Why Modern Christianity Makes People Vomit

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It’s not a new revelation that modern Christianity is on the decline, especially the American brand. There are growing numbers of good, thinking people who are vomiting out the spiritual elitism, arrogance, and religiosity that oozes out of the pores of countless Christians and their church culture. Yet sadly, as many that yell “fire” in hopes to solicit a cure, most Christians simply resolve to bury their heads in the sand and cling to their black and white, cut and paste spiritualities. Like Linus with his blanket, nose-blind to their own reality, many Christians refuse to let go of the very things that make them stink—sending many, kneeling to the porcelain altar, vomiting it all out.

There are real reasons for all the upchucking— many that are hard to hear, but nonetheless, true. I don’t pretend to believe any of this will make much of a difference, only that someone should have the guts to unveil the true reasons for all the spewing.

We Know You are Faking It-  When the Christian life is centered on one’s spiritual performance, the best anyone can do is pretend— we know you’re pretending.

What you are proclaiming as the cure is really the poison. Your focus on sin, sin-management, and personal, spiritual improvement only imprisons people to the futility of their efforts to get better—leaving them addicted to the lie that if they would just try harder, pray longer, or do more spiritual things, one day they’ll arrive. We see you drink in the motivational messages, the calls to “get radical” for Jesus. We hear the fear tactics and religious prescriptions, the weight you place on guilt and shame. We see the wads of cash you lay down for the latest “to do” books on Christian living and the conferences that peddle them. It’s all about you and your quest to become somebody for Jesus.

Yet, we aren’t fooled, for all the WWJD stickers lining your bumper, we see that nobody is living it like you pretend to be. We are wide awake to the spiritual game of competitive Christianity you are playing.

The truth is, your faith is undoable, leaving people with the only thing left to choose— look the part, go through the motions, and hope nobody sees behind the veil to the ghost town of your spiritual life. There should be no surprise to see countless people simply opting out, realizing it’s more genuine to stay home than it is to be a part.

Grace is the only power that changes anything. Grace proclaims it’s not your performance that defines you, it’s Christ’s. Grace awakens us to the reality that we are already whole, complete, sanctified, justified, pure, holy, righteous, and saved—with no reason for any sense of guilt, shame, fear, or condemnation dwelling in our lives. The very things your modern Christianity are trying to work into our souls are the very things Jesus erased. The Gospel of Jesus is all Grace, or it’s not all Gospel. Grace levels the playing field—none are better, only different.

Yet sadly, Grace isn’t sufficient for you. You’d rather play a losing game and gather others around the misery of your hopeless spiritual plight, while believing its salvation—addicted to the Law you are pimping as Gospel. All, while the spiritual and moral decline of those under your legalistic chemtrails increases all the more as they breathe in your toxin—sending the masses vomiting to the hills.

You Say Stupid Stuff You Think Is Spiritual-  The talking points you’ve cocked and loaded for any given moment, the spiritual cue cards ready for the perfect “Christian” response, the cheesy Facebook memes with outdated fonts and clip art, all leave people inwardly concluding, “Gag me with a multi-colored pitchfork.”

We can tell, though perhaps your intentions are good, you don’t have much of a grasp on the script you are repeating, and for some, there’s a sure void of genuine heart behind what rolls off the tongue. Things like, “I’ll be praying for you,” “God will never give you more than you can handle,” “You just need to press into God more,” “Hate the sin and love the sinner” all render people flat and spiritually comatose.

Chances are, it really wasn’t about actually praying, and even if you do pray, does that mean God will now magically release a blessing on one’s behalf that He was withholding in wait for your petition? Who’s in control of God anyways? You? God? I have a hard time believing a pithy little statement asserting what “God gives you to handle” is going to resonate with a dying cancer patient and their desperate family. Does God really “give” that stuff out anyways, and out of the goodness of His little heart, stops just a wee-bit short of “too much?” Besides, how exactly does one “press into God” more? Is there a special valve you push, some hip-posture you take? What does that even mean?

How about just genuinely caring about people beyond a prepackaged response, getting involved in their lives, walking with them a mile or two, and leave the Christian talking points on the pew.

You Suck At Being Human-  It’s pretty obvious, at least the impression you create— you care more about rule-keeping, creed-following, and church-life than you do about real people, especially those who are offensive to you.

Surely to your surprise, when onlookers observe your Christian life they conclude that becoming more like you is a downgrade, not an upgrade. For to walk upon your path and adopt your values is to become more judgmental, arrogant, phony, exhausted, and legalistic —loving less, enjoying less, and being free… less.

It’s all a drag, a constant spiritual skate on thin ice— parsing every word and action. You boast of a freedom that looks more like prison. You can’t love simply for the sake of loving, there always has to be a catch— some kind of condition, restriction, or spiritual agenda. It’s all so complicated and involved. Line after line of fine print— swimming in a sea of forever pretentiousness.

Why can’t you just be human?

Like Jesus.

Your Worship Is Empty-  For all the subwoofers, intelligent lighting, video packages, church-franchising, and skinny jeans, as much as you may have a heart to “reach” people, you come off like a microwaved hamburger; done on the outside, still frozen in the middle.

Sure, people come, and it all may be musically, visually, and architecturally impressive, but a show never changed anyone; at least, not in the right ways. Where are the choruses, “My life sucks right now, and so does God?” I know, that would be too raw and real to where many are truly at I guess— doesn’t fit a starch-ironed, pleated theology, or look good on LED-shaded projection screens. Since when is a healthy faith journey simply a matter of inspiration, cutting and pasting bullet-points, and conjuring up the determination to give another college-try at becoming a better, “sold-out-for-Jesus” person the upcoming week.

By the way, how’s that going for you— all the “becoming a better person for Jesus” stuff? Well, I can tell you— the world sees, that behind all the religious theatre, it’s not. Nobody is getting fooled, but you.

Why? Because light shows, movies, television specials, clever spiritual acronyms, inspiration, and self-determination never changed anyone. Only Grace can, and does.

Shows are easy— loving people, giving Grace, being real… much more messy—all that money can’t buy.

The world is insulted that you approach them like a commercial audience to be inspired into a sale.  People are too smart for that, and quite frankly, too valuable and filled with divine dignity to be belittled by your spiritual snake oil.

We see the show, but not near the genuine, humble love for people. That’s why we vomit it out. Away from us you evil doers, you worship God with your lips, but your heart is far, far from Him.

You Think You Have It-  So drunk on the sound of your own voice, as if God allotted you exclusive awareness to all things Bible and its proper interpretation, you cling onto your truth as if the Deity has trademarked your understanding.  No room for questioning, no room for thinking, no room for living to the beat of an alternative drum—if only to assimilate us all into the collective of your spiritual Borg.

You are always right; a true, genuine follower of Christ—everyone else, some shade of rebellion and unfaithfulness—desperately in need of your discipleship. We, the wayward, dwelling somewhere in the darkness cast by the throne upon which you sit— as you spray on your favorite morning perfume, “Arrogance” by Chanel Evangelical, we can’t help but be confronted by the stench that falls. What you smell as flowers, we smell as feces.

