In a world where diversity should be celebrated, we need to demonstrate the maturity to peacefully and fairly live life among people with whom we disagree. Being open to conversation, dialogue, and differing opinions are critical ingredients.
Yet, where harm, injustice, inequality, greed, suffering, and evil are the poisoned fruits served at the table, clear distinctions must be made and boundaries must be asserted. For there can be no peace until there is first truth.
In fact, sometimes, division is a necessary and holy outcome from the interactions between those who side with that which is right and those who stand with that which is wrong. Light and darkness, universally, cannot and do not mix.
As a white, male, former conservative Evangelical pastor of 21 years, I intimately know the system of belief to which you hold. That’s why my ardent confrontation is not with you, but the evil brand of faith that has seduced you, as it once did me. We are all human, beautifully and wonderfully made—each one of us.
Yes, I want to save you.
I want to rescue you from the religious claws that suffocate you. I want to emancipate you from the disease that sucks the marrow out of your soul. I want to wipe clean the scales that blind your sight. Not as one who is judging, but one who has wept and suffered in your same prison, who now is breathing for the first time and embracing true freedom.
“You’re wrong. You’re flat out wrong.” These were the words, these were considerations, and these were the ringing bells that silenced my religious intoxication and dragged me to liberty.
I fought it at first. How could this be? It’s what I’ve been taught all my life. People I respected told me, sold me, and groomed my mind and spirit. I’m not stupid, gullible, or easily misled. No, as it turns out, just selfish, afraid, and impressionable. Like you, I thought that the Gospel, a white Jesus, and the American dream were ultimately all about me—my future, my freedom, my success, my faith, my fulfillment, and my destiny. I swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. All I had to do was cut and paste what the pastor said, and peace, prosperity, and living-my-best-life would follow.
Trust me, I’ve been there, done that, and have the t-shirt.
So, from a place of real experience and genuine understanding come these urgent words. As much as I hated hearing them, it’s equally uncomfortable to speak them, but nothing gets any better without the truth… conservative Trump-supporting Christian, you’re wrong.
You’re wrong about the Bible, wrong about God, wrong about Jesus, wrong about the Gospel, wrong about faithfulness, wrong about America, and wrong about freedom.
How do I know that? How can I be certain?
It’s simple—by the fruits of your beliefs. That’s what Jesus taught me—see the fruit and you’ll see the foundation. And sadly, with all due love and respect, when it comes to your Trump-supporting Christian conservatism, it’s all so disturbing if you’re willing to look.
You don’t insist on being last, you insist on being first.
You don’t sell all your possessions and give to the poor, you line your pockets with greedy systems of personal prosperity.
You don’t welcome the stranger, you cage them.
You don’t see the meek, the poor in spirit, and the mourning as blessed, you see them is inferior, problematic, and roadblocks to your future.
You don’t gather crowds and feed them with equality and grace, you exploit the masses and leverage them for your gain.
You don’t pray in closets, wash feet, and take up your cross, you insist on your own way in all of society. You seek to nationalize your faith, lord it over people, and gather in religious clubs with crosses on top. You take up your guns, the American flag, and your Bibles as weapons to prosper and preserve your self-centered brand of believing and living.
These are the fruits of the Trump-supporting conservative Evangelical spirit.
You don’t give without fanfare and personal attention, you send shoeboxes of white Christian superiority to poor black and brown children. You create memes of your morning coffee with a highlighted Bible and quotes from Scripture hoping to impress others. You take selfies with brown and black kids, post them on social media, and pray they stay in their own countries.
You don’t live less sinful lives, you live quite the opposite. The faking it, hypocrisy, judgmentalism, and carnality surpasses most other humans. In fact, conservative Christians have a divorce rate of 50% compared to 20% for atheists. More conservative Christians have been arrested for inappropriate behavior in bathrooms than any within the Transgender community. 60% of conservative Christian pastors admit to frequently viewing porn—some, even on Sundays. Conservative Christian celebrity pastors end up living far more expensive, gluttonous lifestyles than nearly anyone in their cities, let alone their churches. The Native American Indian was murdered and pillaged at the hands of conservative Christians. Black slavery and murders were committed largely by conservative Christians. Mass shootings in America are the highest of any country largely because of the worship of guns by conservative Christians. Truth be told, America has become a far less moral, holy, and divine country because of conservative Christianity—period, full stop.
