You and I, we disagree on just about everything, that’s for sure.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it for your listening pleasure, at least not this time.
You say, “tomato,” I say, “testicles”—see how far our worlds are apart? I’m breaking all the religious rules and coloring outside all of the conservative lines. And not just that—I’m pretty sure I’ll be going straight to hell, too.
The precise moment our mutual paths of faith started to diverge, I’m not exactly sure. Yet, one thing is certainly crystal clear, we sing from very different songbooks now.
Perhaps to your surprise, however, there is one particular chorus you’re constantly barking into my ears that I can gladly meet with one hundred percent agreement and enthusiasm—conservative Evangelical Christianity, you’re damn right I’m in rebellion.
You got me, you caught me, you smoked it out of my soul—quick, call the Elders to hold me accountable with a “come to Jesus” small group intervention. It’s true, I’m pushing back and even punching at the throat of nearly everything you hold to be true and life giving.
I’m sorry, but enough is enough—your tone policing, guilt tripping, glare giving, bible thumping, fear mongering tractor beams aren’t going to suck me back into your Evangelical Death Star anymore. I’ve tasted and seen the fruits of your faith convictions, my days of grin-and-bear-it are over. Today is the day of my emancipation, I’m finally drawing the line by erasing all of yours. Bravery has overcome and broken my heart wide open—my truth will not be silenced and my life imprisoned any longer. I have a song to sing, a verse to put down—and it just so happens, the opening lines go a little something like this, “Conservative Evangelical Christianity, you can bet your ass I’m in rebellion…”
Every time you play school-yard-bully to the LGBTQ community, I’m going to be all up in your kindergarten Kool-Aid until the Teacher blows the whistle. For who the hell do you think you are, speaking divine condemnation over an entire group of God-adored people? Is your head so far up your ideological rear end you don’t realize the lives that you’re destroying?
Oh please, don’t give me anymore of this, “The bible says…” crap as your spiritual justification and defense. We heard you pimp that same evil rhyme to justify black slavery and lynchings on trees—yah, that’s the ultra-lame level of your exegetical capacity. Your slight of hand with the Scriptures may have seemingly sanitized your schemes in the past, but people are starting to unshackle from your spiritual control tactics and fully engage the mind of Christ within them—all to your apparent dismay and obsessive fear of freedom. For a great awakening of divine revelation is sweeping across the planet, your “clear teachings of the Bible” aren’t so clear, but one thing certainly is—to increasingly follow Jesus is to increasingly come into fierce rebellion against your bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, and bible idolatry.
So, yes, you’re damn right I’m in rebellion, especially when you seem to have an unprecedented expertise in drawing people onto the wrong side of history, the Bible, and the heart of Jesus.
Every time you push your white conservative male heterosexual privilege on church and society, I’m going to be calling your scheming lust for supremacy out of the shadows. In fact, I gotta hand it to you, you’ve been super slick with your starch-pleated packaging. That whole, “Men should be the spiritual leaders of the home,” “America is a Christian nation,” and “God didn’t create Adam and Steve” mantra might appear, to the untrained eye, to simply be a noble reflection of your desire to honor your faith convictions. Sadly, the truth is much more perverse and diabolical. In fact, wipe the lipstick off that conservative Evangelical pig and your real aspirations ooze like pus to the surface—power and privilege.
Why can’t women be truly seen and treated as equal to men in all things? White conservative male heterosexual power and privilege—that’s why.
Why can’t America be a place of true religious freedom where all faiths are equally valued, recognized, and observed? White conservative male heterosexual power and privilege.
Why can’t we be a nation of true equality where all colors, genders, orientations, nationalities, ages, and classes are afforded equal human dignity, value, and rights? You guessed it—white conservative male heterosexual power and privilege.
So, let’s get real.
For you, it’s not about Jesus, it never has been. It’s not about true Christianity, it never has been. It’s not even about sin and faithfulness to God, it never has been. That’s all one big spiritual veil to your monstrous agenda—power and privilege.
For if it were all about Jesus, true Christianity, sin, and faithfulness to God, here’s what I do know for sure—you’d be doing so much house cleaning there’d be no time or energy for all your religious bloviating, condemnation, and insisting on your own ways in society.
The truth is, when it comes to “God, country, home, and church,” it’s always been about white male heterosexual power and privilege, and sadly, it seems it always will—even to your ultimate demise. For the spiritual and biblical gymnastics you’re apparently willing to go through in attempt to make Jesus the hood ornament of your white conservative male heterosexual world bulldozer are not only baffling, but finally being exposed for their true evil.
So, yes, you’re damn right I’m in rebellion against your white conservative male heterosexual ego trip and world pillaging tour, and I have this sense, so is a brown-skinned Jewish-born middle-Eastern refugee named Jesus. And together, we’re going to be chasing your junk out the temple.
Every time you come at me with a faith understanding that requires me to turn off my brain and reject common sense, I’m going to be defending my sanity and questioning yours with the mind that Christ gave me. In fact, though faith in the unseen and incomprehensible is a healthy and necessary ingredient to following Jesus, I find that the more faith I place in Him, the more He desires for me to rethink yours.
I’m sorry, but the mind of Christ within me won’t stop setting off alarms deep inside my being nearly every time you quote the Bible at me. You’re so insistent on its inerrancy and your exclusive interpretations of it—which is more than enough reason for anyone’s suspicion. For the time has come where I can no longer subscribe to a God who smashes babies on rocks, a 6,000 year old earth, and a sadistic Father who requires the brutal death of His own Son to prevent Him from sending the very people He claims to love into a hell of eternal torture if they don’t love Him back in return—precisely.