It’s all so convenient, so intoxicating— that you have “it,” and everyone else, by your declaration, does not.  Oh, how our gag reflexes can’t help but spit out that attitude, and all that comes with it.

You See People As A Project- We are the potential notch on your “conversions” belt. Like Chia Pets, ordered for a rainy afternoon, you pour yourself into our lives for one underlying purpose— to see, if upon us, your ideology will grow.

Everything you do, even the love you express, has an agenda in the shadows—not that we become fellow “learners” with you, but rather, that you are the “learned,” and we are to learn to be as learned as you. Your’s is not an introduction to Jesus, but an induction into religion.

We sense the fingers crossed behind your back, hoping that by your efforts and clever ministry strategies we might start saying the right things, doing the right things, believing the right things, all because you befriended us in fulfillment of your pre-packaged, purpose-driven mission statement.

It’s what you think you are supposed to do, but ironically, what we see Jesus never do—treat people like a project.

You Read Into A Book And Turn Off Your Brain-  The Bible is everything to you— and by “everything,” I mean everything.

It’s your salvation, justification, license for condemnation. It’s your indoctrination, discrimination— not the just the Bible, but your literal, black and white, leather-bound approach. Like a deer caught in the high-beams, you’re entranced by its religious capacity to condemn and self-justify— blocking your ability to see its Light and rendering you as an obstacle to God’s intention.

Whatever lines you auto-tune to echo what you want them to say— those becomes undebatable to you— more definitive and directional than Jesus Himself. To you, the Word hasn’t become flesh, He has become fine-printed in the nuances of your interpretation.

Forget all the science the screams for an old earth. Forget the eyes that clearly see evolution within Genesis creation. Forget the brain in which a God who is Love can’t compute a God of eternal, tormenting hell. Forget the grey, the mystery, the journey, the humanity within every word and page.  Forget those, who lives were immersed with Jesus, yet completely missed His essence because they had their heads buried in the words.

You personify the Bible as God’s plan to turn off a thinking brain and a beating heart— best used to win arguments, justify hate, and draw lines in the sand as to who is in and who is out, right and wrong, and good or evil.

What God created to be a launch pad to a Jesus encounter, you have reduced to a roadmap from Jesus, declaring of which, you hold the navigation key.

All your Bible-thumping, memorization, proof-texting, and debating squeezes the abdominals to a full-on upchucking.

You Unify Around What You Are Against-  The motto of the sum of your Christian philosophy, “Don’t drink, don’t chew, and don’t go with girls that do.” Don’t do this, don’t do that, we are against this, and we are against that.

Nothing enflames the passion of your cause more than to discover a new enemy. If you can’t find a real one, you simply string one together—homosexuality, liberality, wars against Christianity, prayer in schools, transgender equality—always some ax to grind. Nothing takes the wind out of your sails than to be absent of sin-targets for which to take your self-righteous aim— those who sin differently than you, your favorite sitting duck.

It’s all so obvious as you live out your religiosity, love is an accessory, and apparently so is giving a damn. Satisfied with taking shelter behind the walls of your spiritual pride, you refuse to reexamine, to fully consider, “maybe we’re wrong.” Besides, there’s way to much too sin to point out to ever begin to look at your own.

Communing around the sacraments of your hate, you hijack Jesus, and make him the hood ornament of your world bulldozer— known best by all the things you are against, not the common sense, Jesus-things you should be for… unconditional love, grace, humility, selflessness, serving, sacrifice… and on, and on, and on.

All, while more and more good, thinking, love-believing, grace-intoxicated, Jesus adoring people, vomit it all out of their mouths— and rightly so.

Get in line behind Jesus, all ye fellow heathens, He is joining us—leading the way of gag…

“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking… you make me want to vomit.” -Jesus    (Revelations 3:16  MSG)


  1. Robin Bugbee

    Why did you write this? Are you truly as angry and judgemental as your writing suggests? We are taught to live each other. Try it. It works.

    • ckratzer

      Robin, thanks for reading my article and for your comment. I see in Jesus, an example of perfect love and Grace, who at times, nonetheless, did not shy away from boldly and sharply criticizing the religious and the religious-spirit prevalent in them. The two occasions where Jesus is specifically recorded as being “angry” were interestingly at religious people who were withholding Grace. This is the hallmark of modern Christianity- the withholding of Grace and replacing it with all things religion. In following the example of Jesus, I will continue to confront the religious spirit so deeply rooted in the Christian culture of our day. Thanks again for your readership and comment.

      • Josh

        I really enjoyed reading this Chris. We live in a world, especially in the West, where value & worth are to be earned. Unfortunately, many religions & religious folk have adopted this thinking also. It’s so against the grain of Grace. What we ultimately seek has already been earned, on our behalf.
        Now, does this mean we can simply go about our lives with no regard to God, scripture, others etc, because his Grace is sufficient? No. However, if you truly believe in & Love God, his word & his creation……. You can’t live without that impacting how you live.
        Good on you mate. Take care.

        • ckratzer

          Thank you Josh, honored to receive your comment and wisdom!

        • Sharon Snell

          I agree with your comment, Josh. The Revelation 3:16 notation was referring to the “lukewarm” Christian who does not allow grace to empower them or even recognize the power available to them. Religion is a regiment; but, the born again Christian lives with empowerment to live for Christ and scripture impacts their life. We still have choices to make that will either bring us closer (like walking toward a bonfire) or keep us at a distance. It is all about relationship. The closer we move, the more we fall in love with our Savior and that love reaches out to others.

          • Maureen

            It’s gratifying to see so many people having this conversation. It must mean that there are many who are interested in their spirituality, whatever form, or journey that takes. This is healthy and it’s good for us.

          • Tony Cutty

            Of course, the Religious will twist the Revelation ‘Lukewarm’ passage and claim it refers to people who are not ‘on fire’ for Jesus, or some similar tripe. Of course, the solution to being on fire is to stop, drop and roll, but they won’t see it that way 😉

      • John

        To be honest, Chris, we don’t really know for sure what Jesus said and did. The examples you mentioned could really be the words of someone as sad and as upset as you are by the hypocrisy of humans, especially religious officials, placed on the lips of Jesus to give them more weight.

        As President Clinton once said (actually said), “I feel your pain.” I’ve gotten angry and saddened by much of what you point out. And I would speak out against it, but often to no avail. I grew tired of spitting into the wind, so I changed my focus. Instead of “tilting at windmills”, I put my energy into just being a loving presence to any and all who wished to receive it. My goal is to be Love Incarnate. I don’t succeed completely each day, but I know it is what I can do that does help, and I believe it is what we are all called to be.

      • Cody

        What critical spirit are you using if it not the religious spirit to criticize your brothers? One is a critic for righteousness, you are a critic for grace. Why do you think your answer honors God more than those that preach Holiness? Please tell me what you get when you read Romans 14:1-23.

