Christians, This Is Why People Think We Suck

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Maybe you’re tired of hearing it, maybe you don’t care, or maybe you just don’t want to see it, but the truth is, whether we like it or not, most of the world doesn’t view Christians nor Christianity in a positive light—especially the conservative brand of our faith. For all our efforts to “win people for Christ” with even the best of intentions, at the end of the day, many see Christians as hypocritical pretentious jerks, “church” as a ridiculous waste of time, and our faith as a hopeless, ignorant, hateful, and useless relic of the past that refuses to evolve.

Sure, we could spiritualize it all away with leather-bound excuses as we declare that “in these the end of days, people will turn away.” Yet sadly, blinded to our own rebellion, it is in fact we, not them, who have increasingly rejected the true and pure Gospel—falling away from God who is Love, Jesus who is Grace, and His message that is peace. Once again, the irony is deafening as the religious who point fingers at the world in disgust and blame are the ones found to be most entrenched in its evils—lacking real compassion, humility, love, and true faith.

Believe what you want to believe, draw the lines where you want to draw, retreat to your camps, wrap yourself in the faith flag that seems to best suit your spiritual comforts—the world doesn’t care. We have largely lost our voice, surrendered much of our influence, and bear the image of spiritual buffoons in the eyes of many who look upon us. Fair or unfair, that’s the mirror of truth—whether we are willing to stand in front of it or not.

Sure, a few megachurches and contemporary ministries are increasing in numbers as sheep shift from pasture to pasture seeking out the best show. Yet still, American Christianity in all its expressions is largely dying and we, like drunks, are apparently so addicted to our religiosity that we would just as soon die with it in a pool of our own spiritual vomit than embrace the sobering cure.

But no, you won’t hear it, you won’t listen to it, you won’t take seriously the countless voices of those who’ve been left to drown in our wake. Deflecting truth, with your head buried in the echo chamber of your own understanding, has become to you a prized spiritual gift. For it is our deafness to the Christ crying out all around us that has drained the marrow out of our souls, rendered us nearly useless, and made us a sure enemy of God’s heart.

A voice cries out in the wilderness, “Christians, when will we lift our heads out of the sand and finally realize just who we have become?”

To those who have ears, let them hear.

We’ve become nose-blind to our own stench. The pungent, nose hair singeing aroma that exudes from our pores is the very reality we refuse to admit—our spiritual attitudes stink. Maybe we don’t put it into exact words, but we say it exactly in every other way. “We have the exclusive truth, and everyone else is the exclusive problem.” “We are right, and everyone else is wrong.” “We have all the answers and a Bible that clearly tells us so, who are you to question or differ in opinion?”

“You need to come and join us—think like us, believe like us, look like us, live like us, for we have the cure to you who are the cancer.” “God is working towards our success because of our faith-living while working towards your failure because of your rebellious sinning.” “We will always be just a bit better than you until that day you become one of us—in the meanwhile, we’ll be praying for you.”

With vomit dripping off their lips as countless fight the urge to gag, the world joins together in upchucking an honest chorus of reply, “thanks, but no thanks.” “We’d rather spend an eternity with our noses shackled to the excretion holes of a thousand skunks than to spend one moment becoming anything like you.”

Reeking with religious pretentiousness, to the spiritual nostrils of good people everywhere, we have become an all new fragrance for an all new world, “Stank” by Evangelical No. 5.

To those who have ears, let them hear.

We’ve spiritualized and justified hate. Countless mindful, thinking, good people observe the behavioral liturgies of our faith and truly wonder, how can anyone encounter Jesus personally and read the love-driven talks He gave, and yet somehow translate that into a faith ladened with racism, sexism, discrimination, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, nationalism, imperialism, judgement, and condemnation? This is incomprehensible to the world, and rightly so.

If there is any hate that should be adopted by our faith it should be directed at evil, which is defined by its root word in biblical Greek as being “the pursuit of making a name for oneself.” Interestingly enough, the essence of evil in God’s mind is not sin nor disbelief, but rather using Jesus for the pursuit of power for one’s own benefit.

It is the condemnation of others in order to secure our own sense of righteousness. It is the assertion of one’s rights to the minimizing, reducing, or removal of another’s. It is the privileged gripping onto their own privilege to the detriment of true equality. It is the building of walls where God desires tables. It is the exclusion of any of the “all” that Jesus always and forever includes. It is arrogantly insisting that one is “pro-life” while being equally determined to twist the scriptures in every possible way that brings condemnation’s death to those with whom we disagree or deem to be sinning.

To the level that the world despises us and the “Christian” label we wear, it is because we have given them every good and biblical reason to do so. For we have become evil’s highest manifestation—spiritualized hate.

To those who have ears, let them hear.

We’ve reduced Love into an accessory. As much as we might claim to be a people of love, the world knows us best by the love we fear. With us, every good thing has a condition, expiration date, and imposed limits. Don’t love people too much. Don’t give people too much grace. Don’t have too much fun. Don’t enjoy life too much. Don’t be around those people, go to that movie, listen to that song, or buy a cake from that baker—danger, danger, danger. Shackled by a fear-driven faith, we’ve turned love into a defensive, fragile posture.

In fact, nothing brings us more anxiety than God’s own declaration that He is Love—without conditions, restrictions, or expiration. Everything within our religious being fights and claws at this table-turning revelation and conclusion.

Why? Because, for God to be wholly and purely Love would render so much of what we are, do, and believe as ridiculously absurd, contrived, selfish, useless, and anti Christ. The house of religious cards that has become much of our Christian faith falls tumbling to the ground the moment God is embraced as solely Love as He himself declares. The litany of additional attributes we project onto God that conveniently justify our loveless behavior, all become impotent—anger, judgement, wrath, punishment, revenge, and condemnation alike. That’s why we are so insistent on confusing Love, and making it an accessory.

The fact that people can experience God and live Him with one single Word—LOVE—sends our entire faith construct into a tailspin plummeting to earth in a ball of flaming fire.

All evil begins where Love has been made an accessory.

To those who have ears, let them hear.

We’ve turned a book into a bulldozer. The Bible is only black and white to people seeking the control of another and the spiritual justification of self. For nothing levels people we don’t like and creates mountains upon which to judge others like the perfected craft of Christians turning the Bible into a bulldozer. What God meant to be a human springboard to a life-long encounter with Jesus, Christians have turned into a people prod, hoping to corral the world into their religious misery.