With all due respect, this is my stop, and I’m going to have to cash in my chips this time. But I promise, I do so giving you the benefit of the doubt in believing you don’t truly subscribe to this twisted level of theological insanity. Rather, you hold to a literalism and inerrancy of Scripture like a stripper to a pole because you desperately need it in order conform, control people, and justify your blasphemy to the doubts, insecurities, and inconsistencies you suppress deep within.
So, yes, you’re damn right I’m in rebellion, for the Spirit of Christ within me has convinced my soul that turning off my brain is the last thing He desires for me to do—especially around your funhouse of smoke and mirrors.
Every time you try to grow me into your own personal ChiaPet for Jesus, I’m going to be breaking every mold and pushing past every barrier in which you hope to contain me. In fact, God already finished His work in my life through the cross where He perfected me, so anything you’re hoping to add on, I can know for sure, is nothing but just a steaming pile of horse shit religion.
You can take all your rules, to-do steps, sin-management tactics, growth formulas, and attributes of a genuine “sold-out’ Christian. You can have all your worship concerts, schools, conferences, t-shirts, books, movies, and clubs with crosses on top. None of those drugs work, but only serve to keep people strung-out and addicted to your religious prescriptions.
Hear me, and hear me well. I’m not a project for your spiritual gratification where everything you pour into my life is ultimately purposed on growing me into your own conservative Evangelical image. I’m not a toy to play with, a robot to program, or an action figure for you to bend, twist, dress up, and march into your battles to condemn and conquer the world. I’m not a seed engineered to fill your fields, produce your fruits, and feed your insatiable conservative Evangelical ego. And most of all, I’m not a title belt from your fat-bellied conservative Evangelical smack down upon the world.
So, yes, you’re damn right I’m in rebellion, and I’m going to be all the more. For every time you seek to lobotomize the minds and souls of good people and assimilate them into your conservative Evangelical Borg, I’m going to be the resistance you can’t stop, control, or keep from exposing your evil agenda to rid the world of true freedom and joy.
Every time you prequalify people for love and encourage me to do the same, I’m going to be loving people all the more lavishly and unconditionally with a Grace that frustrates you to the core and exposes your shame. For the unstoppable force of Grace cannot be overcome—bending every religious knee and breaking down every wall. Watch, as every pretentious, judgmental, religiously-spirited, greedy, hypocritical, and imperialistic fruit dangling off your conservative Evangelical tree is being shaken to the ground. For nothing makes a better compost than the ruins of your evil system of faith, out of which God is resurrecting a Grace-awakening that gathers the broken and sends the religious scattering in its wake.
I will not stop, and I will not hesitate. Everywhere you bring your condemnation, I’m bringing divine affirmation. Everywhere you bring your exclusiveness, I’m bringing divine inclusiveness. Everywhere you bring your rules, conditions, and regulations, I’m bringing divine emancipation.
And not just that—everywhere you bring your conditions, qualifications, and fine print, I’m bringing a Love that overcomes them all.
For everywhere you bring your evil, I’m going to be bringing Jesus.
So, yes, conservative Evangelical Christianity, you’re damn right—I’m a free-thinking, Grace-preaching, LGBTQ-affirming, equality-defending, craft beer-drinking, occasionally-cussing, Jesus-lover in rebellion.
Not just rebellion, but full force resistance.
Which leaves me with the ultimate question of the century—with all your talk about Jesus and how much you love Him, why aren’t you in rebellion too?
Grace is brave. Be brave.
reads pretty angry to me certainly more hateful in tone than anything I’ve come acrosxs by an orthodox evangelical christian, thing is if your life implodes or is wrecked by some unfortunate circumstance and that can happen in this world those people you condemn may very well be the ones who offer to stand at your side and/or help you in any way they can.
You’ve never heard of righteous anger?
Hey, don’t underestimate the good Samaritans out there, many of whom are NOT Christians. It’s a pitfall that even I fell into, to think that someone has to be a Christian to be a ‘good person,’ or ‘morally upright.’ It’s a sure way of undermining any sense of trust or ‘common good’ in society, and pitting Christians against the rest of the world. We have to avoid these kinds of brain-washing tactics, exploited by even cult leaders to gain control over their followers.
The older I get, the more I realize that the potential for both good and evil rests with every one of us! We can create either heaven OR hell here on earth through our very own collective actions, based on what we believe.
More hateful than conservative Christians who call for the death of LGBTQ people? And don’t pull that “no true Christian” crap out either. More hateful than conservative Christians who abandon their own children, and literally throw them to the wolves, simply and for no other reason than they are LGBTQ?
Are we angry? You have no idea.
Amen! And I love that you used “bloviate” in a sentence outside of a spelling bee!! Love lavishly!
Thanks Carol, I love that word. 🙂
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. –John 13:34 (NLT)
Spot on article, brother! Keep rebelling!!
Well said, John, love that passage! Thanks for this encouragement!
Well said and well done, good and faithful servant.
Honored to be on this journey with you, Harry!
Read you whole article and see that you have turned that corner where one no longer feels guilt for thinking differently than those who have used their own interpretation of the bible to support their agenda. There is a peace in realizing that they DO NOT speak for God. I personally think what they do could be considered blasphemy because they think they alone know the dictates and mind of God. My faith journey spans over 7 decades and I can see how far I have come from believing things we were taught and a deep abiding faith that all is well, that God loves all of us and knows our hearts….even when we think we know best. I think we are truly born again when we can see others through the way of Christ and not of some self important pontificating denomination. Peace of God does indeed pass understanding.
