fundamental beliefs and values of right-wing conservative Evangelicalism.  

Alarmingly, this powerful show does not require a suspension of current reality to understand its message, but instead, grants us a true gaze into the future of what would surely be if conservative Evangelicalism continues to get its way.

In fact, what should be most terrifying to us all, is this—if conservative Evangelicals were asked to publicly denounce the actions and faith confessions of the oppressors in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” I suspect many would find little of which they could accurately object to and honestly deny. 

In fact, nearly everything displayed in this prophetic drama is already currently taking place in one form or another, largely at the hands and influence of right-wing, conservative Evangelicalism. Brutal injustice, hypocrisy, murder, lies, spiritual abuse, nationalism, and the addiction to power and privilege, it’s already here. 

Read the Bible the way they read the Bible. Pray the prayers they pray. See the world the way they see it. Believe in God the way they believe in God. Spiritually justify what they spiritually justify. Then you will see, through a simple glance down the hall of its future, the kind of world conservative Evangelicalism envisions. For if conservative Evangelicalism gets its way, make no mistake, the “Handmaid’s Tale’ is what the world will look like. 

Keep your soul vigilant, ignore not the signs around us.

Hear the call of Jesus upon your heart, “Take up your resistance and follow me.”

.

Grace is brave. Be brave.

 

Check out Chris Kratzer’s book getting rave reviews… Leatherbound Terrorism.

In Leatherbound Terrorism, Chris chases the evils of conservative Evangelicalism out of the shadows and gives powerful voice to the cries of the religiously oppressed. Confronting issues like racism, sexism, homophobia, religious greed, hypocrisy, nationalism, white supremacy, privilege, and the weaponizing of the Bible, Leatherbound Terrorism pulls no punches. Endorsed by best selling authors Steve McVey and Baxter Kruger, Leatherbound Terrorism will challenge you, inspire you, and most certainly cause you to rethink your faith and life.

White, Conservative Evangelical, We See You

White, conservative Evangelical.

We see you.

We see your desires.

You want us to believe you’re all about Jesus, that your faith is authentic and rooted in Scripture.

You want us to be convinced that you follow the true ways of God, that your discernment is stamped with divine approval.

You want us to subscribe to your system of belief, the values you hold, and your vision for our lives and all of society.

You want us to trust that you are a reflection of Christ, one who bears His likeness, and manifests His heart and truth for the world.

Yet sadly, something is missing.

Twisted and distorted.

Of smoke and mirrors it seems.

It’s not what you want to hear, but it is our undeniable experience, what you say and what we see don’t resemble the same.

We’re looking hard, trying to add it up, hoping to find the integrity and goodness you insist is threaded through. Yet, the closer we get and the more we try to crack the code, the more cultish it all appears.

We mean no disrespect, but it’s hard to look at, it’s hard to watch.

The gravity is strong, like being pulled into a bizzaro world of opposites where up is down, inside is out, sickness is health, and evil is good. With every interaction and conversation, you aim the tractor beam of your creeds, hoping to pull us into a reality that isn’t a reality at all.

Many have surrendered to the weight, their strength could no longer withstand. The path of least resistance became their path of compliance. Shamed and manipulated in by the guilt-force winds of your crazed spiritual concoctions.

White supremacy, power, privilege, and prosperity, all in the luscious name of Jesus. For many, it’s the shiny, freshly Windexed apple that is far too alluring to resist.

It’s nothing less than a storm of spiritual insanity raining in a national brainwashing, hoping to transfix and hypnotize the masses into a diabolical, evil ideology.

So, like a child chained in isolation who repeats a shivering phrase over and over again to maintain their sanity in the lightless basement of their abductor, we too have a repeating chorus of emancipation. It’s our declaration of mental health and clarity. Three words to protect our souls, the person of Jesus, and our faith integrity from your soul-kidnapping…

“That’s not you.”