The “clear teachings” of the Bible aren’t clear to anyone, and everyone knows it, except we who arrogantly claim to know it best. The heights of authority we insist on attributing to the Bible are often sadly equal to the depth of our desires to exert authority over others. “This is what the Bible says” is ultimately our clever way of declaring, “This is what we believe the Bible says, and you need to believe it too, or else.”

Yet, for all our proof-texting and bulldozing with Bibles, the world isn’t fooled, every verse loses its ability to condemn, judge, and breed self-righteousness the moment it is rightly placed under the feet of Jesus who is Grace, the only perfect Word of God.

The truth is, we don’t have to interpret the scriptures towards inerrancy, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, bigotry, a life of sin-management, God-appeasement, or a tormenting hell for people who miss the mark in loving God in return—we choose to. The flames of our hate, condemnation, and pride were in our hearts already, we just use the Bible to fuel them and give it all a spiritual glow.

People don’t dismiss the Bible because of Jesus, they dismiss the Bible because of us.

To those who have ears, let them hear.

We’ve become all talk, and our talk sucks. We sing the songs, say the prayers, attend the services, read our Bibles, make our promises, pledge our allegiance, and hope the world doesn’t look under the hood. The truth is, we’re faking-it-to-make-it along with everyone else who signs up for religion. If American Christianity was calibrated to the heart of Jesus, we wouldn’t have to do so much pretending.

We’d be singing far less songs to the Jesus on the worship screen and crying more tears with the Jesus on the streets. We’d be praying far less to God for His will, favor, and blessings, and doing much more for the hurting, marginalized, and oppressed. We’d be worshiping far less in elaborate buildings and serving more passionately without them. We’d be spending far less time idolizing the Bible and loading it for debate, and more time listening to people’s stories and seeking to truly understand them. We’d be spending far less time making promises to God we can’t keep and more time loving people in ways they would never be able to forget.

If only, we would simply take the advice of the Christ calling out from amidst the world, “stop talking, stop pretending, stop playing church, and learn to shut up and listen.”

See, people aren’t stupid, God has put His light into all humanity—they can do the spiritual math.

Love plus conditions equals no love at all. Gospel plus Law equals no gospel at all. A God who is Love but also hates, condemns, and forever imprisons is no god at all. Striving to please, appease, and satisfy an angry god is no life at all. Sin-managing, pretending, and looking the part equals no hope it all. Equality for some equals inequality for all. Inclusions for the privileged alone equals no inclusion at all. Being human without being humane is not being human nor divine at all. Hating the sin but loving the sinner equals hating it all. Thirty thousand different Christian denominations that believe entirely different things about the same Bible equals the sure and glaring reality that no Christian group or individual can accurately claim to truly know, understand, and rightly interpret it all.

As good as we are at building buildings, mission statements, ministry branding, smoke machines, video venues, robed choirs, ministry conferences, and clean carpets, the truth is, we suck at loving, we suck at being human, we suck at listening, we suck at serving, we suck at sacrificing, we suck at including, we suck at humility, we suck at unselfishness—basically all the things Jesus would have us to be and do.

The world sees it, yet we refuse. Perhaps because, to our surprise and ensuing rage, they have the Spirit and we have lost it.

Hear this and hear it clearly, God is awakening a people to His true self (who is Love) and His true Gospel (which is Grace), but sadly, most Christians and much of Christianity will have no part of it and therefore no part in it. My sense is, God is not only completely o.k. with that, He might just be behind it.

Where is the Grace in all of this?

It’s in the courage of trembling voices such as this, that speak, tell, and confront the religious hell on earth we have created and surely have become, believing there is still hope for us all—never giving up.

To those who have ears, let them hear.

Christians, this is why people think we suck.

Grace is brave. Be brave.


  1. Holly

    I love how you brilliantly string words together to create a life changing, heart expanding opportunity for us all. Thank you.

    • ckratzer

      Thank you Holly, so appreciate your readership and encouraging words! Stay brave!

  2. Dr Ken Bradstock

    Holy cow, Cris! I have never heard of seen this articulated so perfectly. I was raised in conservative Christianity and was “Saved” at five years of age. I finally threw it off two years ago at the age of 68. I have been a Bible teacher, pastor and clinical chaplain with a doctorate in pastoral counseling. You have accurately pegged the very sentiments I have for throwing Christianity out of my life.

    • Gale Green

      Chris, I winced at a few of your statements because I know they are true. I loved the paragraph “We’d be singing far less songs. . .”. I’ve quit going to church (over a year ago now) and spend Sunday mornings, or days, helping others who need some help. I love Jesus and really want to know more of the beauty of his love. Thank you for Opening things so plainly.

      • ckratzer

        Gale, thank you so much, appreciate you taking the time to read and comment! Enjoy your Sundays!

    • ckratzer

      Ken, thanks for the encouraging words! It’s such an enormous journey as we detoxify from much of the Christianity in which we were raised and found a sense of calling. The beauty is how much stronger Jesus becomes in our lives when we trim the vine of Christianity that strangles us.

    • Jana Thornton

      Amen. This is spot on in every sense.

    • Rob

      Are you “throwing Christianity out” or are you seeking to come more closely conformed to the image of Christ? Where, with whom, do you gather to be encouraged to good works? There are communities of worship that feed the hungry, cloth the naked and care for widows and orphans without seeking anything in return. Let us gather and proclaim the good news of God’s love and grace. He is risen. Indeed!

    • Jim

      As they say” Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water@

      • Dr Ken Bradstock

        Jim, Christianity as a religious system is so toxic that I threw out baby, bathwater, soap, wash rag, and the tub. I had been a born-again Christian since I was five years old, went on the mission field with my wife – on faith and sought God’s perfect will for my life (blah, blah, blah). I am completely done- finished. I continue to hold the teachings of Jesus in great esteem but have taken my vows as a student of Buddhism. It is a monumental relief! I wish I’d done it years and years ago.

    • Peter Chan

      Raised in CONSERVATIVE Christianity (as a RELIGION) . . . I wouldn’t be surprised at all, because I happen to be one of us. That is the root and cause of people writing off – and/or even quitting themselves – Christianity, which I think is wise move.

      The Biblical Jesus, as I understand from the Book of Gospels, was such an outspoken critic against those conservative religious leaders that he made some of his most bitter enemies out of them.

      His liberal teachings almost abound in the Gospels.

      The moment a guy gets religious, the moment he sucks;
      the moment he gets conservative the moment he stinks.