Amen Valerie, well said! Thanks for reading and commenting!
beautiful wise words
What a wonderful comment. Thankyou Valerie. I’m coming up behind you with 6 decades, and I can only nod in agreement…
Speak humanity to the inhumane! Speak truth to power! Speak love to hate…
Religious bigotry has been ongoing for millenniums; even from the Jewish religious leaders and one of the reasons for God incarnate known as Jesus came to us to relieve us of such ideals. I particularly like your statements of you having the mind of Christ and that is exactly what we need to serve God with fervor and rid the world of such oppression as you’ve mentioned in your article. I’ve enjoyed your articles since I stumbled on them last month and am thinking about doing the same type of blog. You’re dead right to be angry with the religious bigots trying to spread their supremacy via the vehicle they call Christ. Even Christ was angry toward the religious leaders who pretended to know God and showed oppression to others. Keep up the good work, bravery toward banishing the wiles of Satan is a good and difficult work. I’m glad you surround yourself with others who can pray for you in this good work.
Earnie, thanks so much, we need all the voices we can get! Look forward to reading your stuff!
Powerful article. Kind of a “Scribes, Pharisees, Hypocrites…”
PS. I think you meant ‘pus’ not ‘puss’.
Thanks- this was a powerful piece. When I left a conservative Baptist church while in high school (back in the late `70s) I had many of the same feelings you express (though without your striking eloquence that manages to be concurrently both scalpel and cudgel!) I thought I had bailed out on church AND God, but thankfully, She had better plans- challenging and deepening me with theologies of liberation and calling me to accountability and action through the voices of women, people of color, and LGBTQ friends who loved me too much to leave me where I was. Since then, I’ve been blessed by 30 years of ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church– but still in a long-term lover’s quarrel with a recalcitrant conservative contingent. Thanks for the reminder of my journey, and continued blessings on yours!
Mitchell, thanks so much for reading and commenting. I am thankful for your journey and all that you have endured to walk it out!
You described yourself as, “I’m a free-thinking, Grace-preaching, LGBTQ-affirming, equality-defending, craft beer-drinking, occasionally-cussing, Jesus-lover in rebellion.”
I’d love to join you….but you left out whiskey and cigars……..
Keep on shining….
Marty, let’s do it! I used to have a cigar every once in a while until I got married. 🙂 Don’t mind the whiskey either!
This is like a big pitcher of clean cold water to the parched minds, hearts, and bodies of American Christianity. THANK YOU!!!
Wow, what a wonderful word of encouragement. Thanks for your friendship and for taking the time to comment!
Chris, when I read this article I wanted to stand up and shout HURRAH!!! …but I’m in the public library and don’t want to get tossed out. Thanks for cutting through the crap, slicing to the heart of the matter, and being what you teach: grace is brave, be brave. You are a shining example. Keep at it, do whatever you can to get those who need to hear, somehow get their eyes opened, then their ears!!!
Thanks Gale, that would have been a great story for you to get tossed out of the library! Thanks for these encouraging words!
Speaking as the fallen away Methodist I am, I’m pretty sure that had there been more folks spreading ideas like those you write about above in attendance, I would likely still be there. Thank you for your powerful words, sir.
Bryan, sad to hear of your experiences with “church.” You are not alone, my friend. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Sure do appreciate you and your encouragement!
Hello, Bryan, I am the son of a Methodist minister. I understand your words but not from a Methodist point of view and from a Southern Baptist point of view. My father would have embraced Chris and may have wanted to help start a new church ministry with him. People are what make a church. Ideals are what make a denomination. Having the Mind of Christ is what frees us from our sin, not the church of people nor the ideals they represent. God is represented by kindness and love you give to others who need help. God is love, kindness and forgiveness. There is nothing we should banish as that is for God to do in his own Judgments. What we do for God isn’t to be spreading blame but rather to spread the word that God is love. God gave us free will to either accept that love or reject it. Many good church going people worship the ideals and have yet to see the love of God. They mean well but are still blinded by the ideals they’ve grown accustom to and do not wish to take the time to meditate on the mind of God. They truly believe that they are doing God’s work by blindly spreading the ideals they know are what God have them do just because the ideals tell them that doing so is good.
Thanks for the encouragement Chris. It’s a shame that so many Christian conservatives instead of following Jesus actually seem caught up in teachings and subjects that Jesus never actually addressed or cared about one way or the other.
Preach on Karl!
Amazing that Hobby Lobby owner fined for possessing stolen religious artifacts from Iran. Displayed them at his “Bible” museum. Thou shall not steal?
Wow Jim, didn’t know that. Thanks for sharing!
There is no debating with such a clear conscience. Thank you for this writing Chris and your vision.
Than you Adi for reading and commenting!
Wonderful article and so well said – I’ve been searching for some of these words for years. I gave up Jesus a long time ago when a youth minister told me George Harrison wouldn’t be going to heaven because he converted to Hindu. I want to be in Hell with my friends, it just seems like a no-brainer.
I completely understand, Teresa! I haven’t given up on Jesus, by this whole “church” and Christianity thing can certainly be difficult. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.
Teresa, sorry to hear of your experience. I hope that you come back to Jesus. Consider instead that you have up on the church and the ideals that they hold. Jesus had nothing to do with the judgement of that youth minister. In fact the youth minister will be judged by God for your putting Jesus aside. Knowing Jesus is simple, love, kindness and forgiveness is all you need. You simply pray “Heavenly Father, great creator of the world, I accept you and Jesus and what you would have for me. I wish to show love, kindness and forgiveness to others. Help guide me by giving me the mind of Christ.” You can read the Bible if you want but don’t just pull out passages to throw at people. Use it as a historical record written by people of the time. Rather than reading the Bible, pray, pray and pray some more. Meditation on what God would want from you is the only method to know the mind of God.
Earnie, speaking as an ex-christian atheist, the words you speak do nothing to help us who have left the church and christianity for good. In fact, they do nothing but help drive us away further.