When we see Jesus sit, stand, suffer, and hang in solidarity with the people you call “sinners.” That’s not you. You’re nothing like Jesus. You condemn those who are different, you label with your own labels, and you stand only for yourself.

When we see Jesus feed the masses, heal the sick, and bind up the brokenhearted. That’s not you. You’re nothing like Jesus. You abhor altruism, economic and social justice, and unconditional compassion and care for the least-of-these.

When we see Jesus recalibrate and disarm the Bible with new understanding and fresh revelations that reveal its imperfection and frequent abuse. That’s not you. You’re nothing like Jesus. You read the Bible with weighted dice, always scheming your way to an interpretation that safeguards your white, conservative power and privilege, the default of all your aspirations and spiritual justifications.

When we see Jesus protect an adulterous woman from the condemnation of the religious. That’s not you. You sentence women to the prison of your patriarchy, throw them to the drooling wolves of your sexual perversions, and chain them to the ceilings of your toxic, male fragility.

When we see Jesus love unconditionally, affirm universally, and demand the embrace of an equality that knows no pre-qualifications. That’s not you. You’re nothing like Jesus. You create walls where God created tables. You separate what God has sewn together. You condemn what God affirms. You hate what God has made holy.

When we see Jesus ranting against the legalistic, self-righteous, rich, and privileged. That’s not you. You’re nothing like Jesus. You nurse upon the cold-nippled breasts of the rich and powerful. You plant fields of self-righteousness disguised as gardens. Your gospel is measured by the privilege it affords you and the subduing it assures of all others. No evil are you unwilling to embrace to commandeer the world into your narcissism.

We see you.

So, you can lie, plead, disguise, and wave your wands of trickery all around. You can steal, kill, and destroy every good foundation. You can shame, condemn, oppress, and imprison. Yet, we will not comply, conform, nor acquiesce to your spiritual mind-fuck and soul corruption.

No matter how hard you try with slight of hand and mass manipulation, we will not stop believing that everything we see in Jesus… that’s not you.

No matter how hard you try with mega-churches, fog machines, and lavish worship stages, we will not stop declaring that everything we see Jesus doing… that’s not you.

No matter how hard you try with bumper stickers, American flags, coffee table Bibles, conspiracy theories, prayer gatherings, Capitol insurrections, rants against abortion, and Facebook pics with brown and black kids from mission trips to third world countries, we will not stop insisting that in all the ways we see Jesus loving… that’s not you.

No matter how hard you try with threats of hell, distance from God, family rejection, and relational isolation, we will not stop declaring that all the things we know about Jesus… that’s not you.

Sad, but true, there can be no more denial.

We see you.

You’re nothing like Jesus.

Unconditional love, human equality, social and economic justice, universal inclusion, divine affirmation, true care and compassion, honesty, respect, integrity, and sacrificial living.

Everything we see in Jesus…

That’s not you.

That’s not you.

That’s not you.

­

Grace is brave. Be brave.

 

Check out Chris Kratzer’s book getting rave reviews… Leatherbound Terrorism.

In Leatherbound Terrorism, Chris chases the evils of conservative Evangelicalism out of the shadows and gives powerful voice to the cries of the religiously oppressed. Confronting issues like racism, sexism, homophobia, religious greed, hypocrisy, nationalism, white supremacy, privilege, and the weaponizing of the Bible, Leatherbound Terrorism pulls no punches. Endorsed by best selling authors Steve McVey and Baxter Kruger, Leatherbound Terrorism will challenge you, inspire you, and most certainly cause you to rethink your faith and life.

Abortion: The Ultimate Evangelical Cop-out

Trump is the middle finger of white, male-driven, conservative Evangelicalism. He’s the scab-picker of a long-festering, pungent hate among many white American Christians towards the things they feel are an increasing threat to their white, conservative Christian way of life and privilege in society. 

Yet, the difference is obvious, Trump is nothing like Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. A simple comparison of their character and ways reveal this truth.