        • Travis

          Interesting. What kind of grace do you see in the book of Galatians? What kind of people was Paul speaking to there? You could easily switch out Galatians for Christians and believe me his letter to the Galatians is just as scathing as this article.

        • Melissa

          Agreed !

      • David A Morse

        I totally agree. I do not say this lightly. I have been saying that, “American conservative Christian teaching almost exclusively is thou shalt not…insert scripture. Where is the love of which Jesus preached?
        My favorite Bible passage is Romans 14: The Message translation.

        • ckratzer

          Thanks David, right there with ya!

        • Teresa l

          This is so very true. I find it difficult to reach through the armor of the self righteous who are holier than the rest of us, who are brainwashed into allowing their thoughts to be shaped this way. Peace and mercy, compassion and fellowship are for all, not a chosen few.

      • Craig Davis

        Dude you are spot on don’t let anyone dissuade you in this thought process!!!

      • Karl

        You are withholding grace to the grace-less. We cannot equate ourselves with Jesus in regards to challenging the religious elitists and calling them out. Jesus had a clearer picture than we do, and he was without sin. If only we could function like Jesus. He came to seek and save the lost. The religious leaders knew the Word but they were ignorant about The Word. Jesus pointed out to.them that they did not know what they did not know. He knew the hearts of all men and women. He still does. This is why he could challenge them and it worked for Him. It does not work for you and I because we challenge and correct from a tainted and wounded perspective. We do not understand grace, we do not have grace, and cannot extend grace until it is at work in us and through us and being extended to the grace-less. I loved your article. Keep on keeping on.

      • Melissa

        You are so very deceived. It’s really unfortunate you have never encountered the true “walking by grace” Christians and churches I have over the years. I challenge you to humbly pray for God to help you see people, especially Christians as He sees them. He is a God of love and grace. For those who diligently seek Him and to try and live a life worth pleasing to him, at the end of our lives He will say, ” well done good and faithful servent. As for the rebukes you mention He gave, these were to the legalistic law living God followers of the time. You should really try reading and studying scriptures more and pray for God to help you not be so full of hate. It seems to me by your hate spewing article that God is clearly stirring up stuff in your own heart. I hope one day you will encounter the living powerful loving God I serve.

        • Melissa

          Update : I am shocked to see you list yourself as a pastor. Curious what kind of axe throwing finger pointing hate stirring church you lead. Pride comes before the fall sir. Your fall may be great.

      • Matthew

        ckratzer, Keep in mind that Jesus was angry with religious leaders for enforcing rules that they (and their fathers before them) created, placing a heavy yoke upon people and yet they themselves could not fulfill. They had been attempting to earn a righteousness through their own merit.

        Yet the truth is, grace is not in a vacuum. Grace doesn’t change God. Grace changes us. It must or it isn’t grace.

        Jesus taught that unless a man is born again he will not see the kingdom of God. We must emphasize this. There must be a radical change in the life of someone who professes Christ. Don’t forget Paul’s warning of those who would pervert the grace of God into licentious living.

    • Eric


      Enjoy your pyrotechnic Jesus this weekend.

    • Cat Young

      Thanks Robin–you have pointed out the irony of this message, which the writer seems to have missed; to quote him: “It’s all so convenient, so intoxicating— that you have “it,” and everyone else, by your declaration, does not.” Does the writer count himself as part of the problem or does he think he is above it all? I get weary with articles like these which always tear down the church instead of offering grace and truth; trying to be the Holy Spirit convicting but the message is really an accusation. Is it any better to throw judgment at people in the church than it is to throw it at those outside? The church is full of broken people who are in the process of being made whole. At any given moment, it is easy to see where we fall short, often easier than to see how far we have come. Only God knows and is capable to judge his church rightly. In the meantime, our business isn’t to point fingers at anyone–churched or unchurched, but to intercede for them while at the same time we admit to and submit our own fallen-ness to Christ for him to change ourselves.

      • ckratzer

        Cat, thank so much for your comment and for reading my article. In my opinion, it’s a lame excuse from being confronted with the truth of this article to play the “where’s the Grace?” card. There is no tearing down of the church in this article. Rather, the church, in many ways is already torn down but believes it’s healthy and live giving, ignorant of it’s own illness. The offering of Grace and truth is evident in this article, if you read it. Unfortunately, the same Grace that gives voice and defense to the broken and “least of these” feels like judgement, accusation, and rebuke to the proud and religious.

    • Kdawg

      We are taught to “live” each other? Really?

    • lala

      Why do u THINK he wrote this? Did you read it?!

  2. JessikA

    Very well put……extremely inspirational! Wish everyone could be this free : ) God bless you brother

    • ckratzer

      JessikaA, thanks so much for your encouragement and friendship. Let’s stay connected!

  3. Rob

    Good stuff! However to simply say grace will change us without some sort of directive for “How” we can apply grace in our spiritual field is leaving people hanging. It is getting easier and easier to point out the negative approach that millenniums have to walking in Christ. Glad the fake is being exposed. I think that to show the “Way” to be free from this all would be a better approach. We have vomited it all out…now what??? How to we straighten out the heart fields in our souls, so that we can live in perfect peace? HOW do we get free to live cleansed lives? HOW do we cancel out all the negative fields in out souls and walk completely WHOLE? I don’t want a Bible verse for this.. I want REAL directives for living clean and walking holy from the core of my soul. Love you man! ..I truly do love this article and hope to be able to read more of your writings.

    • Rebecca


    • Charmaine

      Rob, great questions and definitely points at the struggles we face every day. Unfortunately I think the how is both simple and not easy, and one of the problems of religion is it turns the how into steps we just follow to reach our salvation. For example, while spiritual disciplines like prayer, reading the bible, fasting and Sabbath can become idols and self justification, they also are the ways that Jesus demonstrated how we can prepare ourselves to receive what God has for us, it puts us in a posture to listen. I think the big difference though is knowing that disciplines in and of themselves are not sufficient, it does to entitle us to receive from God, it simply allows us to. You’re not alone in your struggles to live authentically for Him!

    • Willa

      I think the first step is exposure. You can’t even know you need change until you read something like this. If you don’t get super offended you may be able to open your mind and heart to a change. The change comes when you somehow begin to believe that you are deeply loved, fully forgiven, completely accepted and new. When you get that– and truly begin to hold on to it — freedom begins.

      • Teresa l

        And then you take baby steps. Examine your beliefs and see whether they are justified. Do they fulfill the only law: love God entirely, heart, mind and soul; love your neighbor as yourself. Everything else was supposed to direct us there but they get deflected in the ego of man. We have to follow the results of our actions, choose that which follows the way of Christ, not man.

  4. Josh L.

    Thank you. I thought I was the only one.

    • ckratzer

      Nope, you are not alone. 🙂

  5. Davaughn

    LOL! You sound like someone who got seriously burned.