I’m sure your intention is pure, but we’ve seen too much blathering about Jesus being a savior for sin and the necessity of needing to know Jesus (to save us from ourselves) from evangelical christianity to immediately toss out anything anyone says about returning to him.
If there is a god, and this god is one of love, then it matters not what we believe about Jesus. Or whether we pray. Or meditate. Or read the bible.
What matters is how we treat others. That is a reflection of who we really our – our actions.
Second, I am not worried about having a mind of Christ. I don’t want Christ’s mind – I want my own mind. I like my own mind, thank you much.
If I am to love others, then I am to do so out of my own self and own motivation. Not because a deity or some character in a book told me so. If you want people to return to Jesus, stop preaching. Yes, you’re preaching. Start loving. Not because you think they need Jesus. That comes off as imperial, dominating, and thought-controlling.
There were a million ways you could’ve phrased what you were trying to say without the preaching.
“I’m very sorry you’ve been treated this way. The church has failed. I will work hard and pray to Jesus that he works to change the minds and hearts of his followers so that in the future, christians will treat you better.”
THAT sends a far better message than…
“It’s not Jesus’s fault those people are assholes.” <- That's what your message sounds like.
It's borderline victim shaming. And yes, in my opinion, it is Jesus's fault. This is "His" church, people who are claiming "him" and he sits on his supposed throne and does nothing about it. <- This is what ex-christians see when we hear "don't blame jesus".
This is coming off rough because I'm tired of supposedly "progressive", loving christians tell ex-christians to come back to Jesus 'cause it ain't his fault. Sorry. But I'm not tolerating it anymore.
If Jesus wants to convince me to come back, I'm right here, waiting. He can talk to me personally. I don't need a third party messenger anymore.
Rob states “Earnie, speaking as an ex-christian atheist, the words you speak do nothing to help us who have left the church and christianity for good. In fact, they do nothing but help drive us away further.”
Rob, I wish not to drive you away but only to exclaim the love and mind of God as I’ve experienced it. Chris has never exclaimed to be atheist so my words of encouragement are toward those who see the criticisms of the conservative christian to be more than the word of God which is what I also find of them.
Rob states: “I’m sure your intention is pure, but we’ve seen too much blathering about Jesus being a savior for sin and the necessity of needing to know Jesus (to save us from ourselves) from evangelical christianity to immediately toss out anything anyone says about returning to him.”
Rob, Jesus took upon himself our sin. We have already won the battle of sin because of that. We do though need to acknowledge that fact in order to take advantage of it. I will also state that Jesus and God are one and the same, you cannot have Jesus without having God. However you can have God without Jesus but then you’re trying to convince God of your worthiness instead of allowing Jesus to intervene for you. I’m speaking from experience with a mind set upon God and Jesus. I’ve read the bible but I don’t dwell upon the phrases of it nor do I read it daily. I see it as a historical record, poems, enthusiasms and questioning about God and Jesus. I allow God through Jesus to guide me as he would have me go. I’ve landed here because I believe what Chris has to say needs to be heard. But what Chris has to say doesn’t exclude God or Jesus, it is an expounding of rebellion toward those who oppress because some leader has stated that they should do so in the name of christianity.
Rob states “If there is a god, and this god is one of love, then it matters not what we believe about Jesus. Or whether we pray. Or meditate. Or read the bible.
What matters is how we treat others. That is a reflection of who we really our – our actions.”
Rob, I know there is a God and I know that Jesus took away my sin. I know because God has used my body to communicate to others without my being in control of it. I know because I’ve lived it and have seen the warnings from God come to pass. I know because I do meditate and pray to God through Jesus. Yes, how we treat others is a reflection of who we are but without acknowledging Jesus’ act of taking on our sin and using him as our mediator to God then those actions of good, kindness and love need to be without any sin in order to plead for God’s mercy. When I was young and naive I was ministering to a friend and coworker who was definitely defiant toward accepting God. He was more about partying, sex and having a good time. One evening before leaving work I was once again talking to him about God when he began to run toward the door exclaiming he did want to leave his life behind when God took control of my mouth and expounded “But tonight your life will be required of you!” at the loudest my voice could ever be. At that point I froze in my tracks, I knew there was nothing more I could do. That night while my friend was on a drunken high he and another of his friends were walking on the highway when a semi-trailer came around a curve and took both of their lives.
Rob states “Second, I am not worried about having a mind of Christ. I don’t want Christ’s mind – I want my own mind. I like my own mind, thank you much.”
Rob, I have my own mind and that mind dwells on what Christ, God, the Spirit would have me think and do. My mind is what has me expounding to you. I did stop to pray and ponder on how I would respond to you before doing so. Having the mind of Christ isn’t something that happens to you it is just something you become through practice.
Rob states “If I am to love others, then I am to do so out of my own self and own motivation. Not because a deity or some character in a book told me so. If you want people to return to Jesus, stop preaching. Yes, you’re preaching. Start loving. Not because you think they need Jesus. That comes off as imperial, dominating, and thought-controlling.
There were a million ways you could’ve phrased what you were trying to say without the preaching.”
Yes, I am preaching that you need Jesus, you’re correct. Just because I’m in rebellion of what many churches preach doesn’t mean that I’ll stop preaching about God and the love he gave us through Jesus. I do believe in a deity even though you don’t and as much as I’m preaching about God and Jesus you’re trying to preach just the opposite. If I’m wrong then what happens, nothing; if you’re wrong then I need to justify to God my actions at the time He begins to Judge me. I don’t preach God and Jesus because of some book, I preach it because I know him and have in fact been used by God. I will say I know God because of that book but I don’t use that book to exclaim God. I exclaim God because of what he has done in my life.
Rob states “There were a million ways you could’ve phrased what you were trying to say without the preaching.