How can this be?
Because of a false faith system that entices sin instead of resolving it. It inspires selfishness, not sacrifice and service. It empowers hate, violence, and greed, not subduing and rendering it Godless. It solicits useless and inaccurate anxieties instead of embracing peace and goodness.
In fact, when it’s all said and done, the conservative Evangelical brand of faith simply doesn’t work. That’s why you have to keep coming, giving, trying, striving, performing, lying, pretending, fearing, and condemning. It’s a religious treadmill that only sends you backwards as it keeps you running—running from truth, running from Grace, and running to appease an angry god and cleanse the world of all that is different and disagreeing.
This is what you fear, and this is why you fear.
You’re afraid, like I once was, that the confirmation of global warming, the emergence of human equality, women’s rights, faith plurality, cultural diversity, economic equity, and a universal morality will all reveal the truth—you’re wrong. Not just wrong, but evil. Not just evil, but the enemy, as these long held beliefs have long been a part of the problem, not the solution. They work against the Kingdom of God and stand contrary to the heart and ways of Jesus. Everybody sees it, but you refuse.
So like a drunk, it seems to be all too clear, you’d rather die than admit your addiction and deception.
That’s why you blindly support Trump. That’s why you deny the refugee. That’s why you resist gun control. That’s why you give a pass to white supremacy. That’s why you demonize democratic socialism. That’s why you seek to nationalize your brand of believing. That’s why you twist, abuse, and rewrite the Bible and the Constitution.
You’re afraid. You’re afraid of what you know deep down in your spirit—you’re wrong.
Jesus says so, and you know it.
You don’t have to discriminate in order to insure your value and importance in society.
You don’t have to believe in a hell of eternal torture in order to motivate people to cling to your beliefs and validate the purpose of Jesus.
You don’t have to hold onto a faith of personal performance in order to have the peace of mind that your future is eternally secure and God’s not going to abandon you.
You don’t have to deny science in order to secure your economic future.
You don’t have to pre-qualify people for love, you can just love unconditionally.
You don’t have to believe the Bible is inerrant and infallible in order to assert the divinity of your creeds and control people towards your ideologies.
You don’t have to be first, supreme, entitled, privileged, and deemed the only partakers of truth in order to see your faith and values have a meaningful place in society.
You don’t have to foster the downfall of all others in order to see your own success and prosperity.
Others don’t have to lose in order for you to win.
Isn’t it beautiful?
Yes, indeed, salvation has come as we don’t have to be so self-absorbed and hijack Jesus to spiritually justify it.
Instead, we can learn and trust the ways of the Master—to give more than take, to confess instead of condemn, to serve rather than to be served, and to put others before, instead of behind and below. We can embrace and trust the divine within all things, instead of only recognizing Her within ourselves and our own.
We can truly love and be loved in return.
Yes, conservative Trump-supporting Christian, you’re wrong.
There, I said it.
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.
“They are wrong, wrong, wrong.”
We are right, right, right.
That’s the problem, bro.
The “us and them” spirit.
Today is Rosh Hashanah on the Jewish calendar.
Time to return to Origin.
ALL of us.
Paula, I never said I was right, nor am I praising any such reality. Please read the article and its actual words. That being said, if someone places crap on the dinner table and tells me it’s meatloaf, I’m not going to eat it and instead I’m going to tell them their assessment is wrong, lest they or any others eat it too. To subscribe to what appears to be your pious pacifism, in my view, is both extremely selfish and dangerous. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Your writing reeks of bitterness.
With whom are you angry?
Were you forced to believe lies/ false teachings?
Good Morning, Chris.
I just send you an email.
Peace to you.
Bought your book. Reading absolutely everything you write. Keep. Going. It might get a lot scarier from here.
Thanks Catherine, let me know what you think!
What I think is I’m accepting a cheap shot on having someone else become a martyr, because, as I noted, things are getting pretty scary for people who speak out like you do, and it’s probably going to get worse for a while.
We ALL need to guard out right to free speech.
We see from different perspectives, don’t we?
Thank God for a country where we are currently still free .