  3. Maxie Dunnam

    The neighborhoods in Memphis that are being served and transformed by the Gospel don’t think Chtistians suck. The refugees who are a huge part of 16 house churches in our city don’t think Christians suck. Hundreds of children who are being taught effective by teachers who have been trained in an explicitly Christian urban education masters program don’t think Christians suck. Persons in Africa who are drinking clean water out of 16 wells pprovided in the last three years by a caring congregation in Memphis don’t think Christians suck

  4. Jim Grunseth

    “Hating the sin but loving the sinner equals hating it all.” – This sentence among many others is in clear, biblical error.


    1. Who goes to Hell?
    2. What is the Good News (Gospel)
    3. How do you square what you write with Proverbs 3:3 which says truth and mercy must never be found separate? “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:” KING JAMES VERSION
    4. Why did Jesus die? Who for?
    5. What is repentance?
    6. We care more about tolerance and inclusion here on earth than we do a person’s eternal destiny. This is wrong. Praying for and gently helping someone leave their life of sin, degradation and wickedness is not self-righteous evil. It is a high form of love. We are not judging them. We are helping them avoid the wrath, and judgement of God.

    “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

    God bless you!!

    • Kirsten

      Jim, why is it any of your business who is and isn’t saved from the “wrath of god”? Your eternal soul is not on the line, so it’s clearly self-righteousness for you to think you must save people who don’t need to be saved.

      As an atheist, the author’s viewpoint is accurate and accounts for why people like myself think the majority of Christians are terrible people. It isn’t your duty to make other people live within the guidelines of your own beliefs. You do that out of self-righteous indignation.

      Who are you to “save” anyone? What makes you think you’re such a bastion of faith that you have the right and obligation to worry about the eternal soul of another person? “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” I can promise you that you are not without sin.

      What you have said confirms exactly what the author wrong. You hold yourself above everyone else because of your beliefs and you don’t love anyone by trying to force those upon others who disagree with you. I certainly don’t want to live my life by someone else’s rules. I am an adult, and I have a mind to think for myself. I make my own choices, and your ideals don’t play a part in that at all.

      I don’t want to be saved. I want to live my life in peace and co-exist with my legitimate Christian friends who don’t try to save my soul because they have more respect for my beliefs than that. You don’t have any respect for anyone’s choices in life if you continue to try to dominate others with your faith.

      To the author, I completely agree with your sentiments. The things you have stated do drive people like me away from the message. If only more people could think the way that you do.

      • ckratzer

        Thanks Kristen for your insightful thoughts!

      • James Grunseth

        Hi Kirsten, since my Lord Jesus (God, the Son and The Lamb oh God) came to seek and save the list, that is my calling and passion too. I do not wish that anyone would perish. Neither does God.

        Please consider the truths in this:

        Take care,

        • ckratzer

          James, as you may have noticed, I have blocked several of your comments and deleted the external links you have attempted to post. Where I understand and respect your perspectives as I used to be a conservative evangelical pastor and once shared the same views as you do, I do not typically allow people to post external links nor engage my blog with a desire to simply assert and prove your views in hopes of converting my audience who you deem to be lost. I would ask that you please refrain from further doing so and utilize your own platform to further your own agenda.

        • ckratzer

          Mr. Grunseth, as you may have noticed, I have blocked several of your comments and deleted the external links you have attempted to post. Where I understand and respect your perspectives as I used to be a conservative evangelical pastor and once shared the same views as you do, I do not typically allow people to post external links nor engage my blog with a desire to simply assert and prove your views in hopes of converting my audience who you deem to be lost. I would ask that you please refrain from further doing so and utilize your own platform to further your own agenda.

      • Missionary in Asia

        Amen! Jim, well said. How often men say (repetitiously) “God is love, God is love, God is love….” and forget that the definition of love is… DOES NOT REJOICE IN EVIL (re: according to Scripture, nearly all things we do are ‘evil’ from lying all the way to hating someone in our hearts)….. (1 Corinthians 13:6) or the fact that it is moreso stressed that God is “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY” lest we forget.

        To the OP…. Dead wrong… On all counts… And totally misses the point where Jesus specifically stated “the world WILL HATE YOU because of me.” We’re not in a popularity contest to see who can get more likes on our Facebook status updates… We are here for the same purpose that the Holy Spirit was placed upon our hearts… The same purpose that the Spirit was sent: (John 16:8-11)

        When he has come, he will convict the world about sin, and about righteousness, and about judgment; about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the b Father, and you won’t see me any more; about judgment, because the prince of this world has been judged.

        • MarthaB

          Look, if you don’t care that people hate your religious claptrap, then STOP forcing it down the throats of others in poor countries. What you’re doing is not “love,” it is nothing more than proselytizing and patronizing. It’s even dangerous and the OPPOSITE of love when it involves teaching the leaders of these countries that homosexuality is a heinous crime deserving of the harshest punishments.

          If you want people to come to Jesus and let him in their hearts, then STOP telling them they’ll burn in hell. STOP telling them how to craft their civil laws — ESPECIALLY if you’re telling them to write CIVIL laws that incorporate YOUR religious beliefs. STOP saying you “hate the sin but love the sinner,” because that’s a LIE, full stop. You do not “love” people if you are forcing YOUR beliefs down their throats by making who they ARE (gay) a crime. You do not “love” a woman who needs an abortion by FORCING her to give birth, even to a baby so badly deformed that he lives only a few hours and in excruciating pain. That’s not love, it’s evil.

  5. John Draper

    Chris, I’m not a Christian. I was for 35 years. I used to believe into the “meek and gentle” Jesus you advocate. Problem is, I don’t think he was particularly meek and gentle. Also, I don’t think Jesus’ main message was grace. I think his main message was repent and obey. He thought — incorrectly– that he was ushering in God’s kingdom centered in Jerusalem. He thought God was going to kick out the Romans–immediately. I don’t think Jesus ever thought of the concept of “Salvation by grace through faith.” I think Paul invented that. Jesus was about obeying the Torah. He was a conservative Jew, not a Christian. A great book to read is Zealot by Reza Aslan. How’s that for a last name for a Muslim religious scholar! 🙂

    • James Grunseth

      Hi John,
      I’m so sorry that you have had a rough experience with church and faith and such. Our hearts go out to you. I wrote this article. May it hopefully pose and answer a few questions. If you care to interact more, just let me know. Take care,

      • ckratzer

        James, as you may have noticed, I have blocked several of your comments and deleted the external links you have attempted to post. Where I understand and respect your perspectives as I used to be a conservative evangelical pastor and once shared the same views as you do, I do not typically allow people to post external links nor engage my blog with a desire to simply assert and prove your views in hopes of converting my audience who you deem to be lost. I would ask that you please refrain from further doing so and utilize your own platform to further your own agenda.