“I’m very sorry you’ve been treated this way. The church has failed. I will work hard and pray to Jesus that he works to change the minds and hearts of his followers so that in the future, christians will treat you better.”
THAT sends a far better message than…
“It’s not Jesus’s fault those people are assholes.” <- That's what your message sounds like."
Rob, yes, the church has failed us. The church has tried to control our minds instead of teaching us how to allow Christ to control us. Those people are assholes because of that and it is not Jesus' fault. The Bible as it is created was created as a means of political control. The politicians of the day were afraid of what God was doing in his people and they sought to control the mind of Christ. I know this because of historical record. So from the very beginning of what we have as the Bible the people of the churches began to put on blinders and began not having the mind of Christ. Jesus didn't create the Bible, God didn't pen the Bible, only people telling their stories of how God and Jesus used them is what the Bible is and we should only study it in that context.
Rob states "It's borderline victim shaming. And yes, in my opinion, it is Jesus's fault. This is "His" church, people who are claiming "him" and he sits on his supposed throne and does nothing about it. <- This is what ex-christians see when we hear "don't blame jesus".
This is coming off rough because I'm tired of supposedly "progressive", loving christians tell ex-christians to come back to Jesus 'cause it ain't his fault. Sorry. But I'm not tolerating it anymore.
If Jesus wants to convince me to come back, I'm right here, waiting. He can talk to me personally. I don't need a third party messenger anymore."
Rob, just because a building or a group of people claim one's name doesn't make the one guilty of being that group of people. Yes he does nothing about the will of people, he allows them to either come to the mind of Christ or stay blinded. He did his due diligence and allowed what he did to be spread as it would be spread but as it is today, controlled by greed, controlled by the power of man, that is not what he set forth. The church as it has become is not living the life in the mind of Christ and now I've created a cliche that is coming off meaningless. To me the mind of Christ is how Christ explained to those who surrounded him and his teachings how he wanted them to live. It isn't what the churches today are preaching to us. Christ would have us abandon ourselves for the sake of others, many do that daily but are not recognized by those assholes in churches as having the mind of Christ. Instead they continue their conservative ideals and preach those at those who do make a difference.
Rob, God is waiting to talk to you, are you ready to talk to him? You have to stop to listen, he doesn't shout. I think he's talking right now, whispering in you mind's ear. I think you're not as dedicated to this atheism theology as you have stated. I think there is some sort of doubt in your mind's eye. I am praying for you Rob, began last night as I read your comments. God is talking to you now, just stop to listen. Look around and see, he's not hidden, he is alive and working right in front of you.
“I think you’re not as dedicated to this atheism theology as you have stated.”
You know what, you’re right. Doubt is why I’m an atheist.
You know what the real difference between you and I? I accept doubt. I am able to say “I don’t know”. I could be wrong.
Doubt is why left christianity. Being able to accept other possible reasons for our existence, including all-natural ones, is what led me to reject faith-based reasoning.
Are you able to say “I could be wrong. This is all in my head. It is really possible that Jesus isn’t real, that everything I believe is a result of confirmation bias and brain chemistry”?
Do you fear muslim hell? Do you consider that Satan may have deceived you and that Allah through Muhammad could be the correct path to salvation? Do accept that you could be wrong?
Because if you can’t say that – if you are incapable of admitting doubt yourself, then we have nothing further to discuss.
So please, if you want to convince me your god is as real as you say, bring forth your actual, objective evidence. Just know that I’ll judge your evidence the same I would judge a muslim’s, a hindu’s, a pagan’s, or any other religious belief’s evidence. They all carry the same weight.
So your evidence better be far more compelling than theirs.
Rob, the evidence is me, my own life experience.
Rob, the evidence is Jesus, he isn’t a fictitious persona and there is historical evidence that he did live on this earth.
Rob, the evidence is Allah, the Aramaic name of God of the region, is real and was expounded by Muhammad to be the only God just as the Jewish people claimed Allah to be the only God.
Rob, you say you have doubt. The reason for doubt is that you have no reason to claim what you state is true. I have reason to state what I believe is true so I do not doubt. That doesn’t mean I do not consider other possibilities. I listen with open mind to what is being said and weigh it with what I know already from my life experiences.
I can only guess that I’ve not convinced you with my stated evidence because you’re not ready to accept it as being true. You’re not ready to put aside your doubt. Only until you are ready can you see the truth of God being displayed as evidence around you.
Sorry Earnie, I don’t trust anyone who is 100% confident in their beliefs, nor am I willing to debate intellectually dishonest people.
You just can’t shut up can you? Way to listen without listening bro…
You are utterly offensive in your words… the church has abused many of us, myself included.
1.) I was told I’d burn in Hell for having children before marriage and because they weren’t fully white.
2.) I was told I’d burn in Hell if I didn’t pray for forgiveness every day, all day.
3.)Music and singing were used as weapons against me.
4.)My first church/cult took over my life, then, they claimed god “told them” I was having sex with a boyfriend at the time, and instead of keeping it private, they spread it like wildfire, including to 5 YEAR OLDS!
5.)The youth minister was selling drugs at the time!
6.)The pastor and assistant pastor told my bf of the time to get rid of me because I was a “tool of Satan to drag him away from god”, when I put my heart and soul into Jesus’ hands, reading, studying, praying, trying my best to achieve perfection.
CONSTANT ABUSE as a teenager!!!
As an adult, I quit. Then, like the drug church is, I couldn’t resist going back for “another hit”. I had to. So, what did I do??? I found a new church, one I thought would be better for my family and I. This is the church that told me I’d burn in Hell for mixed kids/wedlock!!!!