    • Eric Cummer

      And not the only one either. However, I have not given up on the evangelists, nor have I given up on the mission of the evangelists: “to know Christ, and to make him known.” Despite all the problems, they seem to be the only community with the courage and the determination to take the telling of that message, without apology, boldly forward.

  6. Pete Bayliss

    Gee brother someone has really ruffled your feathers. I hope your little rant has helped. But are you really any better than those you are criticising. Maybe take a chill pill, show some tolerance and spread some love.

    • Terri

      You Pete are obviously not one of the ones that has been hurt or rejected by the judgmental pharisaical church crew. There are a bunch of us out here….born-again Christians. “Spread some love” sounds pretty simplistic but few witness it in side the walls of a church. Why would the organized church be naive enough to think that the unchurched would ever feel welcome to step inside their 4 walls when it feels like your invading a country club with only paid members welcome.

  7. Ruthann Fryer

    Clean up on aisle 9! Though I do agree with the premise of your article, I would love to read this written as a challenge to be real, taking each point in this and flipping it to a positive. I hope you do. It would be life giving. There are so many tired of church as usual, many have left the institutional church and many who have been wounded, burned and are healing. I personally am tired of finger pointing and stone throwing. At least end it with tools to build instead of just tearing down with nothing left but a slop jar filled with vomit. Those with a religious spirit actually need grace too even though deliverance is needed. Unfortunately, this could be read as intolerant. Our Father loves us into freedom even while disciplining us.

    • ckratzer

      Ruthann, thanks for reading my article and your thoughtful comments!

    • Red Bird

      Thank you Ruthann for writing that, I was trying to figure out what bothered me about this writing when I agree completely with what it was trying to say. Turn these statements into a positive, force fellow true believers to slow down and think about what they do and say, and think about their motives behind it. I also don’t like how all inclusive this is, though we are all sinners and we all fail daily, many evangelicals do honestly TRY to be the right kind of example, do honestly appreciate the Grace given to them (though we are of little faith at times).. and many are disliked for it by unbelievers, that its a shame to know we are disliked for it by fellow believers. There was a lot of “you do this wrong and therefor”….in this writing and not a lot of “we could do this better here’s how. Jesus did love, but he also rebuked even his closest followers were rebuked out of that love…

      However, I like the fact that this gave me something to think about it’s always good to be called back to attention. Thank you.

  8. Andrew

    I like it. I’m a deeply believing Christian, but mate I totally agree with you. Keep it up. There are Christians around who think the same way as you, but it is painful that the popular expression of Christianity is … well, like you said.

    • ckratzer

      Thanks Andrew, blessed by your readership and comment!

  9. Patricia Gregory

    This is brilliant spoken exactly as it is and what I have
    Experienced & been damaged by thank you I love this.

    • ckratzer

      Thanks Patricia for reading my article and for your encouraging words!

  10. Kevin

    Go outside of your house, away from your computer and your devices, and ask someone if you can pray for them, in Jesus’ name. You will see something miraculous happen.

    Is it possible that most people are focusing a bit much on what is wrong in the world. There is actually a lot of good news in the bible. That’s a healthy thing to think about. Maybe the dying and the hurting and the drug addict need to hear some good news. They don’t want to hear some confused and angry people.

    Let Jesus and His Holy Spirit give correction for Christ’s sake.

    • ckratzer

      Thanks for your comment Kevin!

    • Kaatje Murakami

      It isn’t good news. Not to me and many others.

  11. Richard

    George MacDonald once said: “I would rather have a frowning friend than a smiling enemy.”

    • ckratzer

      I like that quote Richard, thank you!

  12. Kit9

    There are only 2 kinds of people Good People who strive to help others kindly and Bad people who use every tool to maim and harm. In terms of Christians this is still the rule. I have been gleefully fired without reason, evicted without cause, beaten, spat on and even raped by 2 missionaries when I was 12. All of these horrible Christians gladly informed me that this was God’s will. On the other side when I was a homeless teen 2 of the most profoundly loving Christians made me a part of their family.

    • ckratzer

      Kit9, thanks so much for reading my article and for your comments! Glad to hear the positive experiences you have had!

  13. Travis

    This is why I left Christianity. ALL of this. And the churches that best exemplify this are the ones that are cultic but quite frankly, every church out there does this to a greater or lesser degree.

    Excellent blog post! This is EXACTLY what “outsiders” see.

    • ckratzer

      Thank you Travis for getting the true heart and intent of this article, to help insiders see what the outsiders see.

    • Eliot B

      “Every church out there does this to a greater or lesser degree” Really? That means you have direct first-hand knowledge of hundreds of thousands of churches and Christians and they are all painted with this broad judgmental brush? The author of the article makes same valid points, but your sweeping impossible-to-prove-nonsense declaration say more about your and your own obvious hurts than contemporary churches or Christians. You could use more of the grace the author is talking about.

      • Travis

        Because the problem isn’t limited to one church. The problem is within Christianity. It’s own creeds and doctrine have within it the seed of corruption.

        As Gandhi once said “I like your Christ but not your Christianity”

      • Travis

        Christ said “every tree is known by its fruit” I don’t have to eat every apple on the tree hoping to find a banana.

        I don’t have to go to every church hoping to find something different from Christianity. Especially since so many have their delightful church signs out front boldly declaring their faith. Lol

    • Kaatje Murakami

      Travis, I left it because I had to for my own health. It was abusive, isolating, and soul-destroying.

      I’m an Asatruar / Heathen today and I feel free and I have a purpose and most importantly, I feel human.

  14. Patrick

    “Modern Christianity is on the decline.”

    If you start with such a premise, you should back it up. Otherwise, it could easily be refuted:


    • ckratzer

      thanks for your comment Patrick!

  15. Karen

    I’m so tired of getting beaten up by other Christians who post stuff like this. You know what? Screw Jesus. Screw the church. Screw spirituality. I sick of fake Christians. I’m sick of Christians who yell at other Christians for being horrible human beings. I’m sick of people who aren’t Christians who lump all Christians together and assume they’re all a bunch of self righteous pricks. Screw it. Screw spirituality and religion and attempting to have some life of spiritual coherence. It was all just a socially constructed moral system anyway. The church is dead already. Stop continuing to stab the body, Katzer. It’s dead. God’s funeral is over. Posts like this just throw more dirt on the grave. Please stop howling about Christians, awful or otherwise, and go about the rest of your life. Church is over. Nobody needs it. It’s just a masoleum inhabited by bigots. You have totally pushed me over the edge, Katzer. You are exactly right. There’s nothing to believe in.

    • ckratzer

      Karen, thanks for your comments and confronting me honestly with your truth. I understand and I am hearing you. In the same way you felt “pushed over the edge” to give up, I hope you will be encouraged to know that I have received many comments about how this article so affirmed the feelings and experiences of countless people who are simply scared to express their truth. They communicated that this article has given them a fresh wind of hope for the future and has increased their faith and optimism for Christianity and “church.” They too were on the edge, and now feel like pursuing hope. I am sad that you have had a negative experience before and during the reading of this article. I only hope we can be friends and continue the conversation.