        • James Grunseth

          So what would you tell Stephen in Acts after he basically told the Jewish leaders the Gospel story of Jesus? Would you follow Him or stone him?

    • Gina

      John, I loved Chris’ message and totally agree that probably none of us (I never say 100% in regards to anything, hence the “probably”!) truly understand what Jesus taught. As most of Chris’ messages, I often see myself in some of them and learn something, which is why I subscribe to his blog.

      As a long-time daily Bible reader (since 1985), I disagree with some of your statements. Although I do feel that part of Jesus’ message was “repent and obey,” I don’t believe He meant this in a harsh, judgmental way as in punishment. Sadly, many of us Christians were taught this growing up, and it only taught many of us to fear Him instead. I feel this fear brings on our judgment of others by comparing ourselves to others, etc.–and naturally, WE always want to be the “right” or the “good” one! As is common in human nature, one way we feel “right” about ourselves is by making others look wrong or bad.

      Also, Jesus never said anything about coming to kick out the Romans; in fact, He actually corrected those who thought (or hoped) that this is what He was coming to do. It was actually the Jews who thought this was what the Messiah would be coming for, but Jesus never attributed anything like this to Himself.

      I also have to disagree about Jesus, “being about obeying the Torah.” Almost everything He said spoke against the conservative Jews and their Laws. He said they misunderstood and twisted God’s laws (for their own advantage). I learned something interesting awhile back….A major Bible College (although I forget which one offhand, but it’s easy enough to Google if you’re interested) did a study several years ago to try and discern whether Jesus would have been a Democrat or Republican based on what He taught. When I initially saw just the summary statement for the website, my childhood “judgmental God thinking” immediately said “Republican’ in my head. However, I was quite shocked to read that they learned Jesus would most likely have been a Democrat–based on all of HIS WORDS AND TEACHINGS. As I was reading all of Jesus’ statements they cited to support this (and continue to read them everyday), I knew they were true and “woke up” and realized that I had been seeing God/Jesus all wrong! He is NOT the judgmental, punishing God I was brought up to believe. I think that’s why Chris’ current message hit home for me (as many in the past have). It forced me to admit that I don’t really know God or everything about Him–and NONE of us do. Otherwise, as Chris said so plainly, there wouldn’t be so many different Christian sects as there are in the world. And LOVE–is just that–there is no hate or judgment or anger involved–love is just love; and as the Bible says: GOD IS LOVE. We need to take His word for this and believe it. We are all sinners. But the way NOT to deal with it is to try and make ourselves look like we are not as bad as “other” sinners, which is exactly what we do when we judge, hate or label others. God made us all, whether we have different beliefs, lifestyles, etc., and it is HIS place to to decide what that means, whether here on earth or in the hereafter.

      However, I did find your statement, “I don’t think Jesus ever thought of the concept of “Salvation by grace through faith.” interesting. Offhand, I can’t think of any passage where Jesus does say this (although I wish someone would correct me if I’m wrong). It does seem to me that most of this teaching does come from the Gospel writers. Of course, this does not mean that Jesus did not teach this to His disciples to pass on to us.

      Perhaps one thing we all should remember is that only a fraction of Jesus’ disciples’ writings are included in the Bible. This alone should tell us that we cannot know God just by reading the Bible. Then there are also some contradictions by some of the Gospel writers which can be confusing. Perhaps this was done by design? Maybe that’s where faith comes in? After all, sometimes the devil IS in the details! Maybe we just need to simplify it by remembering the simple definition of love. I, for one, believe that God loves EVERY creature He made, and hopefully thanks to Chris’ message, it’ll be another everyday reminder for me to always leave it up to Him to decide if ANYONE is right or wrong, good or bad; and I’ll just do my best and follow His message–to simply feel love. It’s not always easy, but Jesus said we have enough each day to worry about, so I’ll try to work harder on myself first! Thanks for that reminder Chris!

  6. John

    This is absolutely the best blog I have ever read on this subject. You don’t miss a beat on recognizing the hypocrisy of right wing self described Christians. I have this bookmarked because it is most articulate described and concise material on how to respond to the hatred that comes from right wing hypocrites.
    Thank you

    • ckratzer

      Thank you so much John, appreciate the encouraging words!

  7. Michael Wong

    Hello, Chris. I like your writing style, although I have a bit of OCD and although I know this is a nitpick, I couldn’t help but point out that the sentence “Wreaking with religious pretentiousness, to the spiritual nostrils of good people everywhere …” should begin with “Reeking”, not “Wreaking”, which sounds alike but is actually a completely different word.

    PS. Just FYI, I’m an atheist. I married a Christian, and I dutifully attended Sunday services with her for more than ten years without a problem, until the members of her congregation discovered that I’m an atheist. Then they started ostracizing us and telling her that she was only welcome if I didn’t come with her, so she left the church and hasn’t looked back.

    • ckratzer

      Got it, thanks for the correction. Seems like no matter how many times I read through an article, there is always something I miss. 🙂

  8. Tom (aka Volkmar)

    I am past any need to defend the indefensible in Christianity–especially so of the American Evangelical Circus.

    However, I will cooperate with any and all who are engaged in the mission of Jesus to work for the realization of the peaceable Kingdom he envisioned, where the “blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news proclaimed to them.” I don’t give a fig what people call themselves who are engaged in that way of life–Hindu, Moslem, atheist, agnostic, Republican or Democrat or Berners, Sikh, Roman Catholic, etc. — I don’t care so long as their life and words are really Good News.

    • ckratzer

      Well said, Tom!

    • James Grunseth

      Hi brother,
      I do not think Conservative Evangelical Followers of Jesus are a “circus”. How tolerant and merciful is that?

      How do you feel if my feelings are hurt by this?

      • MarthaB

        Because the Conservative Evangelical Followers of Jesus (whoever they are) are enormous supporters of laws that marginalize other human beings based on their religion, sexual orientation (not choice, not “lifestyle,” but WHO THEY ARE), race, sex, national origin, or disability — AND make a huge spectacle of it all — well, then, that’s a “circus.” The “prosperity gospel”? A circus. The missions to African nations designed to persuade those nations’ leaders to make homosexuality a crime? A circus. The entire obscene perversion of Christ’s message is a circus.

        • Tom (aka Volkmar)

          I could not have said it better, MarthB. I could, however, lengthen the diatribe list…

      • Tom (aka Volkmar)

        James, I make no claims to “tolerance” in each and every thing and instance. “Toleration” means that I’ll put up with it even though it may be noxious to me. In that sense I’m tolerant.