However, none of that matters. So many Christians, in essence, don’t give a damn. For them, there is literally nothing Trump could say or do that would dislodge their obedience towards him. This has left analysts and Trump-disgusted Christians trying to crack-the-code as to how anyone who associates with Jesus could place their support and allegiance in such an anti-Jesus man and President.

The answer is simple. 

White, male-driven, conservative American Christianity has taken the person of Jesus who stands “for” so many beautiful things and twisted Him into a religion centered around the destruction of what they stand “against.” In truth, the Trump supporter isn’t concerned with what Trump is doing “for” Jesus, but rather intoxicated by what he is doing “against” their contrived enemies.

For example, let’s take the white, male-driven, Christian colonization of America, their unwavering support of Israel, their “mission” to convert non-believers, and the brutal eradication of Native Americans. No matter how much “Reaching the world for Christ” or “Manifest Destiny Lipstick” you put on that pig, when your bottom line purpose is to make the world more “like” you and “for” you, anyone and anything that doesn’t foster and surrender to that agenda becomes a bright blip on the radar screen of the enemies you stand “against.” That’s right, so many of the spiritually wrapped actions of white, male-driven, conservative Christianity have never been “for” Jesus, but rather “against” the things that threaten the presence and prosperity of their privileged Empire.

The same applies to Trump’s Muslim travel ban, the border wall, and the increased demand for so-called religious freedom. None of it is about protecting our country from terrorism, illegal immigration, crime, nor fostering true religious pluralism. Instead, it’s about giving leverage and privilege to white, male-driven, conservative American Christianity through the demonizing, marginalizing, and belittling of all other religions and peoples.

Think about the LGBTQ community. White, male-driven, conservative American Christianity wants us all to believe that their vehement disgust with this issue is because it’s a sin that offends God and undermines our culture. Excuse me, but that’s hilarious. 

What white, male-driven American Christianity cares about within the LGBTQ community is their relentless desire for shared rights. They can’t stand the idea that heterosexual patriarchy would have to share equal value, priority, influence, protections, space, and rights with any group besides themselves. If they cared about sin, they would be spending all their time policing the mountain high pile of debauchery rampant within their own camp and the numbers among them who, ironically, enjoy lesbian porn. Instead, they demonize and stand “against” the LGBTQ community, not because they are “for” dealing with sin (which LGBTQ it is not), but because they don’t want to share their heterosexual, patriarchal privilege.

Starting to connect the dots? 

This is the root impulse behind every form of their oppression of minorities and their social and political aspirations. White, male-driven, conservative American Christianity wants power, control, and prominence in all of society, and they will use whatever methods to achieve this goal. Slavery, mass incarceration, lynchings, police brutality, tear gas, denial of rights, economic inequality, sexism, voter suppression, rigged elections, dictatorships, lying, labeling, demonizing, false-flag operations, fraud, constitutional abuse, and the list is unending. They don’t give-a-rip about aligning their values and pursuits to be “for” Jesus, they only care about aligning their lives and spinning their faith “against” anything and everything that threatens their appetite and addiction to self preservation and prosperity.  

Enter abortion.

White, male-driven, conservative Evangelicalism would love for us all to believe that, despite some of them having a distaste for certain attributes of President Trump, they give their loyalty to him because they see him as anti-abortion and pro-life. In their reasoning, this issue supersedes all others. They argue that the protection and preservation of the most vulnerable of human life is paramount. 

Indeed, this justification by white Evangelicals may help them feel good about themselves as they believe that they are taking the higher road and aligning themselves with the Bible and God’s will. However, in truth, for many, their stance against abortion is the ultimate cop-out. Where all other excuses for their support of Trump have revealed their hypocrisy, their position against abortion is the last card in their deck, and it too, is the ultimate bluff. 

To be sure, many progressives greatly dislike the idea of abortion, but also dislike the subjugation of women’s rights, the denial of science, and the belittling of medical truth, especially at the feet of a brutal, hypocritical, conservative Evangelical patriarchy. In fact, I’ve never met nor heard of any progressive, pro-choice person who cherishes the idea and act of abortion. For them, this issue of abortion is both complex, heart-wrenching, and grey in nature. 