  16. Jas

    You have some good points. However they way it is written makes me think ” Wow, this guy needs to take his own advice.” You talk about grace but where is the grace towards those supposed Christians that make you want to vomit?

    We as Christians should to strive to encourage, build and UNIFY the body of Christ ( aka the church). This article seems like there is resentment and hurt behind the words. It also seems to have a mentality of “them” vs “us”. How is that unifying?

    We all need to judge our own lives and see that no one is really walking 100% perfectly with God, not yet at least. Leave the judging of others to God and spread his compassion, grace and love not just to people that have been hurt by the church, but also to those that are in the church. That would be unconditional love and that would truly be the love of Christ.

    • ckratzer

      Jas, thanks for reading my article and for your thoughtful feedback, honored to receive your comments.

    • David A Morse

      Romans 14The Message (MSG)

      Cultivating Good Relationships
      14 Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

  17. Matthew

    I am a non-believer.
    Some call me soulless, Atheist, Heathen, and Apostate as well. All while feeling superior to me for believing in one less god than them.

    My opinion is easily, and with little effort discarded by those who choose to.

    I have no Faith. But I have a sense of awe.
    I have no desire to be “Saved”.
    I have no sense of me being broken by any other than American Christianity.

    I have led congregations as I felt the chemical ambrosia of frenzy and morphine-like numbness that comes from the meetings.
    Both small and quaint, and those filled and lights and sound.

    Raised to serve and love a God that I finally realized was not only absent. But never gave me remedy for a single thing in my life…Because the God was never really there, in my experience.

    While growing up in this occult like atmosphere, I was nearly killed by my Mother, from strangulation, (Sister saved me) at a year old, letting me bleed out as a child before hoping I would die in the ER. etc, etc.
    Allowing my sister and I to be raped as kids and telling us how we should not give the devil glory by speaking of it.
    Faithful church member and drug addict with her own demons from being raised Christian.
    Eventually health, age and early death made her a much safer person.

    It was always a Demon, or a devil to blame. Religion was always the explanation.
    I was always taught to press harder into God/Yahshua aka Jesus.

    How empty it always felt, after all the mental swill of the moment has settled.
    Even in the hospital I was told “what to believe and say” I accepted it.
    I remember having only my will and desire to survive.
    I remember being turned against my own sister by my parents. The constant talk of “the devil” to a developing mind, after my sister had a severe Mental break and went completely out of control.
    What did they expect after she held it in so long?
    The preachers and other christian’s trying to cast her imperfection out.
    The interventions and forced sessions.
    I was so wrecked that I followed along like a good boy.

    After growing up thinking it was so normal to live this way, I never asked anyone.
    I used my talents to serve the “lord”
    Always being required to sacrifice more prove myself worthy to leadership.
    I paid almost half of my income to the church after taxes.
    Questioning dogma was always an issue for them. I was meet with the whole “Don’t THINK so hard” Faith speech, more than my share.

    I questioned my own sanity for thinking for myself. And crammed all my unspoken flashbacks, from growing up, as well as the unexplained lack of feeling, anyone had ever comforted me in those dark times past or present
    I remember voluntarily going through deliverance in my 20’s.
    And why?
    Because I was convinced by the “testimonies” that if I didn’t have that full confident nature, boldness, warm, fuzzy kind of experience with me for at least 80% of the time, Maybe I needed deliverance.
    Because since God was never at fault, the fault had to be my being controlled by demons, but still saved. Really?
    Looking back now. I see the weakness and lack of self confidence and self worth that religious abuse inflicts.
    No wonder so many fear coming out and admitting it isn’t real.
    From the 70’s and 80’s and 90’s to today, it is the same.
    I see what the author is saying.
    I even had that same view in the twilight of my religious Christianity/paganism.
    Before during and after the church states.

    It was by the very fruits I had been taught to examine the church beliefs by, That has lead me to my Godless life today.
    Which by the way is the most clear and healing part of my entire life.
    What the author is seeing is not as new as it would be stated.

    I have seen the church use its power and influence to cover child molestation for years.
    Condemning the victims and families for calling out church, by calling them “Un-Christ like” and “Unforgiving”.
    They will make them feel in danger of “hell-fire” for not letting the Perv and the church off the hook.
    The church call’s this protecting the innocent, by not even letting it be spoken.
    When they go to the Police? The “Christian” police will just tell them they brought it on themselves…
    Because they are attached to churches.
    And real problems that develop in the victims?
    Forget that.
    They just help the perv go to/Get a job with, another church.
    Because they are legally accountable if they admit any knowledge of the perv’s actions.
    Save face and keep making money.
    From traditional to techno churches.
    Same product, different wrappers.

    Fought this as much as I saw it. Confronted and tried to listen to leaders.
    Was asked to leave and not ever comeback. All while using the same tactics on the children and their families.

    The racist that they place as deacons and ushers. Every church I have been in has had a number of these in these exact roles…And known it.

    Being white has caused everyone of them to talk to me like I would agree.
    Guess they thought I looked the part.
    And when I would call them out?
    I was abusive, and rebellious in the church leadership eyes.

    I read the article (which I empathize with some), and then the comments.
    And I can see the same white wash mentality that refuses to challenge evil in the church.
    even though the Author doesn’t even come close to the evil underbelly of religion in American churches, they have a real grasp of Church issues.
    But as usual many comments, rarely, actually acknowledge and accept the truths he is bringing to the conversation in this article.

    Now 44 and faith free for 6 years, I still watch to see who else would try to fix it.

    Maybe the social media will awaken enough to change things. And even slightly look like the church most are delusional enough to think they look like.

    That would make your presence so much more tolerable for folks like me.
    The ones who’s nightmares and tragic devotion have left them as sure as can be, that there can be nothing true or innately positive or healthy about Christianity.
    Because it condemns itself by its very impact on the world. Like every other religion.
    Judge them by their fruits?

    The fact that anyone would tell them they should keep it to themselves. Or even insinuate “they are just angry”, or “not focusing enough on the good news” is just a sign that nothing is changed.

    Quoted from a comment

    “Why did you write this? Are you truly as angry and judgemental as your writing suggests? We are taught to live each other. Try it. It works.”

    That comment seemed to reflect in others as well.

    Exactly why I can have no faith in the positive gesture this author means to have.

    They are right on. But sadly
    “Hearing, they don’t hear” Seeing, they don’t see”
    Or like the “Laodicean Church” You think you are without fault.

    And for those who said

    “Go outside of your house, away from your computer and your devices, and ask someone if you can pray for them, in Jesus’ name. You will see something miraculous happen.”

    You are delusional.
    And if you laid a hand on me to pray…It would be a miracle that you get away unharmed.
    That’s coming from someone who tried to convince themselves, that that was even remotely a good idea.
    I tell you this for your own safety. Don’t tell people to do that. It’s not even kinda biblical or a commandment.