        How do I feel that what I said are hurt your feelings? My first reaction is, “That’s funny.” My second reaction is that if my using the relatively innocuous phrase “Evangelical Circus” causes you emotional hurt–then perhaps you need to ask yourself why that is.

        On second or third thought–I don’t really care about your feelings. Feelings come and go. Maybe you should consider thinking about what I said instead of pulling your own selected flap of skin back to expose raw nerve endings…

      • Peter Chan

        Sorry James but to my understanding, the term “Conservative Evangelical Follower of Jesus” is a complete oxymoron.

        If you are conservative then you are not following Jesus at all. You are only following a set of dogmatic rules. You point your fingers at people to prove yourself. You are practising the WORST variant of idolatry known as Bibliolatry – that is so familiar to the Pharisees of Jesus’ time.

        If you follow Jesus you attract people towards Him rather than shoo them away with dreaded conservatism – an obscene distortion/perversion of Christ’s message as MarthaB had pointed out here.

  9. Corinne

    Thank you for the courage you had to write those words. The bottom line I get from your message is that indeed some christians really suck at christianing. I agree. And some don’t. Some are pretty great. Not many. But I know some that preach the 2 commandments with no words (leery of saying the “Gospel” cause there is some pretty Unchristian stuff in there too). And there are some non-christians who christian away like pros. Labels are too small for human hearts. Keep up the good work!

    • ckratzer

      Corinne, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Sure do appreciate your thoughts, well said.

  10. Bob

    I am a 66 year old ex-Catholic. In my youth I spent 3 years in the Catholic Seminary (St. Basil’s in Stamford, CT). I no longer attend any church. There are two categories of things that led me to make this decision:
    1. So many inconsistencies in the faith itself.
    2. Everything in your very well thought out and written article.

    Congratulations. I sincerely hope that it helps.

    • ckratzer

      Bob, thank you, I sure hope it helps as well!

  11. David Deyo

    I don’t know if you’re familiar with the writing of Phyllis a Tickle, especially her book The Great Emergence, in which she lays out a thesis that since its inception 2,000 years ago Christianity has undergone times of transformation and redefinition roughly every 500 years with the last time producing the Protestant Reformation. The time has arrived again for believers of good heart and who have a yearning for renewal to step up and give a loving critique of what ails the faith today in order to drive the next transformation. Christianity itself is in dire need of its own salvation and resurrection. We must speak out as you have done so strongly to point out what in our practices divides people from connection with the light of the Divine. We must discard what discredits our faith and put love above law (as Jesus taught), embrace compassion before condemnation and finger wagging (as Jesus taught), and the unrestrained and unconditional impulse to lift up the “least among us” rather than relish peering down the slopes of our noses at those we are willing to cast off as heathen (as Jesus taught), abandon the idol worship of scripture, and the false teaching of the “prosperity gospel” which deities wealth ahead of service to others. We must cast off the phony war on science, which makes faith the enemy of reason, which are both gifts of God, and which leads many Christians to spout nonsense that is empirically foolish and makes us look like backward imbiciles.

    Let those who have ears hear indeed.

    • ckratzer

      David, thanks for reading and commenting! Beautifully said! Wise words my friend.

    • Tom (aka Volkmar)

      Before wife and I moved out of state we were part of a Christian community that referred to Phyllis Tickle as our “fairy godmother.”

      Here book, *The Great Emergence*, put wheels on our puzzlement about “why are things changing so rapidly and why are we in this basket and where are we going?”
      If someone would tell me how I’d love to post a picture in this comment of several of us and Phyllis.

      • Tom (aka Volkmar)

        Well, let’s try an image…


        Chris, you will not hurt my feelings at all if you don’t want images in comments and you delete it.


        • Tom (aka Volkmar)

          Ok, question answered. Your settings do not allow for images.

          • ckratzer

            yup, sorry, can you imagine if I allowed people to post pics here, yikes.

  12. Corinne

    James, I am hearing your words. You are very passionate about your beliefs, and I think that is to be commanded. That passage talks about the wrath of our generous God. I understand you want to point out things in the world that appear disordered to you. That is your absolute right. I would love a reading suggestion from you on the topic of God’s Joy. Maybe through the Two Great Commandments, or maybe through another passage? What makes your Christian heart rejoice? How could we reach out to the people one might consider sinners through that joyful heart? I appreciate you acknowledging our own sinful nature and building a bridge of humility that way. How can I relate in my own sinfulness to other sinners and lend Jesus’s hand towards them? I truly appreciate your time and thoughts as you seem very knowledgeable in scriptural matters.

    • James Grunseth

      You are right, brother. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Nehemiah 8:10

      I believe we must be people of mercy. As Mother Teresa once advised her incoming young sisters to “Be kind, be kind be kind.”

      I believe in leading with mercy. Thank Heavens Jesus does with me and I certainly do not deserve it. I do also believe hopefully with some sense of brokenness that Truth is never to be sacrificed on the alter of mercy.

      Proverbs 3:3-4says, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
      4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”

      God bless you, brother. Let’s love others the way He loves us and that also means to kindly share the truth of Scriptures with people too. Not to judge but to help.

      • Corinne

        God Bless you James on your journey. I hope you find Peace and Joy through corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and that your desire not to judge but to help through your kind and generous sharing of the scriptures bears the fruit you hope for. Silent Preachers always make the most noise in people’s hearts and souls.

  13. MarthaB

    Chris, every word of this is why I no longer associate myself with Christianity anymore, especially American Christianity. It is a perversion of Christ’s teachings on every. single. level, every bit as ISIS is a perversion of Mohammed’s teachings on every single level. And yet, here are the American Christians saying, “hey, we’re not all bad, don’t paint us with the same brush as those nutjobs,” all the while cheering on the current administration’s Muslim bans and refusals to take on refugees — and demanding that “good” Muslims speak out against the relative handful of “Muslim” terrorists. An obscene perversion.

  14. Jeff Hurwitz

    Great article! I have been a Christian for 27 years now, mostly in the “Word of Faith ” mess and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. You talk about being messed up doctrinally , that was me and I didn’t even know it. Two years ago I began to pray earnestly for God to show me truth and He began to open my eyes and let me see myself. You talk about a shock, it was like somebody turned the light switch on. Kind of reminded of the movie “The Matrix”. I realized that I was basically a Pharisee that based my salvation on works such as church attendance etc… I had been licensed and ordained and had been a full time Pastor in both denominations and pretty much just left it all. For the first time in my life I feel completely free to just love Jesus and people without any condemnation towards myself or others and its a great way to live.