However, this is not the case for much of white, male-driven, conservative Evangelicalism. With their obvious preferences of school shootings over gun control, children in cages over welcoming the foreigner, police brutality over police accountability, mass incarceration over racial justice, a rich-favored economy over care for the least-of-these, the military industrial complex over universal healthcare and economic justice for all, and the worship of a god who joyfully sends those who don’t subscribe to their faith system to a hell of eternal torment, their priorities and values are crystal clear. There is almost nothing “pro-life” about white, male-driven, conservative Evangelical Christianity. And quite frankly, when it’s all said and done, they don’t give it shit. With tremendous fear of losing control, power, and privilege, instead of coming clean of their duplicity, they cling all-the-more tighter to their MAGA hats. Indeed, their vehement declarations of being pro-life and anti-abortion are the ultimate cop-out. 

In fact, it should be of no surprise to anyone that, for many, their white, male-driven, conservative Evangelical stance on abortion isn’t about being “for” Jesus, not even close. Instead, it’s about being “against” the full fruition of women’s equality, the sexual accountability of white men, and the cessation of their religious dominance to dictate the lives of all others. This is why they support Trump under the guise of being anti-abortion. Clearly, the only lives that matter to him are his own and that of white, male-driven, American, conservative Evangelicals. There is almost nothing “pro-life” about the presidency of Donald Trump, and many white, conservative Evangelicals are totally cool with that as long as he joins them and leads the way in dismantling the enemies of their pursuit of supremacy. 

Given the benefit of the doubt, some would suggest that white, conservative Evangelicals are at least “pro-birth.” Excuse me, but that’s also hilarious. They might be “for” white, conservative Evangelical birth. But, they certainly are “against” the birth of a lesbian, gay, bissexual, or transgender person. Sure, they declare that being LGBTQ is a choice after birth. However, that’s because it’s more palatable to condemn a “choice” than it is to condemn God’s designed “creation”–an LGBTQ person from birth. 

But, not just against an LGBTQ birth, but “against” every black, brown, or multi-racial birth. Sure, some will warm-up to minorities and act as if they support equality. Within white, male-driven, conservative American Christianity there is a certain level of diversity they are willing to accept as long as they can patronize it, exploit it, and it doesn’t threaten their dominance in society. However, when that diversity finds its wings and it starts to feel like it’s crossing the line by encroaching the sandbox of their privilege and power, all bets are off and the bully is released. 

For these are the demographics that ultimately pose the threat of thwarting and dismantling their white, male-driven, conservative Evangelical supremacy. In fact, seeing how prominent and acceptable racism has become for many white Evangelicals, I am surprised they don’t have underground black and brown abortion clinics. Oh wait, they do, they’re just called voter suppression, racial injustice, children in cages, mass incarceration, police brutality, economic inequality, and “all lives matter.” 

No, they would never come out and say it that way and would deny these assertions fervently, but systemically and subtly it’s all true. 

With their protests demanding their God-given freedom to NOT wear a mask in order to protect the lives and prevent the deaths of other people as they ironically wave signs declaring, “My body, my choice,” the reason why so much of white, male-driven, conservative Evangelical Christianity makes such a big deal about abortion isn’t because they are “for” life, “for“ birth, or “for” Jesus. Not a chance. Rather, it’s because they are “against” the emergence of true equality for women, the sexual accountability of white men, and the dismantling of their religious power to lord their values over all of society. 

Indeed, the conservative Evangelical stance against abortion is the ultimate Evangelical cop-out, especially in justifying their support of Trump.

Trust me, if white, conservative Evangelical men could get pregnant, abortion would not only be legal, it would be biblical, easily accessible, and free. Not just that, but probably offered next to the church coffee shop or bookstore in the lobby after Sunday services. 

 

Grace is brave. Be brave.