7.)They also fat shamed me, repeatedly! Every time I walked in with even a small amount of cleavage showing, the pastors wife, who knew me by name ONLY, would walk up and Stick safety pins all over my shirts and dresses, while a skinny woman could walk in with her all but her nipples showing, and they said and did NOTHING!
8.) A “woman preacher” reported a photo on Facebook for nudity, because of cleavage and PUBLICLY SHAMED ME, while HER DAUGHTER had FB pictures in BRA AND UNDERWEAR!!!!
9.)This same church tried to “help” me with clothes, by giving me a garbage bag of clothes to “try”, they were sized 28-30! They gave me the message that that’s how big I look! They thought I was big enough to fit in those!!!
10.) The assistant pastor of this church, when I missed a few Sundays, would began preaching, and PUBLICLY SHAME ME, calling me a backslider because I wasn’t there EVERY SUNDAY!!! Demanding I come to the altar, trying to “pray the demons out of me”!
Don’t tell me or anyone else to “come to Jesus”! We DID come to Jesus! We gave our lives and hearts and souls to Jesus, only to be abused, hurt and controlled by churches that couldn’t stand those who were different!!
Your words and platitudes are hollow. They mean nothing.
They do nothing to help any of us exvangelicals. On the contrary, they inspire anger as you are asserting that WE are at fault because we didn’t come to Jesus in the right way?!!!!
I was so DESPERATE for LOVE and ACCEPTANCE!
They faked the love and acceptance until they “reeled me in” and got me in so deep, I didn’t believe I could even trust myself to leave!!! #EmptyThePews because the church is abusive, controlling, manipulative and hateful!
They inspire hate! They are NOT doing Gods work, they are doing the work of Satan, wolves in sheeps clothing!
You, sir, need to stop proselytizing and start listening!
Miranda, I think you’re response was toward me and you’ve misunderstood me. I’m glad you’ve been able to express your feelings toward the churches and their inability to love regardless of the person. I, in my responses, am not promoting any church or that anyone attend one. I understand fully the “They faked the love and acceptance until they “reeled me in”” statement, I have seen it. I’ve even seen ones who couldn’t even fake it and drive a wedge between people and God keeping the people away from their laws.
#EmptyThePews is a good tag for what needs to occur. No one should be treated by those claiming to be from God and Jesus by having them throw stones. The need for love is real, it screams at me daily. However, the churches actions do not negate that God and Jesus are there to help those who want to accept it from them. I myself do not attend a church currently, I miss some of the comradery but I don’t miss throwing stones and being led blindly down a road to do the same.
My mind has been opened to those oppressed by the church and my soul actually hurts because of it. We need to protect ourselves from the deceptive wolves in sheep’s clothing disguised to be doing the work of God when truly they do not know the mind of Christ to be doing that work. No church, no person, should judge others way of life, they should only embrace a person to love them without criticism and without judgement. Putting someone down because of where they are in their life isn’t what God has called us to.
Miranda….I am so, so sorry. SO sorry all of that happened to you instead of the welcoming and loving hands-and-feet-of-Jesus-Himself meeting you at the door each week.
I guess I am a conservative old lady now 🙂 …but I applaud your bravery. I wish I were so brave, I just quit going to church. Sometimes I would sit in church and look around and wonder why we weren’t dancing the aisles and flailing our hands and getting all up and excited telling it like it really is…Finally someone is saying so much of what I have wanted to say “loudly” for so many years…thanks!!!
Thank you Judy for sharing a bit for your experience and for seeing the value in my work!
So this just kicked out my comment saying I had already said that 🙂 I wish I had… What I said was I am a conservative old lady now…but for years I would sit in church and wonder why we were not dancing the aisles and flailing our hands and telling it like it really is. I just quit going to church. I applaud your bravery and thanks for saying so many of the things I have wanted to say “loudly” for so long.
I must say as simple as it may be I am equally impressed that you “care” enough to respond to everyone personally…real relationship and “hearing” is the start!!!!
Chris, your writing is amazing & I think you managed to verbalize almost every issue I have with Evangelical Christians ( aside from a few female gender specific ones )
I join you in rebellion !
TeriJo, thank you for such kind and generous words! Let’s be brave together!
Once again I am amazed & thrilled at what you have to say. I am in my late 70’s & today, after reading the news, I was so depressed at the way the christian right has managed to hijack our country; I’m rather glad I don’t have to be around when the Sh*t hits the fan.
Just before reading this, I read an interview with Mel White and feel that it’s going to be people like you and Mel that will make people stop and really think. Up to now it feels as there’s something in the water that makes people think as they do. Of course that’s not it, but how can people be so manipulated? I live in a small town & the majority are conservative, very nice people but I can’t write or say how I believe and feel as then I would be besieged or ostracized for my beliefs. I only have a couple of people who I cantalk with who are open minded. Isn’t that sad?
Keep writing & I’ll keep reading!
I too live in a small town :/.. I post my beliefs and feelings regularly. I have been ostracized by the church, my sons basketball coach(who is a TRUE racists) and finally my sons Scout Master at cub scouts! They all are unable to accept any amount of facts or opposing views. The members of the church have deleted/blocked me on Facebook, all except the pastor of said church. Small towns are the shittiest among the shit pile to live in, while being educated and believing in true freedom. CHRIS ALWAYS hits the nail on the head. I try to get my “friends” to read his blogs, but they are too lazy and ignorant to even attempt that.
B.J., I completely understand, the cost of standing against the machine can be great. One step at a time, be brave!
Love!!! Spot on for me and I’m in rebellion.
Thanks Michelle, let’s be brave together!
Thank you, Chris, for articulating so well what so many of us are thinking and feeling! It is indeed the time to be brave and stand up for what we know is true.