  15. PHILIP

    Loved this. Been saying this, albeit not as eloquently, since my college days in the 80’s. Is it any wonder liberal humanism is winning market share? Christianity needs to take heed the wise words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  16. Tom (aka Volkmar)


    IMO, in the present milieu, there are two nouns that not even the blood of Jesus can redeem;

    1. Evangelical

    2. Republican

    But that’s just my opinion… ;o)

  17. Shawn

    You have hit on many of the reasons I walked away from the church. I got tired of being told I couldn’t love my gay friends, my friends of other faiths, or the people who didn’t agree with a particular brand of Christianity. It was tiring to live in constant fear of damnation, which was all Christians seemed to offer in way of comfort.

    I will say, I do know many good people in the faith, but I feel that they would be good people regardless of their faith. Sometimes I worry Christianity in America makes some people worse…

  18. Jim Wilkerson

    This essay lucidly explains why my search took several years, when I lived in one particular state firmly in the Bible belt, for (as I told my eventual priest) “a church that’s Christian.”

  19. Jon skaggs

    It is not a competition!

  20. James Grunseth

    How do you justify your beliefs and statements with ‘That which is written’. Romans chapter 1 and 1Corinthians chapter 6. ?

  21. Joseph Hopkins

    Matthew 7:1- Judge not, that you be not judged.

    What you’re doing in this article is calling out other Christians for not acting the way you think they should and you lash out at church goers over a few bad apples. The faithful, serving, church goers who are there every time the doors are open are some of the most loving, tolerant, accepting individuals who are truly doing Christ’s work.

    • ckratzer

      Joseph, thanks for your readership and comments. a) I am not calling out people in regards to the way I think they should act but in comparison to the model and teachings of Jesus. b) a good church attendance record is not a fruit of the spirit c) if there were only a few bad apples, the devastation left behind by a large part of conservative Christianity would be nearly a nonissue. This is clearly not the case, at least not for the countless who bear the wounds.

      • Joseph Hopkins

        I don’t doubt you have experienced what you describe in this article among conservative Christians, but your experience is anecdotal. For every self righteous, holier than thou hypocrite I’ve encountered in a church I’ve known 10 loving, caring, tolerant, true believers who welcome people with open arms of every race, sexual orientation, or belief into their congregation……but that doesn’t mean they won’t tell it like it is when it comes to God’s word and that rubs people the wrong way….it CONVICTS them, and it’s easy to turn away and use the bad apples as a smokescreen.

        You’re correct, church attendance is not a fruit of the spirit, however someone who is truly a believer will want to be around others who share their faith. They will have a desire to be “fed” and learn more about God’s Word and grow that faith. So church attendance is not a requirement, but your desire to be there is a good indication of where you stand in your heart with Jesus.

        • ckratzer

          Joseph, with all due respect, you would do well to read what I say instead of your own words. I never said anything about my own experience in the article or in the comment sections, I refer to the experiences of countless others. I suspect you didn’t even read the article to begin with, either that, or you merely exemplify the words I wrote about having ones head buried in the sand. Being around other believers doesn’t require going to church, nor is it a requirement to spiritual growth. In fact, church attendance can do more to thwart true spiritual growth than inspire it. Perhaps you would do well to take the advice in the article and spend some time learning to listen instead simply echoing talking points.

          • Joseph Hopkins

            I read the entire article. It’s a bit of truth with a lot of hyperbole. I apologize if my responses have sounded aggressive but it seems the article is painting with a broad brush and lumping all conservative church going Christians in the same group. “We have done this” and “we have done that”……The majority of churches are trying to be lighthouses for their communities and this attitude gives them a black eye IMO. Look no further than the atheist and former Christians in this article making statements like “that’s why I have nothing to do with church”. You know why they don’t want anything to do with church? They read articles like this and think that churches are filled with nothing but judgmental hypocrites that are going to tell them they are going to hell. That are going to look down on them and berate them when in reality they will be loved and encouraged.

            Hebrews 10:23-25- Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

            The New Testament in many different places encourages the gathering of believers. You said this- “In fact, church attendance can do more to thwart true spiritual growth than inspire it.”

            That is possible, but we need true believers infiltrating our churches and being faithful instead of running away and pointing the finger.

          • ckratzer

            Joseph, I would encourage you to consider looking beyond your limited, evangelical horizon. I used to believe and think much like you as a conservative, evangelical pastor of 20+ years. Just because one is critical of the current state of much of the church does not make them no longer Christians, no longer “true” Christians (as you say), or render them to be atheists. Very few people in my comment sections self identify as atheists. I truly think that you are severely misguided to concluded that it is articles such as this that are the catalyst to people’s negative view of churches. You’ve got the tail wagging the dog. Step outside your white, conservative, male, christian privilege and listen to the countless people of which I give voice. My sense is that you are doing the best to deflect the truth of this article, rationalize your faith beliefs, and justify your unwillingness to consider serious ills and errors. For many years as a conservative Christian, I didn’t know enough to know just how much I didn’t know. Unfortunately, words like mine will hardly make sense nor penetrate your heart until you are personally confronted in ways that force you to reevaluate all that you hold to be spiritually true. Blessings on this journey.

    • Corinne

      Joseph, I understand your response. And I am assuming it is not so much in regards to your own life or feelings but in regards to people you hold dear and esteem highly. I have such people in my life who are true Christians. They would never claim they are; they would say they are sinners and just love Jesus. The only generalization that holds true is that there is no generalization to be made. There are some great people inside our churches. However, the louder the obnoxious people, the more we notice them and forget about the silent preachers who do God’s work. I don’t think this article’s intent is to crucify the good ones. Chris calls himself a Christian I believe. We’re all on the same human team. Peace be with you.

      • Joseph Hopkins

        There have been these “obnoxious” people in churches from the very beginning. People who look to serve their own agendas….read through Paul’s letters and you’ll see all the false teaching and self serving motives he was dealing with in the early church. It’s nothing new.

        There is definitely a “split” going on right now in the church, but it’s not between conservative evangelicals and liberal progressive Christianity….it’s in our hearts between the people who truly trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior and the people who don’t.

        Matthew 7:21 says that everybody who calls my name will not enter the kingdom….there will be some on both sides that are left out.

        • Corinne

          Joseph, I could not agree more. He Will sort us out, as we do not save ourselves. He Does. Furthermore, I agree that political or religious labels are non depictive of the human heart. Peace be with you.