    And for the comments I read, that seemed like they grasped the article?
    Read again. Let it sink in.
    Because acting like the author is “to forward”, “or” like the “Good ones make up for the bad”.

    Brennan Manning once said
    ““The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”

    When i realized it was all a hoax…God…Salvation…Faith. It was like someone close to me had died, but someone kept writing letters in their hand and name, leading me to do harm to myself and mislead my family.
    I felt mournful and betrayed in ways that finished off the end of a 38 year struggle in life.

    But the Good news (Gospel) was that I had finally been freed. Learning to walk for the first time ever.
    And knowing they (God) were not (ever) in my life helped me confront and heal 38 years of scars and wounds.

    I have saved this one last “quote” for last.
    “Let Jesus and His Holy Spirit give correction for Christ’s sake.”

    Your bible has NOTHING that say’s that.
    It actually tell’s you to judge and confront. And if they do not “repent”, which means. to turn away and stop. Or express and feel great remorse…
    Cut them of. Have nothing more to do with them. Let them suffer the consequences of their action.
    Not cover for them and give them a different job till it all blows over!

    I know someone from my background turned Non-believer will normally pass without a comment.

    So I am giving you this priceless glimpse into an outside viewer.

    This article is impressive. until reading most of the comments.

    • ckratzer

      Matthew, so honored to read your comments. Don’t give up hope, there is an awakening happening in American Christianity. Let’s stay connected PLEASE!

      • Travis

        Why go back to Christianity? No one pours new wine into old wineskins (Matt 9:17) There’s a far far better experience to be had in knowing God in a natural organic relationship not keeping him in the box of organized religion. (John 4:23)

      • nic

        Clearly you did not bother to read Matthew’s entire comment. Sad, really.

    • Travis

      Matthew – BEST Comment I’ve ever read

    • Joel

      Wow. Thank you so much for writing that. I’m a Christian and have really struggled with a lot of what you described about the church and Christianity. It is honesty priceless to listen to people like yourself who have experienced that, because the decorated veil that is put up over Christianity then starts to tear. This article as well as your comment reveals a lot of truth about how Christians live and expect others to live. I noticed another comment saying that the greatest testimony against the faith is Christians who talk the talk in their churches and then leave and forget about Christ in their lifestyles. More and more I’m seeing how fake a lot of this is. It makes me question my upbringing and how I see Christianity and the world as a whole. Thank you for your comment, it really is priceless to hear from you and your experiences and learning.

    • Tony Cutty

      Superbly put, Matthew. Thanks for your honesty. Particularly liked the bit about someone praying for you not getting away unharmed 😀 Lolz, I know how you feel. ‘Do not touch the Lord’s Anointed’, they say. ‘I wasn’t thinking of a touch; more a smack in the gob’, is the best reply 😉

      I think your comments are more real than most you will read on amy forum. I also think you have a *very* special perspective because you’ve been there, done that, and you are now looking in from the ‘outside’ and that perspective gives you a brilliant handle on what it’s really like.

      For me, it took fifteen years ‘detoxing’ before I ‘felt called’ back in to church again, but this time on my own terms. And without thaat fifteen years’ detox, I would be just as unhealthy as I was when I was ‘in’ previously.

      Just wondering, have you ever heard of James W. Fowler’s ‘Stages of Faith’? I think you might find it most illuminating; I certainly did.

      Thanks again, Matthew, for your excellent comment.

  18. gord taylor

    while i agree with the gist of this piece…you perhaps paint with too broad a brush. i am not sure what is proposed ?

  19. Eric Cummer

    I understand your frustration bro. Life is a learning experience. Take the Gospel forward – any way you can.

  20. Joe

    Kevin, I sincerely appreciate many of the points you presented. I would recommend a Part 2 to this post. Without a part 2, you have only left the reader with the idea that “You Unify Around What You Are Against” category, without a solution. I would enjoy seeing you write something that say, “Now that we know what to put off, let’s look at what to put on.” This would balance out the article, and give people something tangible to aim at.

    • ckratzer

      my name is “Chris”

    • Travis

      I wouldn’t bother with a part 2. That would be redundant. Do you know how many times people have come up with lists to fix this? It all started way back during what we call “The Reformation” and they keep doing it, over and over again. You know what the definition of insanity is?

      The God in a box called the modern Church does NOT work.

    • Tim

      Part 2:

      Think about Part 1 and then act.

      • Travis


    • David A Morse

      Romans 14:10-12 So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture:

      “As I live and breathe,” God says,
      “every knee will bow before me;
      Every tongue will tell the honest truth
      that I and only I am God.”
      So tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.

  21. Jan

    Great article, I agree. As someone who once was/probably still is a part of this system, I believe most people are sincere but are so deeply rooted and immersed in it that they can’t see beyond. Hearts truly yearning for an authentic life with God will keep digging until they strike Gold, after all Jesus is the treasure hidden in the field,He’s in there hidden beneath the dirt – you are going to have yo buy the whole field, and it’s going to cost you everything you’ve got to extract Him.
    All articles and cultures aside, it’s about you and God, that’s where i’m getting to. That’s our final destination, keeping on track is the challenge.

    • ckratzer

      Jan, thanks for reading the article and for your wisdom, great comment.

  22. Shannan

    I don’t see a bit of difference between you and the “churches” behavior you have so vehemently written about. You have a profound, accurate knowledge of grace as it is revealed in God’s word. Why don’t you try some of it? Go ahead, lead the way, but not with words!

    • ckratzer

      Thanks for your readership Shannan!

  23. Brian David

    Well put. I hate the religious spirit to.

    • ckratzer

      Thanks Brian!

  24. Travis

    One thing I’ve been thinking about. Alot of people fire back at you “Oh you don’t practice what you preach, how about showing the same grace you preach to the churches you condemn!”

    I don’t think these people understand what grace is. Grace isn’t ignoring a problem for the sake of unity. Grace is having the boldness to point out the systemic evils in Christianity today but allowing people to make the changes themselves.

    The opposite of grace would be taking their freedom away and forcing people to adhere to MY standard of Christianity. Something many of us outside of Christianity see Christians trying to impose their moral law on everyone else. THAT is not gracious.

    Do you see the difference? The grace of Christ has saved every man, woman and child in the world from sin regardless of how evil we are. But that’s not the same kind of grace we’re talking about when we talk about showing grace to people. None of us can practice that level of divine grace.

    When we talk about practicing grace we talk about loving people where they’re at, REGARDLESS of who they are, what they do, or what they worship. THAT is REAL grace. And it doesn’t mean hiding the truth – it means teaching it, with love and patience.

    • ckratzer

      Well said Travis.

    • David A Morse

      Romans14:13-14 Forget about deciding what’s right for each other. Here’s what you need to be concerned about: that you don’t get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. I’m convinced—Jesus convinced me!—that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it.

    • Teresa l

      Nicely put.