The Real Reason Many Christians Support Trump

The difference is obvious, Trump is nothing like Jesus. A simple comparison of their character and ways reveal this truth.

Yet, so many Christians, in essence, don’t give a damn. For them, there is literally nothing he could say or do that would dislodge their obedience towards Trump. This has left analysts and Trump-disgusted Christians trying to crack the code as to how anyone who associates with Jesus could place their support and allegiance in such an anti-Jesus man and President.

The answer is simple. 

White, male-driven, conservative American Christianity has taken the person of Jesus who stands “for” so many beautiful things and twisted Him into a religion centered around the destruction of what they stand “against.” In truth, the Trump supporter isn’t concerned with what Trump is doing “for” Jesus, but rather intoxicated by what he is doing “against” their contrived enemies.

For example, for most white conservative Christians, converting people to Christ isn’t really about getting people into heaven, no matter how much they try to wrap their efforts with spiritual ribbons and bows. Instead, it serves as a weapon towards the dismantling of those religions they are “against.” Ultimately, their overarching concern isn’t about taking more people with them into the next world. Rather, their deepest care is centered around making this world more “like” themselves and more “for” themselves. Therefore, all the religions and beliefs that don’t fit their mold and foster their privilege are pinned upon the map of their enemies. In their mind, we can’t have a world where other religions and faiths are of equal value, worth, truth, rights, and influence. So, conversion thwarts this feared reality in hopes of ridding it completely from the planet via assimilation or persecution. For if white Christians were altruistically concerned about the eternity of their unbelieving neighbors, they’d be hitting the streets every moment of every day with a serving and sacrificial kind of love that couldn’t be resisted. But, they aren’t.

This is true of the white, male-driven, Christian colonization of America, their unwavering support of Israel, and the brutal eradication of Native Americans. No matter how much Manifest Destiny Lipstick you put on that pig, when your bottom line purpose is to make the world more “like” you and “for” you, anyone and anything that doesn’t foster and surrender to that agenda becomes a bright blip on the radar screen of the enemies you stand “against.”

This is also true of Trump’s Muslim travel ban, the border wall, and the increased demand for so-called religious freedom. None of it is about protecting our country from terrorism, illegal immigration, crime, nor fostering true religious pluralism. Instead, it’s about giving leverage and privilege to white, male-driven, conservative American Christianity through the demonizing, marginalizing, and belittling of all other religions and peoples.

This is why many so-called Christians are unwavering with their loyalty towards Trump, he falls in line and beats the drums of their rage towards all the things they hate. It has nothing to do with what Trump is doing “for” Jesus, it’s about what he is doing “against” their perceived enemies.

Think about the LGBTQ community. White, male-driven, conservative American Christianity wants us all to believe that their vehement disgust with this issue is because it’s a sin that offends God and undermines our culture. Excuse me, but that’s hilarious. 

What white, male-driven American Christianity cares about within the LGBTQ community is their relentless desire for shared rights. They can’t stand the idea that heterosexual patriarchy would have to share equal value, priority, influence, protections, space, and rights with any group besides themselves. If they cared about sin, they would be spending all their time policing the mountain high pile of debauchery rampant within their own camp and the numbers among them who, ironically, enjoy lesbian porn. Instead, they demonize and stand “against” the LGBTQ community, not because they are “for” dealing with sin (which LGBTQ it is not), but because they don’t want to share their heterosexual, patriarchal privilege.

The same is true of their oppression of other minorities. Within white, male-driven, conservative American Christianity there is a certain level of diversity they are willing to accept as long as they can patronize it, exploit it, and it doesn’t threaten their dominance in society. However, when that diversity finds its wings and starts to feel like it is crossing the line by encroaching the sandbox of their privilege and power, all bets are off and the bully is released. 