  22. Joseph Hopkins

    After reading through your articles I have to say it’s shocking and disappointing how you quote scripture when it suits your veiws and supports your agenda but then contradict and go against it when it doesn’t….

    Jesus said that we must die to self, take up our cross, and follow him. That means repenting of our sin and turning away from it in faith towards God. Giving up the pleasures and lusts of this world and letting Jesus come in and renew our lives.

    I do think churches today pick on certain sins like homosexuality and that is wrong. Gods grace is sufficient no matter what you’ve done or lifestyle you’ve chosen, but sin is still sin and without repentance and change there is no salvation. That is the message the New Testamanet teaches in its entirety and you are distorting that message and doing exactly what Jesus and Paul warned against….teaching false doctrine.

    • ckratzer

      Joseph, once again, with all due respect, you are hilarious. For being in such opposition to this article, you sure are spending a lot of time on it. So much that you have sought to trash talk me on another discussion thread referencing this article. Perhaps, repentance doesn’t apply to you, because if it does, you should apologize for lying and slandering. According to my site stats, you haven’t read through all my articles, you have only looked at a few at best. Yet, you declare to those on the other thread that in “every’ article I confront white, evangelicals and have an “agenda.” Additionally, you say here that you have read through my articles. Really, all 200+? Above all else, it’s obvious you are not reading, commenting, or engaging me for the purpose of learning or respectful conversation. You are always welcome at the table, but if you are going to continue in this same attitude and intent, I kindly ask that you move on to other sites as threads that give harbor to that kind of religiosity.

      • Joseph Hopkins

        I’m glad you found that other thread. The original poster is an atheist and they love using these kinds of articles to throw up against faith in Jesus.

        I’ll move along and I apologize if I sounded harsh with my words. I’ll pray for you and your ministry. Hope that doesn’t offend you. I’m not looking down my nostrils at you. We all need to come to the foot of the cross and repent. I would hope you would remember me also. Happy Easter.

        • Shawn

          So I’m going to ask you to pause for a moment and consider something.

          I didn’t lose my faith because of articles like this, I lost it because of people. Articles like this kept me going in the faith far longer than I might otherwise have. It’s people who have been in my life, not random articles on the internet, that make me look at religion in general with a wary eye. Personal details aside, I’ve known many narcissists who are church leaders, and many people who have been directly harmed by Christians in the name of their faith. I also frequently am told “not to judge” those other Christians for their deplorable actions.

          I sometimes will cite articles like this to people I know are struggling but still want to hold onto their faith because it gives them encouragement to stick with it. Believe it or not, I don’t want people to lose their religion, but I want their religion to cease being harmful to others and a shield to hide people who are doing wrong.

          Chris, so far as I can read, isn’t passing judgement on people, he’s explaining outsider perspective on behavior. That’s not judgment on people, but on practices, many of which could be easily remedied without losing a beat on scriptural focus.

          • MarthaB

            Yes. This. Thisity thisity this.

          • ckratzer

            Thank you Shawn, well said.

      • Joseph Hopkins

        Also I never said that I read ALL of your articles. I read all of some, skimmed through some others….

        In the thread you referenced from another site I also said in my first post in the thread that I agreed with a lot of what you wrote here.

        • ckratzer

          Joseph, here are your exact words… “After reading through your articles I have to say” and “In every one of his articles he lashes out at white conservative evangelicals.” I am always amazed how critical people like you aren’t first people of honesty and truthfulness.

    • MarthaB

      Your final paragraph is exactly why I don’t associate with “Christians” any more. Homosexuality is not a sin. It is not a lifestyle. It is not a choice. It. Is. Who. One. IS. IS. As soon as you label gays as sinners, you have lost me. If you do anything, anything whatsoever, ever, to support the marginalization of gays — such as the effort to take away basic civil rights that straight people have — you ARE one of those “Christians.” If you ever, ever say “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” you are exactly what this blog is about. You DON’T “love” anyone you seek to deprive of basic human rights. You are precisely why I don’t belong to any Christian organization any longer.

  23. Jeanne T.

    Well, the author and many commenters here have only confirmed the truth of the Scriptures which tell us that in the last days many will fall away from the faith, and whoever follows Christ will be hated by the whole world (that part is nothing new) — the WHOLE world. Following Christ is hard. It is hard to take up the cross of Christ and deny yourself than it is to follow religions that really make no demands on their followers. It is hard to swallow the truth that if one follows Christ one will be hated and rejected. And those doing the hating and rejecting are now actually feeling justified in their hatred. But ultimately they will no longer be able to just hate and despise followers of Christ, which will be manifested in many forms. They will no longer be able to control themselves. They will ultimately be compelled to kill them, and they will feel justified in doing so. The persecution will not end at denial of employment, denial of, for example, tenure in the universities (already happening), denial of promotions, rejecting parents, etc. And we are already seeing this in restricted nations. Anyone who denies this is going to happen is a fool and deceived.

    • MarthaB

      No. No. No. and H**l no.

      In the United States, Christians are most favored and incredibly privileged. The entire government, all three branches, are heavily Christian, and they are succeeding in ensuring that only straight, cisgendered, white Christians have any rights. No one, NO ONE, in a university is being denied tenure because they are Christian. Perhaps they are being denied tenure because they are proselytizing, which is NOT the duty of a professor unless they’re in a Christian University. And you’re worried about employment? Seriously? When “Christian” politicians and right-wing nutjobs are demanding the “religious freedom” to discriminate against gays — and are GETTING that right from Congress and the President?

      I am so, so, SO sick of American Christians whining about how they’re so persecuted. Disagreement with your theology IS. NOT. PERSECUTION. Fighting for the rights of fellow human beings regardless of whom they love IS. NOT. PERSECUTION. Period. End.

      • Jeanne T.

        But I never said that disagreement with my theology is “persecution”. You’ve completely missed the point of my comments.

        • MarthaB

          Well, you’ve said that we who are critical of American Christianity will have “no choice” but to kill you. You’ve said Christians are “already” being denied tenure in universities because of their faith. That we will have “no choice” but to deny you employment. I have no idea what you mean by “rejecting parents.”

          I don’t hate Christians. I hate what they’ve made the USA — a near-theocracy, with every intention to make it a full theocracy, and with the power to make it so — and a nation where Jews, gays, transsexuals, immigrants, and people of color will be legally denied basic human and civil rights, all in the name of “religious freedom.” THAT is indeed “already” happening, even more so since the November election. I will never “feel compelled” to kill you. That you would even say such a thing is absolutely ridiculous.

