To My Evangelical Friends and Family : I’m Sorry, I Just Can’t Reach You

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I’m sorry, I just can’t reach you.

Trust me, I so wish that I could.

I get it. I truly do. You’re an Evangelical. White, conversative, and perhaps still a Trump supporter. I’ve been who you are, I was a conservative Evangelical pastor for 22 years. So, I understand completely. I’ve seen, heard, and lived it all.

But now that I’ve walked away from it, every bit of it, I guess I wonder why you haven’t too.

When I was entrenched in that system of faith, no one could pull me away. Not reason, not tragedy. Not family, friends, or even truth. I was a captive, totally submitted to the conservative Evangelical Borg. Yet, all by choice, if I’m honest.

You think I’ve lost my mind. That I’ve fallen away. To you, I’m now an enemy of sorts, a project to turn back to your beliefs and ways.

You ask, “what happened to you?” You quote the Bible at me. You hold the flames of eternal torture over my head. Silent treatments here, silent treatments there. You condemn to hell nearly everything about me, perhaps even praying for my demise. Apart from a complete return to your acceptance and approval, it seems that in your mind, there is nearly nothing worthy about me. I’m lost. A heretic. A child of the devil. A “woke,” “baby killing” reprobate.

No matter what I say, no matter how I feel. No matter the Bible verses I point to, no matter the changes in my heart that have set me free. No matter the hurt you cause, the people you isolate. No matter the suffering you create, the destruction you rationalize. No matter the science, history, or facts. No matter my patience, no matter my pleading. No matter the tears in my eyes, nor the pain in my face. Nothing seems to get through. I’m not searching for perfection, I’m just searching for some humanity.

Yet, like the orange that can’t be pulled from the tree, no matter the force, because it isn’t ripe, I can’t reach you, and to keep on trying only breaks me and emboldens you. Lord knows, I’d do anything.

So, I’m standing with the ones you reject. I’m extending the love you refuse to give. I’m embracing the God that frustrates and offends you. I’m giving voice to the ones you oppress. I’m chasing the evils of your beliefs out of the shadows.

I’m finally breathing for the first time. I’m hearing the Jesus within me for the first time. I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is thoroughly good: non-violent, inclusive, affirming, equality bringing, and unconditionally loving. I’m proclaiming good news to the poor, freedom for the imprisoned, and Light in the midst of darkness. For me, God is All and in all, inseparably and irrevocably. The Gospel in purest form. The earth is my sanctuary, humanity is my community, and love is my worship. And, that’s all I need to see, live, and believe. Finally, I’m alive and being me.

So, if I seem distant, it’s because I’m stewarding the Light within me. If I offend you, it’s because I am finally speaking. If I don’t participate in your attempts to change me, it’s because I’m at peace with who I am, and I’m finally realizing Jesus is too, and always has been.

I’m sorry, I just can’t reach you. Only an honesty from within yourself, ever can. And that is what I pray.

.

Grace is brave. Be brave.

 

Check out Chris’ latest book, Stupid Shit Heard In Church available on Amazon (link below)…

What people are saying:

“After reading just a few chapters, I had to schedule an appointment with my therapist, it’s that good.”

“This book is changing  the world.”

“Profound, life-changing; that says it all!”

 

13 Comments

  1. Maureen Bray

    I hear you and feel you. Bottom line, the only person we can change is ourselves.

    Sometimes our involvement can do more harm than good and only serves to make people more entrenched in their beliefs as they feel they have to justify them and cling ever tighter to them. It’s harder if you community/family is staunchly Christian, I appreciate that. My approach is to love them, agree with what you agree with and keep away from discussions that create division.

    • ckratzer

      thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Lara Moore

    I’m a listener but not really a reader per se’. I looked for your book on Audible to listen to it and I couldn’t find it.
    I read the book Gay Girl Good God so I could better understand the homosexual lifestyle. I believe scripture is clear we LOVE EVERYONE but we do not love their sin. Jesus did this with the woman caught in adultery
    …Anyway, I want to learn more. To understand and find places of agreement.
    Thank you
    Mrs. Lara Moore

    • Tres Adames

      It’s not a lifestyle and it’s not a choice. A far better book is “Torn” by Justin Lee. It will challenge you, but if you are truly open to listening and understanding, you will have to be okay with being uncomfortable.

    • ckratzer

      Lara, thanks for reading and commenting! I would suggest you read my first book, “Leatherbound Terrorism” on Amazon, which describes in detail my journey away from conservative Evangelicalism. It goes into depth about my change in beliefs about the LGBTQ community. I also would recommend listening to my Podcast “Grace if brave. Be brave.” available on Apple etc. Additionally, I am available for personal conversation through phone or virtually. You can reach me at chrisamykratzer@gmail.com to set up a time.

  3. Thad Crews

    Great post! You describe very well the heart of many of us who left! I wrote something similar.

    • ckratzer

      Thanks Thad for reading and commenting.

  4. Michael Levesque

    As a recovering Catholic and someone who was blessed to be born gay I concur 100%. I truly believe God created us to give others the chance to live up to Christ within themselves. I am reminded of “all the laws and the prophets are fulfilled in this one word; love your brother as yourself “. That’s all that’s asked of us.

    • Dan

      That commandment makes things so simple!

      • ckratzer

        Indeed!

  5. Cynthia Christ

    I would be so interested in learning if your messages ever get through to even one Evangelical? They seem to have lost any modicum of inner reflection.

    I can only imagine the joy that you must feel when even one heart is touched by your words of truth.

  6. Jane Liddle

    Thank you for your insight. I think for so many of us have been in the church most of our lives, there is that dissonance, I love the church, but I also want to walk in the way of The cross. That means love wins, judgment falls away, But I still am participating in the church. Not everyone in the evangelical church is a conservative. I am a Jesus loving, liberal, and want to look at the world through the lens of grace.. I will read your book And find out why you felt the need to leave the church.

  7. Erika

    Walking away from the “right” wing controlled opposition of evangelicalism is good. I walked away from the fake left controlled opposition being surrounded by virtue signalling legalists who were just as obnoxious as any bible thumping evangelical.

    Once you understand that the oligarchs who control the US through government, media, and “education” use these fake categories to set us at each other’s throats instead of looking at them…the actual enemy who is deceiving and destroying people..you will begin to see the whole house of cards fall like satan fell like lightening.

    Evangelicalism is a tool of these oligarchs, just as much as the fake climate change fakery is a tool…both are invented narratives and worldviews for profit.

    They have taken people’s identities (souls) through deceit and then sell them back a fake identity that benefits the oligarchs.
    This is how the deep sham works…all the narratives are created by the oligarchs to keep you from who you truly are.

    It is a house of mirrors designed by vipers.

    it is as easy as tuning them out.
    walking away….and coming out of the tomb (house of mirrors) like Lazurus.

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