I won’t go into my own faith journey here (35+ yrs), but suffice to say that, like many others here, I woke up from some kind of spiritual slumber, much like Neo from ‘The Matrix’ did when he took the red pill, on the day that Trump was elected President. Somehow, ‘the Church’ suddenly became ‘the Matrix’ where the truth becomes whatever the Pastor tells you, because afterall, it’s a sermon based the Bible! Anyway, although feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland, I’m finding my way through, thanks to people like you who have pulled the Wizard’s curtain open. Ok, I think that’s enough movie metaphors for one day… 😉
And keep up the fabulous writing!
Steve, you are not alone on your journey, many are awakening along side of you and joining in the rebellion. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, sure do appreciate your encouraging words!
Steve, I was born the son of a preacher man. I’m now almost 64 years old and I woke up long ago. Let me say that the agenda of the churches I’ve attended are more self serving. If they come into a difficult situation the thought is to hide the situation from others to help protect the church. Personal experience has taught me the churches are not brave and only throw stones or hide sin by burying it under the rug. They don’t know how to love the difficult if they don’t conform to the mold. They are led blindly by the blinded and cannot go in a direction that is known to be the mind of Christ. I like your movie reference, I think it fits well.
YES!!!! Everything in my soul has been screaming this for years and even more do this past year. Thank you!!!
That’s great news Heather, keep on being a voice, let the truth shine!
Sorry that you’re so confused and lost that you think CECs are wrong in calling sin, sin. You’re like a driver speeding down the road at 90, cursing those who are going 65. Claiming that you’ve found freedom in breaking the rules, thinking that those who are struggling to adhere to the law are jerks. Yes, those who “hate” those who sin are hypocrites, lost in their own haughty sense of righteousness. We’re called to love the sinner, just as Christ loved us. The problem is that you’ve swung so far in revulsion from the lost Christian’s hate that you’ve started to hate as well. You’ve decided to instead condone sin and hate those who are lost in their hate. If a man, made in the image of God and loved by God was cheating on his wife, wouldn’t you say to him, “I love you enough to tell you that God says what you’re doing is wrong and I don’t want Him to punish you for that.” ? Well I’ll tell you in love brother. You are doubly wrong from those Christian’s who are lost and hate those who sin. You not only hate those who are wrong in their own haughty sense of righteousness, you also have condoned the sin of LGBTQs. Slow down man, it’s 65 here.
Matthew, who are you to judge the sin of others? Why do you throw stones when the sin in your own life blinds you to what sin is? This stone throwing is what we rebel against. Let God judge the sin of man, He hasn’t given you the freedom to do that. Jesus took the sin of man upon himself and we are now free from that sin, throwing stones at sin is then throwing them at Jesus. Love the sinner, yes, hate the sin, yes, but don’t judge it. If a person claiming to be LGBTQ also claims to have put on the mind of Christ who are you to say that person is sinning? You are no one compared to the person who has accepted the mind of Christ.
The laws as creeded by the churches were meant for only one thing, control. They were meant to control the people and give order against rebellion. Now that we have our blinders removed we are calling out for reform from those laws by being nonconformists. We do not conform to the creeds of the current organized churches and have put on a morning cloth because we know from our experience that there is so much more. We see conservative evangelical churches as wanting to control the sin of others to the point of banning the sinner from the love they need. We do not conform to that type of control and extend love to all, including the conservative evangelical sinner.
Be brave Matthew and pull off the blinders put their by your conservative beliefs and see Christ as he was meant to be seen. Befriend someone claiming to be LGBTQ (I hate that acronym) without judging what you think is sin and really get to know them. Take care to also include the unworthy and do not judge those who claim to know the mind of Christ even though they appear to you to have sin. Your only command from Jesus was to love everyone. He did not free you from sin to judge others with sin because you’re still blinded to what sin really is.
What is judgment? Is calling out sin in love judgment as we are commanded to do in Galatians 6:1, James 5:19, 2 Thessalonians 3:14, and many other places? Have you confused judgment and love? Judgment requires a sentence and I do not pass one on sinners as I am one myself. I will however loving try to guide them back to the way. Matthew 7:1 does not mean that we do not tell sinners they are sinning. You speak of myself as a conservative, but I do not get this from man, but from the Bible. I know of many conservative and liberal followers who are pro-LGBTQ. What does politics have to do with 1st Corinthians 6:9? I’m not seeking the politics of man, instead following Christ.
Judgement: The statement or decree by a judge as filtered by some law.
You judge sin, that isn’t for you to do.
Spouting off bible verses isn’t giving me what you have been communicated to by God apart from the bible you read. You are still blinded by those who also spout off bible verses to prove a point they have to make. I’m not saying to stop reading the bible just read it with a different mindset so you can worship God unblinded. Read the bible for historical value of how God used others. Read the bible in full, not just sentences that are supposed foundations for truths.
Stop judging sin, only God can do that and if we have the filter supplied by Jesus then God sees no sin. If the filter supplied by God in Jesus’ taking on our sin and having been forgiven then we would all perish.
Many, many years ago I started to see the cracks in their theology. I remember being confronted because I didn’t agree with their politics. No one at the time came to me to have the “talk” because, I believe, they were afraid of what I would have to say. I remembered sitting in the services and thinking, “There has to be other people who think like me… because this isn’t right…” When I finally could take no more and said I was leaving after a big kerfuffle, then and only then did they show up and become concerned about me. Their caring was conditional. God’s is not. I am finally in a place that sees the same things that I was seeing. We do our best to try and be the place of love, safety, comfort and welcome for all people. But we all must be dilligent because any church can become a breeding ground for hate if it is allowed to go unchallenged. Keep challenging my friend, keep challenging!
Thanks Kitkat, sure hate to hear yet another story of the church behaving badly. Stay brave!