          So what, then, is the point of your comments?

          • Jeanne T.

            “Well, you’ve said that we who are critical of American Christianity will have “no choice” but to kill you.

            I made no mention of America or “American Christianity” in my post. Neither did I say that those who oppose Christians will have “no choice” but to do so (but it is a logical step in the sequence of persecution, as we see in much of the world). Furthermore, I know many in academia who are opposed for their Christian views, and I also know those who choose not to express their views in those circles.

            Martyrdom and persecution of Christ followers is the pattern of history. It is only in the West that Christians think they will avoid any kind of trouble for following Yeshua. This is why such false doctrines as the “prosperity gospel” have flourished. But Yeshua said the world would hate those that follow Him, because they hated Him first. This is why he said that anyone who choose to follow Him must first count the cost of doing so.

            Christians in restricted nations are already being persecuted and killed (I’m sure you are aware of that). I make no assumption that it couldn’t happen in the West, and in fact, it already is.

          • MarthaB

            I think your critical thinking skills are less than wonderful.

            Chris’s post is about what American Christianity is doing. Your reply is that such criticism will ultimately result in critics’ killing Christians. A logical inference is that you are speaking of American Christians and its critics.

            And then, when you add that to the statement that American Christians are “already” being persecuted, well, then, yes, you ARE talking about American Christianity

            When was the last time you were prohibited from celebrating Christmas or Easter? When was the last time you had to attend worship service in secret? When was the last time a Christian was fired SOLELY for being a Christian, as opposed to for proselytizing in the workplace?

            You are not only factually incorrect, you also don’t even understand that when you reply to a post about American Christianity, your reply IS about American Christianity, especially since you only once briefly mention “restricted countries” and maintain, repeatedly, that Christians are “already” being persecuted in the West. They are not. That’s fact.

            I have learned from people like you that critical thinking, doubt, and questioning are sins that doom me to an eternity of hellfire. That’s not how the Jesus I know works.

          • Jeanne T.

            The United States will never be a theocracy.

            But one day a Jew will rule the world from Jerusalem. That is the “theocracy” that is promised to come. And I look forward to that.

            “Israel reveals the hearts of men, and Jerusalem will sift the nations.”

          • Jeanne T.

            “Chris’s post is about what American Christianity is doing.”

            Yes, it is.

            Thanks for expressing your opinion, Martha. 🙂

    • James Grunseth

      Yes! Yes! Yes! Your words are not only true and biblical ( Matthew 5:19-12 ) “0 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
      11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
      12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”,

      They bring encouragement to my heart to know that other true lovers and followers of Jesus AND HIS HOLY, inspired, and eternal Word are reading these blogs and responding. Thank you!

  24. Jeanne T.

    Chris, I’m quite surprised that you did not mention the replacement theology that is now being embraced by “evangelicals” (whatever that means, because it is fashionable to throw out the term “evangelical” today whenever criticizing the church), one of three false doctrines that have crept into the church since the early days. This is as much, if not more, disturbing than the many other faults of the church you listed. The first major heresy to infect the church was replacement theology; then “escape” theology (i.e., the pre-tribulation rapture theory); and today we also have the “prosperity” theology (and yes, they are all theologies). But replacement theology is infecting the church on a wide scale, even among large, well-known congregations and pastors.

    The issue of Israel exposes the heart in a way that perhaps no other issue does. “Israel reveals the hearts of men, and Jerusalem will sift the nations.” (Philip Haney) Or, to put it another way, “Israel reveals the holiness of God only, ad the unrighteousness of all mankind.” (Bryan Purtle)

    It would be mosty instructive to hear your views on Israel.

  25. Jeanne T.

    “People don’t dismiss the Bible because of Jesus, they dismiss the Bible because of us.”

    While that is true in many cases, especially in the West, Jesus also said that His followers would be hated by the whole world because world hated him. I think he included Western Christians as well. But why are Christians in the Middle East being killed, for example, in spite of showing love to their enemies? They know the consequences of following Christ. They have counted the cost of doing so. They were told beforehand. And, Jesus told us everything we need to know about what is coming “in advance” (Matthew 24)

    I believe the greatest problem in the Western church is that it is asleep; ALL of the ten virgins were “asleep”. NONE of them was paying attention, watching for the coming of the Bridegroom. Our focus should be awakening the church to what’s coming.

    • James Grunseth

      Yes. Replacement Theology is heresy and false teaching.

    • Berean Betty

      “ALL of the ten virgins were “asleep”. NONE of them was paying attention, watching for the coming of the Bridegroom.”

      Not entirely accurate. All went to sleep, but the wise virgins made sure to have oil for their lamps before going asleep. They prepared for the anticipated return of the groom. This is why they were wise virgins and not foolish like those who had no oil. One of the lessons I take from this parable is how we must be mindful of Jesus’ return and be ready to expound on why we believe and have faith in Jesus; to be the messenger, if you will, of His Good News. It isn’t easy to repent of one’s personal sins, and harder still for people to have their sins named and exposed as sin. We live in a time when the worst sin of all is pointing out any sin! But, if we don’t hold each other accountable, evil grows and lawlessness prevails. No one is perfect. Christians at least try to follow Jesus’ example, as the rest of the word follows after evil and the Father of Lies. The worst excuse for one’s personal sin(s) is to blame them on the imperfect love of Christians, who are simply sharing the Truth of Christ in love, hoping each will accept the gift and escape an eternity in Hell.

  26. Mike Torrisi

    Atheist here. Friend of mine shared one of your posts on Facebook and I’ve been reading for the last hour. To me, it has been clear for a long time that man made God in his own image and not the other way around. “God hates all the same people I do!” Christians like yourself (and the commenters that I’ve seen here) just aren’t visible in the world. Possibly because they’re busy trying to do good, instead of shouting about how they are good. I think I would be a lot more tolerant of Christianity if more people practiced as you do. Long story short, I appreciate and respect the drive to care for the people around you. If we all did more for others, the world would be a much happier place. I don’t worry about the speck in my neighbors eye because I am all too aware of the log in my own. Wishing peace and love on you, sir.

    • ckratzer

      Mike, so honored to connect with you, and for you to be reading my work. If we aren’t already friends on fb, I hope we can be! Would love to hear more of your story and views. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Gina

      Hi Mike….For an atheist, you seem to know more about the teachings of the Bible than many Christians do! I do agree with you that we have created God in our image, which the Bible even warns us against doing. If most of us practice what we preach it would definitely be a better and kinder world.

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