  25. ckratzer

    Thank you for all the thoughtful comments shared so far! Whether we agree or disagree it is an honor to connect with all of you. It’s a passion of mine to help put words to the feelings of so many who are either too afraid or too discouraged to speak and make their feelings, experiences, and inner frustrations known. Whether you agree or disagree, as so many have commented to me privately and otherwise, this article taps into exactly what countless are feeling. As the article says, modern Christianity can either choose to listen or turn away. A few have suggested this article applies the same judgmental spirit it exposes. The more I hear that line of commenting, the more the need and accuracy of this article is validated. For Modern Christianity, as this article also suggests, is well gifted in the art of “missing the point” and deflecting the truth that exposes its disease by playing the, “you’re just like them” card. I am sure that Jesus, on many occasions, received this same brand of pushback. Let’s keep the conversation going, that we all might deepen in our living of the Jesus that dwells within, and as, each of us. Grace is brave, be brave! -Chris Kratzer

    • Arf Arf

      Very few Christians are ignoring the grace that Jesus taught. Yet you are setting yourself up to judgen, sentence and condemn. I want to see how your sample of what you preach is a ‘true’ Christian (As if you are the only ‘true’ Christian) when you are 40 50, 60, 70 + years old. You havn’t lived long enough to set yourself up to be the judge. One thing Jesus taught and stressed was Unity, Your brand of Christianity is judge, sentence, divide and conquer. Let see your good Christian record??? All I see so far is your judgmental shame, that you yourself are guilty of. Lets see you cast the first stone….of wait a minute, you already have…Speak for yourself., you are the hater here. Not the sinning Christians whose only hope is in Jesus.

      • ckratzer

        Arf Arf, thanks for reading my article, glad you like it. Btw, I am 46 years old and have been a pastor for 22 years. Blessings to you my friend.

        • Arf Arf

          Your a pastor? You should be ashamed. You sound like a cult member of a cult I once belonged to. They were constantly accusing other Christians, even publishing documents, reporting only their cult had a corner on Heaven because they weren’t like the other ‘churches’. You spout out the sins of other Christians setting yourself apart, as if your the only righteous Christian. What have you got to offer Unity or any real life solution to the problems you so boldly pointed out? I would like to see you over in Iraq, Syria or somewhere in the ME dedicating your life to Jesus by giving your life like 1000’s already have; than sitting behind a desk pointing out the sins of other Christians. May God have mercy on your soul.

  26. Dennis Thompsettt

    Good article. You are like Martin Luther, nailing your protests on the very door of the cathedral. But like him, you will have to form your own church or lack of one. There’s no fixing the current giant conglomerate. The very people you are tryig to shock and awe will simply label you as a ‘nut-job’ and continue on their holy crusade. Maybe there’s a new congregation coalescing already – the Kartzerans?

  27. Tim

    Hi Chris…

    Thank you for taking the time to pour out your heart and mind on this subject. I enjoyed the read. I think it’s pretty safe to say that we’ve all had encounters like the ones you describe. I also believe it’s not restricted to the “modern church” alone. We see this in all areas of life, though the hypocrisy is simply more obvious in the areas you very clearly highlight because it’s so highly publicized and proselytized. I have to say that I’ve come face to face with it myself and all too often as well.

    Here’s the thing though… while I very much appreciate and relate to your article, there are a couple of things I’d like to really talk about with someone… so… why not you?

    Why are we so focused on labels? Much of what I see in your words and in the view of the people you identify in your writing are labels. You hit it squarely in your article by saying:

    “Nothing enflames the passion of your cause more than to discover a new enemy. If you can’t find a real one, you simply string one together—homosexuality, liberality, wars against Christianity, prayer in schools, transgender equality—always some ax to grind. Nothing takes the wind out of your sails than to be absent of sin-targets for which to take your self-righteous aim— those who sin differently than you, your favorite sitting duck.”

    It’s easier to point your finger at someone else and accuse or chastise them because their particular “sin” makes yours seem less obvious, justified or simply forgotten altogether. It’s harder to hold up a mirror and to face who you are inside than it is to objectify someone else.

    The thing is though… while I agree, what your writing illustrates is definitely the antithesis of what Jesus came to teach; the very people you identify are also themselves in desperate need of grace, healing and redemption! You see… they’re suffering and so, “we” feel better when we identify something in someone else which averts us from our own reality or “truth”.

    Your question:

    “Where are the choruses, “My life sucks right now, and so does God?” I know, that would be too raw and real to where many are truly at I guess— doesn’t fit a starch-ironed, pleated theology, or look good on LED-shaded projection screens. ”

    They exist and I sometimes get to sing them, but maybe another thought is to welcome people in to a church or any location by saying, hey… I don’t have it figured out, but I’m happy to loan you my shoulder if I can lean on yours too… maybe, we can figure this out together because, sometimes, life is awful and hard! In that context, much of what we would call “modern worship” makes sense; because in that context “Lord… how I need you” becomes a point of common ground and we can join in our suffering. But then too, we can also join in celebration when we find healing.

    I’m not a big one for “Christianese” but I’ve kind of coined a phrase for myself… “I’m broken, but I don’t live in brokenness”. I’ve come to learn that that’s crap… we all live in brokenness because, we’re all a mess! Loving each other through the process… I think that’s how we can experience learning, healing and mostly, the Grace Jesus himself came to show us.

    I don’t think you’re hostile, angry or fully condemning… I just think you’re a little fed up. I could have (with a few exceptions) written this article myself, but I’ve come to learn, that there is a great deal we can all learn and contribute, from and to one another.

    I personally don’t want to tell someone that their brand of Christianity makes me want to vomit (though it may actually)… What I find more effective follow Christ for me and from time to time… loan someone my mirror. I find that when I identify things in myself and share them, I become someone safe to be vulnerable to. Maybe then, it will become easier for them to hold up their own mirror and acknowledge, that it’s not how someone else lives their lives, it’s how we live our own and knowing that, how can I help?

    I need God’s help and pray for it constantly, but what I’ve found is that he shows me love, tenderness and compassion through other “cracked pots” and sometimes, very directly through His own touch.

    Jesus was one tough Hombre! He took no crap but neither did He give any… He simply spoke and modeled truth… and I think He handed out a lot of mirrors.

    Just a thought.

    Hugs man! I’ve many times thought and felt what you’ve shared (and sometimes, still do), but I took a look in my mirror and saw that I needed to shift my perspective.


  28. Donavin Hawker

    Hi Chris, thank you for this well thought out, well written piece. I grew up in a Christian home & because of all the reasons you give, I stopped believing 25 years ago; only to have my Paulene moment 4 years past.
    The God I found this time around loves me enough to have sent His only son to die for my sins. The God I know today gave me undeserved Grace. This is the God I love in return – the churches have not changed, but I have.
    It’s rare to see such a critique from a fellow Christian & I am more grateful for it.