Kitkat, at least you got a visit; I didn’t even get a phone call, letter or email. It brings tears to my eyes. Saddens me to no end that those I fellowshipped with were so self-centered that they couldn’t even bother to find out what happened to me.
Earnie, I had been at this church for over 15 years. And I saw them fawn over people who had only been attended for 2 weeks. But when I was taking care of my mother 24/7 and was unable to attend church no one bothered to see if I was okay from the leadership. I worked on many projects and fundraisers but I wan’t worthy enough to be checked on, not only to see if I was okay but see how my mother was. Someone had come in to the church after about 2 weeks and they were taking meals to them while they were dealing with short term illness. Another person’s mother was in a nursing home and they went to visit the mother in the home. They finally came to see her at my mother’s showing at the funeral home. When I was about to confront them, I told them I had issues, I was totally ignored. Then when we were about to work on an annual fundraiser that I was put in charge of, I was sabotaged and it was then I said I was going to leave. It was then that they showed up at my house because this fundraiser was one of their biggest income generators for the church. I feel I was there to be used and not heard. I was a servant, it seems not for the cause of Christ, but for the income and promotion of the church. They tried to get me to stay but I told them no more. They really didn’t care about me at all. But through it all I knew there had to be others who were seeing the same things that I was seeing. I finally found a very loving and caring congregation. It is interesting that the pastor of my former church had nothing good to say about the pastor of the church that I now attend because of the LBGT issues. All I can say is keep looking for progressive churches that care about everyone. When you do you may just find the one that is right for you. I would not this experience distort my love for Christ and I looked for the fruit and found a home.
Well SAID! I have been saying this for a while. I have been a Democrat in an Evangelical Church for decades. Went to an Evangelical Christian College in the 70’s. Have been at odds since a few years after I was saved. Can’t tell you how many times over the decades I have been told I was going to hell because I am a Democrat. Sit in small groups of people who hate everything democrats stand for, without really understanding the point of view, because all they can see is the Abortion issue. Yet they are happy to take all the “handouts” made possible by democrat policy. ADFC, Health and Human services, housing, medical assistance, etc. Ostracised in church after church for all that you have said in your article. These folks can be the salt of the earth, but have become like the Pharisees. And they don’t even see it. Liking to have their ears tickled. I use bloviating all the time. These political evangelicals are very good at it!
Thank you for your voice. I do not doubt your salvation, nor mine. I do hurt for our country. But I believe that this is a chance for awakening of the left-wing progressive who also believes. Our opportunity to not be complacent, but to become active and vocal and involved to a much greater degree than we have. WE have ridden on coattails for too many decades. They have become frayed and no longer hold us. We need to stand and make ourselves heard. God is good.
you had me going “amen” right up until you talked about rejecting the need for Jesus to die on the cross. which means you dont think Jesus said what the bible says he said – repeatedly. And if you dont think he said that, then what confidence do you have in anything else he was supposed to have said, since it all comes from the same same source? all you are left with is some vague guy who lived and died a long time ago, and maybe or maybe not said some nice things about being nice to people.
Dorothy, thanks for your comments. Please be more specific. Where did I say Jesus didn’t need to die? Where does Jesus say things in the Bible that I am disagreeing with?
Chris, I kneel beside you while the anthem of religiosity rings in my ears. I link arrms with all those who were told that the cross (grace, love and forgiveness) wasn’t enough and that we have to go past the cross (beyond what Christ did) by doing something or believing in some ideolgy like sheeple. I applaude your courage and I along with you and others stand and shout it is finished it IS enough!!!!
Karan, well said! Thank you so much for your friendship and encouragement!
Lol, you’re replacing one fanaticism with another! Eric Hoffer wrote a book like that, “The True Believer.”
Rob, I appreciate your perspective and willingness to comment honestly. However, what fanaticism am I promoting, the fanaticism for the protection and welfare of human life? Yes, for that, I am guilty as charged, and join people like Jesus who were highly criticized and even punished for their “fanaticism” for human life.
You are a disgrace to the name of Christ. You are a heretic
Matt Mosley, Jesus was a heretic, you should be too.
Heretic is a person holding opinions at odds with what is generally accepted.
If Jesus had accepted the general consensus of religion and god, we gentiles would not have been accepted by those who worshiped god as children of god.
So are you equating yourself to Jesus?
Superb stuff, bro. This is what the Father is doing in this time (Jn 5:19) and you are certainly about the Father’s business. Well said 🙂
I prey for the “rapture” as then there will
Be no more republican conservative evangelicals left as they will be in their hell and then we can rebuild a positive world without them!
I reblogged your article on Frank Shaeffers fine blog as a refugee from the founding family of the religious right in America and he is a good brave man such as yourself as I am old and retired now as I spent a career with the institution the evangelical republicans hate the most…
I have a Federal pension and health insurance imagine that if you are a twenty something like my children….
As I wish to live in peace a war is going on in my own dear evangelical family and your writings give me much clarity of thought as I am the elder in charge now and what to do as it were….
I believe that one should love unconditionally as demonstrated by his death on that cross…
I really think that you are an important writer for our time but what would I know as we throw away our elders do we not?
Frank is a few years older than I am but you should give him a listen as his video rants would be right up your alley.
I’m shaking, literally shaking. Damn, I love you. I’m trans, you know full well what I face, you were raw-throated screaming at it. And I love you for that. Thank you, from the depths of a wounded soul, thank you. Bless you, Chris. If I could, I’d give you the tightest tear soaked hug you’ve ever gotten. I’d like to share my story with you. You can read it here: http://theoldadventuresofthenewkristine.blogspot.com/2015/04/my-story.html
Traci, thank you so much for this encouraging comment! Can’t wait to check out the link you shared! If we aren’t connected on fb, I sure hope we can soon!