This is the root impulse behind every form of their oppression of minorities. White, male-driven, conservative American Christianity wants power, control, and prominence in all of society, and they will use whatever methods to achieve this goal. Slavery, mass incarceration, lynchings, police brutality, tear gas, denial of rights, economic inequality, sexism, voter suppression, rigged elections, dictatorships, lying, labeling, denying science, weaponizing the Bible, demonizing, false-flag operations, fraud, constitutional abuse, and the list is unending. They don’t give-a-rip about aligning their values and pursuits with Jesus, they only care about aligning their lives and spinning their faith “against” anything and everything that threatens their appetite and addiction to self preservation and prosperity.  

Once again for the people in the back, this is why white, male-driven, conservative American Christians are unwavering with their loyalty towards Trump. He echoes and magnifies their rage towards the things they fear and hate. It’s not about what he is doing “for” Jesus, it’s about what he is doing “against” the people and things they fear will undermine their privileged way of life. In their minds, this country is for them, given by God to them, and should always serve and reflect them above all things. Some will “tolerate” a certain amount of controlled “sharing” as long as they’re still king of the mountain. It helps them sleep at night and convince themselves that they aren’t racist, sexist, or white privileged. However, to the privileged, the emergence of true equality always feels like war, a war they must fight. That’s how you know where racism truly lives; look for the subtle “actions” against, and the subtle “inactions” towards true equality.  

See, when people criticize white, conservative American Christians for not being “for” Jesus or for supporting a President who isn’t “for” Jesus, it all rolls off their back because ultimately it isn’t about being “for” Jesus anyways. It’s about fighting a war “against” what threatens their privilege. That’s why they will perform all sorts of spiritual gymnastics, rationalize their duplicities, and do anything to divert attention away from the stark contrast between Trump, Republicans, conservative Evangelicalism and the person and ways of Jesus. For them, standing against and thwarting their enemies trumps following Jesus every time. All pun intended.

Therefore, it’s largely useless to argue with Trump supporters about Jesus. To them, He’s irrelevant and can be rationalized away. Instead, what is relevant is their hate, fear, oppressiveness, and self-centeredness. Focusing on these issues is key. 

For these are the huge under-the-surface sins that have given rise to what we see on the surface of the iceberg of white, male-driven, conservative American Christianity today. Find me anything and everything that they stand “against” and it can be clearly connected, not to their love of humanity, freedom, or America, but to their hateful, fearful, oppressive, and self-centered desire to protect and prosper their white, male-driven, conservative Christian privilege and dominance in all of American society–period, full stop.

The real reason why many Christians support Trump isn’t about his being “for” Jesus, but about his being “against” the equality and diversity that threatens white, male-driven, conservative American Christian supremacy. 

 

Grace is brave. Be brave. 

No, Progressive Christian, You’re Not Insane

Since the birth of Jesus upon the earth, those who choose His ways have been deemed by society as the freaks–the misguided–the losers–the libtards–the snowflakes. At points along the way, Jesus Himself was labeled as insane. Apparently, when you shake your fist at the forces of imperialism, greed, religiosity, and self-righteousness while bringing forth a cosmic movement of extravagant inclusion, equality, generosity, and grace, you’re going to get some dirt kicked in your face. Perhaps, even nailed upon a politically conspired cross constructed under sheets stained of religion. 

Yup, you’re going get the shit beaten out of you–emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually. In fact, there’s a sure sense that if you aren’t being spun around like a breakdancer on crack for your resistance towards the conservative Evangelical Death Star, are you really even alive?

No doubt, it’s enough to cause even the bravest amongst us to shrink back and curl up in the fetal position of our discouragement. It seems like the forces of evil are taking the hill. The gaslighting is working. The Tweet storms hold their traction. What is up is down, and what is clear is clouded. The people of Light, the people of Love, the people of divine affirmation, the people of true equality, the people of humanity, the people of science, the people of generosity, the people of justice, the people of compassion, the people of Grace–we are the insane ones. 

Indeed, the patients are running the hospital. 

