Conservative Evangelical, I’ve been watching you, especially lately. Your political loyalties, your social desires, your faith declarations, your life values, and your national pursuits. I read your posts, observe your gatherings, and hear your passions. You’re putting a lot of energy into a lot of things.
Your church buildings look amazing, along with all the specialized lighting, sound, and staging. The way people raise their hands in the air, dress their best, and give their emotions to the moment, it’s very impressive. So many of you are working so hard—at church, at home, in the public square, in politics… everywhere. There’s a lot of moving parts to your faith and faithfulness. Do this, don’t do that. More of this, less of that. Quite honestly, I don’t know how you pull it all off. Evidently, there must be a lot at stake to warrant so much effort.
Which, in all honesty, leaves me wondering, what’s really behind it all?
Is it really just about Jesus?
Then why such urgency, angst, and determination?
Is there something you’re afraid of?
Is there something missing?
It all leaves me with a question that actually rises from the confessions of your own faith…
Why can’t Jesus be enough?
For example, why do you so desperately need President Trump? It’s pretty obvious that you do. I mean, the way you give him your unwavering loyalty, excuse his unrepented sin, and vehemently defend him at all costs, it’s as if you’re deeply worried that your brand of faith won’t go on and your desires won’t be granted without him.
All of which, leaves me wondering… isn’t Jesus enough for you? You know, the One you declare as having the Name that is above all names and the Author and Finisher of your faith. You don’t fully trust Jesus with your future and that of your brand of believing? You need a man to save it?
Or, what about the Bible, why does it need to be inerrant? It’s pretty obvious you believe it does. I mean, they way you wield it around like a weapon for battle to chop down your disagreers and defend your brand of faith, it’s as if you’re convinced that you are powerless without its inerrancy and incapable of spiritual influence.
All of which, leaves me wondering… isn’t Jesus enough for you? You know, the One who holds all the stars in His hands. Isn’t He powerful enough and fully capable of any needed persuasion? You need the Bible to be perfect in order to make the Perfect One effective?
Not to mention, the children—the children who come to our border for refuge, the children placed in cages, the children separated from their parents, the children taken off food stamps, the children in poverty, and the children who are disabled? It’s pretty obvious they’re unwanted. I mean, the way you are willing to take selfies with black and brown children when on “mission” to other countries, but see to their denial, abuse, and rejection when they knock on the door of your Inn. It’s as if you’re determined to limit the amount of black, brown, and impoverished people finding sanctuary, equal rights, and shared freedom and blessings in “your” country.
All of which, leaves me wondering once again…isn’t Jesus enough for you? You know, the One who, by grace, freely gave you life, salvation, and meaning. Hasn’t He given you more than enough to share? You can’t live in a world where everyone is as valuable, blessed, free, and empowered as you? I think Jesus calls that the Kingdom.
Or what about minorities? You know… women, black people, brown people, homosexual people, Transgender people, and the disabled. Not just them, but all the people who are different, act different, and believe differently than you. It’s pretty obvious they’re below you. I mean, the way you condemn, marginalize, discriminate, abuse, exploit, deny, displace, reject, and even murder, it’s as if you’re desperately afraid of losing control, privilege, power, and prosperity. Is that what you mean by your, “family values?”
All of which, leaves me wondering… isn’t Jesus enough for you? You know, the One who you declare to be in control, all powerful, and admonishes, “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” Do you not trust Him to give you every good thing without your needing to deny the same for others? You think that in order for you to have, there must be have-nots? Is that the true essence of your gospel?
I could keep on going, but the list simply keeps repeating. Name just about everything and everything your faith brand stands for and is pursuing, and my question still keeps persisting… isn’t Jesus enough for you?
By the looks of all that captures your heart, ambitions, and actions, He clearly isn’t. For if He was, you wouldn’t have to be so demanding, determined, desperate, demonizing, and insistent.
So, with all due love, respect, and seriousness, please help me understand, what’s missing that Jesus isn’t supplying? What is it that you want that Jesus isn’t supporting? What is it that you desire that Jesus is denying?
