White, conservative Evangelical.
We see you.
We see your desires.
You want us to believe you’re all about Jesus, that your faith is authentic and rooted in Scripture.
You want us to be convinced that you follow the true ways of God, that your discernment is stamped with divine approval.
You want us to subscribe to your system of belief, the values you hold, and your vision for our lives and all of society.
You want us to trust that you are a reflection of Christ, one who bears His likeness, and manifests His heart and truth for the world.
Yet sadly, something is missing.
Twisted and distorted.
Of smoke and mirrors it seems.
It’s not what you want to hear, but it is our undeniable experience, what you say and what we see don’t resemble the same.
We’re looking hard, trying to add it up, hoping to find the integrity and goodness you insist is threaded through. Yet, the closer we get and the more we try to crack the code, the more cultish it all appears.
We mean no disrespect, but it’s hard to look at, it’s hard to watch.
The gravity is strong, like being pulled into a bizzaro world of opposites where up is down, inside is out, sickness is health, and evil is good. With every interaction and conversation, you aim the tractor beam of your creeds, hoping to pull us into a reality that isn’t a reality at all.
Many have surrendered to the weight, their strength could no longer withstand. The path of least resistance became their path of compliance. Shamed and manipulated in by the guilt-force winds of your crazed spiritual concoctions.
White supremacy, power, privilege, and prosperity, all in the luscious name of Jesus. For many, it’s the shiny, freshly Windexed apple that is far too alluring to resist.
It’s nothing less than a storm of spiritual insanity raining in a national brainwashing, hoping to transfix and hypnotize the masses into a diabolical, evil ideology.
So, like a child chained in isolation who repeats a shivering phrase over and over again to maintain their sanity in the lightless basement of their abductor, we too have a repeating chorus of emancipation. It’s our declaration of mental health and clarity. Three words to protect our souls, the person of Jesus, and our faith integrity from your soul-kidnapping…
“That’s not you.”
When we see Jesus sit, stand, suffer, and hang in solidarity with the people you call “sinners.” That’s not you. You’re nothing like Jesus. You condemn those who are different, you label with your own labels, and you stand only for yourself.
When we see Jesus feed the masses, heal the sick, and bind up the brokenhearted. That’s not you. You’re nothing like Jesus. You abhor altruism, economic and social justice, and unconditional compassion and care for the least-of-these.
When we see Jesus recalibrate and disarm the Bible with new understanding and fresh revelations that reveal its imperfection and frequent abuse. That’s not you. You’re nothing like Jesus. You read the Bible with weighted dice, always scheming your way to an interpretation that safeguards your white, conservative power and privilege, the default of all your aspirations and spiritual justifications.
When we see Jesus protect an adulterous woman from the condemnation of the religious. That’s not you. You sentence women to the prison of your patriarchy, throw them to the drooling wolves of your sexual perversions, and chain them to the ceilings of your toxic, male fragility.
When we see Jesus love unconditionally, affirm universally, and demand the embrace of an equality that knows no pre-qualifications. That’s not you. You’re nothing like Jesus. You create walls where God created tables. You separate what God has sewn together. You condemn what God affirms. You hate what God has made holy.
When we see Jesus ranting against the legalistic, self-righteous, rich, and privileged. That’s not you. You’re nothing like Jesus. You nurse upon the cold-nippled breasts of the rich and powerful. You plant fields of self-righteousness disguised as gardens. Your gospel is measured by the privilege it affords you and the subduing it assures of all others. No evil are you unwilling to embrace to commandeer the world into your narcissism.
We see you.
So, you can lie, plead, disguise, and wave your wands of trickery all around. You can steal, kill, and destroy every good foundation. You can shame, condemn, oppress, and imprison. Yet, we will not comply, conform, nor acquiesce to your spiritual mind-fuck and soul corruption.
No matter how hard you try with slight of hand and mass manipulation, we will not stop believing that everything we see in Jesus… that’s not you.
No matter how hard you try with mega-churches, fog machines, and lavish worship stages, we will not stop declaring that everything we see Jesus doing… that’s not you.
No matter how hard you try with bumper stickers, American flags, coffee table Bibles, conspiracy theories, prayer gatherings, Capitol insurrections, rants against abortion, and Facebook pics with brown and black kids from mission trips to third world countries, we will not stop insisting that in all the ways we see Jesus loving… that’s not you.
No matter how hard you try with threats of hell, distance from God, family rejection, and relational isolation, we will not stop declaring that all the things we know about Jesus… that’s not you.
Sad, but true, there can be no more denial.
We see you.
You’re nothing like Jesus.
Unconditional love, human equality, social and economic justice, universal inclusion, divine affirmation, true care and compassion, honesty, respect, integrity, and sacrificial living.
Everything we see in Jesus…
That’s not you.
That’s not you.
That’s not you.
Grace is brave. Be brave.
–Check out Chris Kratzer’s book getting rave reviews… Leatherbound Terrorism.
In Leatherbound Terrorism, Chris chases the evils of conservative Evangelicalism out of the shadows and gives powerful voice to the cries of the religiously oppressed. Confronting issues like racism, sexism, homophobia, religious greed, hypocrisy, nationalism, white supremacy, privilege, and the weaponizing of the Bible, Leatherbound Terrorism pulls no punches. Endorsed by best selling authors Steve McVey and Baxter Kruger, Leatherbound Terrorism will challenge you, inspire you, and most certainly cause you to rethink your faith and life.