“Christian” evangelicals who follow and support Trump and his minions are a cult. Their hate-filled belligerence speaks to the dark side of humanity. They believe they “own” God and Christ, while in fact they corrupt and contaminate the Faith with their holier-than-thou, know-it-all approach. In fact, they are enemies of the Faith and disgrace God and Christ. Holy Scripture warns against the hypocrites, the false prophets and the self-righteous.
This is a spot-on and well deserved confrontation and take down. The Christian fundamentalists that I know lamely fall back on “he is anti-abortion”… as if that is all that is truly holy and worth defending (and completely ignoring separation of Church and State) and forsaking all true Christian principles espoused and clearly demonstrated by Jesus. Reality; they are overly self righteous control freak shams.
Thanks Marc for reading and commenting!
“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” John 8:7
Stoning in the Bible was a violent act often associated with capital punishment resulting in severe harm and even death. This article is not doing nor supporting any such thing. This article is not casting stones, but calling out evil and confronting religiosity as Jesus modeled.
What a nonsensical statement. Standing up to hate is wrong? Correct me if I’m wrong but to me you’re only trying to shut up an opposing voice. Christians do a lot more than casting stones. They aim carefully and throw hard with terrible results. Do you tell them to stop?
You know I heard this passage in John 8 quite a bit growing up. I always thought Jesus said it, but Biblical scholars have had issues with it. First, the style and wording were different from the rest of the chapter. It simply looked as if the passage didn’t belong to that time period. Then when they went and looked at the earlier translations, that passage wasn’t there! So, did Jesus really say this? Most likely not. Now, is the message important? I think so, but for sure, scholars observed it was stuck in there and was not in the original translation. Also, to throw out a passage as if it came from a law book and follow it literally? Is that not a bastardization of the Bible? We need to read the Bible and take it seriously not literally. Mr. Kratzer sees an issue and is addressing it and I don’t see him claiming perfection.
Translation: “I’m uncomfortable with Chris confronting injustice, so I’m going to accuse him of casting stones.”
Aren’t you at least happy that there are no new wars? Would you rather have Hillary ordering the bombing of brown people?
When Hillary comes up for absolutely no relevant reason, dollars to donuts you’ve got a Trumpoon, fixated on how much he hates women and wants to punish them. Perfect fit with evangelical “worship.”
Thank you! My thoughts exactly. In fact, Rob’s comment is inappropriate for this venue. Hillary bombing black and brown people? Isn’t that more a Republican modus operandi?
We forget that Jesus was most vehement towards the religious leaders who piled burdens on the shoulders of the children of Israel, ignored the poor and marginal people, showed no mercy to sinners, etc. He called them whitewashed tombstones. I believe a church who calls itself Christian yet preaches a gospel that is not good news but a horribly warped warning of impending judgment by a vengeful God, that splits hairs over issues that arise from vunerable and condemned people and fails to forgive, heal, clothe, set free, and love unconditionally is no better than empty sepulchers and needs to be called to account. Chris you are a voice crying in the wilderness of conservative evangelicalism. We all need to hear this message as I did when I read that blog not so long ago that you wrote coming out as a lover of LGBTQIA folk. My life took a complete 180 as I felt the overwhelming compassion of Jesus toward this much maligned community. Grace is brave. You are brave. Let us all be brave!
This is one of the most powerful messages that I have ever seen; a real revelation and call to action and a rally around our Christian Cross. It came to me from a young Christian Lady, wise beyond her years and active beyond what will make her comfortable in the community in which she lives. Speaking out is not easy and my own struggle to resist peer pressure is hard. It must be multiples so for her as it must be for the pastor who wrote this. Pray to Almighty GOD that people will pay attention to this powerful message, a sermon in print!
Kratzer, if, as you claim, God loves everyone and no one goes to Hell, then it does not matter what Conservative Christians believe or do. And you have no reason to object to what they believe or do.
He does have a reason. It’s called empathy for the oppressed. You should try it sometime.
Thank you. Brilliant! I just bought your book because of reading this blog post. This is what I and other, for lack of a better term, red letter Christians have been saying all along. I think what you are saying has greater clout because you know well the people you are addressing, and your writing shows how much you love them and want them to have the scales dropped from their eyes. Again, thank you.