Perhaps, it’s not your faith that you fear won’t go on without Trump, it’s your power and privilege.
Perhaps, it’s not the inerrancy of the Bible that you’re worried about losing, it’s the control and manipulation of others that you’ll lose without it.
Perhaps, it’s not the faith and lives of children that are your “mission,” but rather the preservation of your prosperity, white privilege, and “Christian” priority that reflect your true purpose and passion.
Perhaps, it’s not reaching people, dealing with sin, and ushering in the Kingdom that invokes your allegiance and faithfulness, but rather making sure true equality and freedom for others never emerges to the extent that your white, male, heterosexual, conservative Christian power, privilege, prosperity, and supremacy are in any way diminished, disturbed, or inconvenienced.
It’s been over 2,000 thousand years since the birth of Jesus, and yet, here we are years later, having traveled a long global history of white, conservative Christian violence, abuse, greed, and the pursuit of dominance and power over people, and now asking the same question yet again…
Conservative Evangelical, why isn’t Jesus enough for you?
Perhaps it’s because, like it was for Herod it is for you, it’s never been about Jesus being The Way, it’s rather about using Jesus to get your way and never allowing Him to get in your way.
Grace is brave. Be brave.
–Check out Chris Kratzer’s new book getting rave reviews… Leatherbound Terrorism.
In Leatherbound Terrorism, Chris chases the evils of conservative Evangelicalism out of the shadows and gives powerful voice to the cries of the religiously oppressed. Confronting issues like racism, sexism, homophobia, religious greed, hypocrisy, nationalism, white supremacy, privilege, and the weaponizing of the Bible, Leatherbound Terrorism pulls no punches. Endorsed by best selling authors Steve McVey and Baxter Kruger, Leatherbound Terrorism will challenge you, inspire you, and most certainly cause you to rethink your faith and life.
Thank you for asking the question so many have wanted and needed answered. Please keep up your good work.
Years before Trump came along, I saw desperation in the acts and words of many evangelicals. A desperate need to be seen as powerful and important. The big churches, the slick preachers, the endorsement of political candidates were all signs that the leaders of the movement had decided that believing in Jesus, being like Jesus wasn’t enough. They wanted people to look up to them, to admire them, to ask them for advice and follow it. Influence in the world, not love in their heart.
Exactly, well said!
Nailed it again.
Thanks again Chris for a compelling and brutally honest narrative… it really is all about power and privilege and self righteous control… which is the the exact opposite of what Jesus preached.
Jesus is enough and because of that we are enough. We are all things and have all things in Him. We can just live these unforced rythms of grace and touch others with our lives which are filled Him. Always good words, Chris.
Thank you for this.
Conservatives need to be in politics, but when they are spiteful instead of spiritual, we get the current situation.
Well written. Do we have your permission to copy and post directly to FB?
Thanks Earnest, I would prefer you simply press the FB icon at the end of the article and that will allow you to share the article on FB. Please do not copy the text, paste, and post the article. Thanks for sharing my work!
Thanks, I did just that. This question has bugged me for many years and you have stated my concerns clearly.
Thank you for writing this ..very powerful and true
Sean, thanks for reading!
I’m glad you’ve still got your eye on the game, my friend. It’s easy to get distracted right now and reading your words nudges me back to what I know Jesus has done for me during the last few decades of my life. I suffer from bipolar disorder and were it not for the grace and love of Him I would not be able to even last one day at a time (to use 12 step terminology). The mountains he’s moved have and ARE in my mind and yet daily, with the use of medication, I see symptoms alleviated. I believe He’s doing that for a reason even if I don’t know what it is but I also know this: without Him I would probably, no, DEFINITELY be back in the hospital. He’s the Great Physician and he heals my soul, picks up the slack, sets me back on track.
Are you familiar with the work of Ole Anthony in exposing corrupt televangelists? His bible studies were groundbreaking for me. btw thanks for being my Facebook friend. That place is like a jungle sometimes here in the buckle of the bible belt but I get great satisfaction in reading your regular posts and being your “friend” (cyberfriend, as it were).