In moments like these it’s easy to wonder, “maybe I have lost my mind.” Maybe this life of solidarity with the least-of-these and fighting the forces of political and religious evil just isn’t worth it. The gravity of giving up weighs heavy, and conformity and surrender seem to be the only way out. Life could be so much easier if the blinds were closed, my eyes were turned away, and my heart was numbed. What difference does it make anyway?     

Yet, off in the distance a relentless voice is heard rising from the ashes, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” Make straight a path for justice to roll down like a mighty stream. Bind up the broken hearted. Declare the divine affirmation of all. Push aside all bigotry and hate. Pave every street with human equality. Line the sidewalks with social justice. Build statues of the least-of-these. Light every corner, crossing, and alley with the mind of Christ, that all truth and goodness might be revealed and seen.   

This is the voice upon your life.  

Take heart. 

No, you’re not insane.    

For if you gaze upon the horizon of much of American Christianity and it all makes you want to vomit, you’re not insane. 

If you have a growing suspicion that much of right-wing conservative Christianity is a diabolical, evil scheme that has little to do with Jesus and everything to do with power and privilege, you’re not insane. 

If you tire of a false gospel that puts conditions on love, fosters hypocrisy, inflames self-righteousness, and personifies God as an unpredictable monster, you’re not insane. 

If you’ve discerned that much of Christianity has raped and twisted God into a frequently-temperamental divine drunk storming out of a bar, you’re not insane. 

If you question a faith that features a hell of eternal torment designed for the divine torture of people who don’t return God’s love in all the conservative Evangelically prescribed ways, you’re not insane.

If something checks in your spirit about turning off your brain, subscribing to a 6,000 year old earth, requiring your wife’s submission, and joining a group of people who appear to excel at talking amongst themselves and judging the world, all while calling it faithfulness to Jesus, you’re not insane. 

If you’re super close to blowing yet another brain gasket the next time someone quotes Scripture at you in hopes of turning you into their spiritual project, you’re not insane. 

If your head is spinning and your heart is confounded at the sure reality that scores of conservative Christians boastfully claim loyalty to the ways of Jesus, yet still vehemently support an anti-Christ president, you’re not insane. 

If you’re fed up with feeling spiritually obligated to prequalify people for love, condemn the LGBTQ community, discriminate against minorities, embrace sexism, weaponize the Bible, and turn Jesus into the hood ornament of your world bulldozer as you seek the dominance and supremacy of your faith in all of society, you’re not insane.

If you see much of the same evils that plague conservative Christianity to also be rampant within progressive Christian circles, you’re not insane. 

If you feel like ditching the whole “Christian” label all together, you’re not insane. 

If you feel like the true spiritual path of your life is to simply find your own way with the Spirit’s guidance alone, you’re not insane.

If you tire of the racism that is fostered primarily by white male Christians, you’re not insane. 

If you want to vomit every time a white person says they are “color blind” but then wants to rub your face in “black on black” crime, you’re not insane. 

If you want to punch white Christians in the throat who want to declare “all lives matter” yet send their gay children to the curb, keep immigrants in cages, criminalize and dehumanize black people, celebrate the stripping of benefits for Transgender people, and hope to erase the LGBTQ community from the planet, you’re not insane. 

If it strikes you as ironic that some white people who want to help black people gain true equality, don’t see other white voices who are trying to help too as equal and equally valued, you’re not insane.

If it pisses you off that some Christians care more about their convenience than wearing a mask for the protection of others, you’re not insane.

If your neck veins pop out in rage because it’s becoming all too clear, even for Christians who declare loyalty to Jesus, that money is more important than people, you’re not insane.

If you want to denounce your pride and affection for “America” because of the unjust, bigoted, racist, and white supremacy-ladened sewer we have become, you’re not insane.

If you want to scream, “F*ck it all” at the top of your lungs as you pound the chest of your despair, you’re not insane.

No, you’re not insane. 

You’re not a heathen. You’re not a heretic, nor a snowflake.

No, you are Jesus.

 

Grace is brave. Be brave.

 

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