  29. Mark

    Sir. I commend you! Of course those who are part of this sytem will cry “bitterness”, “angry spirit” and I can already hear the response (from the blind) “I will pray that Jesus shows you the error of your ways”. Expect death threats from quakers. Personally I think you nailed it. Please contact me, I could use a friend who thinks like me, its lonely being honest.

    • ckratzer

      Mark, thanks for your comment and reading my article! I am on facebook, would love to connect with you there!

  30. Larry Branch

    Your opening statement said it all “Yet sadly, as many that yell “fire” in hopes to solicit a cure, most Christians simply resolve to bury their heads in the sand and cling to their black and white, cut and paste spiritualities.” As a husband and father that has heard the alarm, I am conflicted because my wife and children are still drinking the kool-aid.

    I think what truly fueled my personal change is my new found love for all my Father’s children. However, when I love the the Muslim, the immigrant and my friends in different marriage styles more than my own family and my ex-Christian family, I go to a quiet space and hang with God. What he says to me is most profound, “Even if I write a million blog post, but have not love. I have not love.”

    • ckratzer

      Larry, thanks for your readership and this thoughtful comment!

  31. Benjamin

    It would take me a while to touch bases on all the things you wrote about. So I will only talk about a few of the more pressing ones.

    First let me say that I am a Christian, a follower of Christ, and I am writing this so that others who do not believe or perhaps do but are on the fence do not get the wrong idea of your writing.

    You cannot give grace, this is by God and Jesus and the Holy spirit alone to give. For by Grace are we saved through faith, and not of ourselves. It is the gift of God not of works lest any man should boast. We are saved through his grace when Jesus bore all of our sins on the cross for us.

    One of the reasons many pastors preach about sin and bring to light if you will about you and I sinning so much is because this is indeed not the life that Jesus Christ wants you and I to have. If you think of Jesus as our father what do father’s want for their children? Only the best, and many want to raise their children in the likeness of themselves since it is only through their own knowledge that they can raise the child. Of course we make many mistakes in our life and we teach our children so that they do not make those same mistakes. It is simular to the way Jesus uses the Holy Spirit to condemn us when we sin, we feel this way toward sin because he doesn’t want to see us turn out baring bad fruit. He wants us to be like him, boring good fruit. And this entails many things, many things that preachers talk about.

    God does not make a person have a sucky life and God does not suck. That is why there are no songs in Christian churches. Because we know it is our own free will that gets us into ruts that we are in. Yes sometimes we run into things that are out of our control, but let me ask you something. Did the apostle Paul sing sucky songs about Jesus or God when he was ship wrecked or jailed, or whipped or starving, rejected and even during his final hours. No he did not. He remained strong because he knew that Jesus was with him always. He knew how important his task that was given to him by Jesus was.

    I want to ask you something Author of this article, do you know what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ? I ask this because II have a friend who believes simular to the way that you are believing (judging based solely on your words that you wrote, and judging solely because good can come from this). He believes that all you need is faith in Jesus. Yes this is true, yet is believing in Jesus Christ living the way you want to live? You may say, course I believe but now let me self pridefully write this article on modern Christians the way “I” see it and not the way Jesus sees it.

    People pray because this was what brings us closer to God, it is our time to come before him in humility and reverence and tell him how much we love him, how much we are thankful for the life we have been given, or what a change in our life through the comforter (holy spirit) has made us. We come to him when we do not know things, or perhaps maybe we just feel like our self strength alone is not enough to get through that particular moment in our life. Heck I even prayed right before responding whether it would be a good idea or not and how it would benefit others.

    I just want to end by saying that there isn’t a day that goes by that I cannot not rely upon him.

    Thank you for writing your thoughts about other Christians of this world, I am happy that you have allowed others including myself to comment on your article.

    • Travis

      Very appropriate religious responses. Now why don’t you pull out your Bible and actually read it rather than spout vain philosophy. I would start with reading verses on grace and what grace is. Apparently you think it is some metaphysical power only Christ and God display.

      “You cannot give grace, this is by God and Jesus and the Holy spirit alone to give.”
      What absolute ubiblical garbage.

      2 Peter 3:18, Eph 4:32, and Col 4:6

      And BTW, God DOES put sucky things in our lives. Check Isaiah 45:7

      Read the Bible… read ALL the words. It might surprise you.

      • Benjamin

        2nd Peter 3:18
        But grow in Grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever Amen.

        This passage is referring to growing in God’s grace through Jesus Christ.

        Ephesians 4:32
        And be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
        This passage is talking about forgiveness toward others because Christ has already forgiven you.

        Colosions 4:66
        Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
        This passage is talking about speaking with and through the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

        No offense to you as I am sure you mean well, but none of the passages you listed refer to mankind being able to bestow grace upon someone else or give grave to someone else. As I said before it is through Grace that we are saved and forgiven. God’s grace.

        Isiah 45:7
        I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.
        This verse is pertaining to when God was speaking about Isreal. Yes God punished after many times of the Isrealites disobeying him. He also rewarded them when they were obedient.
        In a different perspective, was a dad sucky when he grounded his child for a month after finding his son or daughter drove home drunk the night before?

        I am not one to argue or tell people they are wrong. In fact I only replied because I didn’t want others who read your comment to get the wrong idea of what I typed. I am sure you have good reason and earnest to prove something and I am happy that you do read the bible.

        This will be my only reply.

        • Travis

          It’s funny how you have to add to every verse… you can’t seem to let them stand on their own.

    • One of the many Christians living on this earth

      Dear Chris,
      When I first read your article I was sure you were self-rightously setting yourself up to be judge of all Christians. And well yes, in a way you did. I wrote back to spout off how I disagreed with you. It wasn’t until my daughter wrote a scathing rebuke, telling me how she hated Christianity shoved down her throat growing up in our home and my ‘selfishness’ affect her adult life. (She will be 26 in a few days) It was then those stinging words she and you wrote that made me realize I need to change. We can live our life thinking we are serving Jesus in the best way we know how, but be ‘self’ righteous. The very sin Jesus rebuked the harshest. To know I hurt the ones I love the most by my ‘over religious’ worldview cuts the deepest. I’m still reeling from it. To sum up what I’m trying to say, I can now appreciate your post. It is an eye opener for sure. In conclusion it is my prayer we learn these lessons early in our walk with the Lord. IT seems as Christians we are constantly failing in our endeavors to serve Jesus, our only hope is the love and forgiveness of Jesus. It is his sacrifice of giving his life, suffering on the cross that we miserable sinners have hope. In the words of Lenard Cohen; “Only drowning men can see him.” Having said that, as Christians we are the warriors, spiritually where all wars begin, we are the overcomers, we shouldn’t be the weak namby-pamby Christians the movies like to portray us to be. We need to strengthen each other to keep fighting because we are going to be fighting battles until the day we die. You were right, certain kinds of Christian samples makes people want to vomit. I had to learn the hard way… Arf Arf

      • ckratzer

        Arf Arf, honored to receive this comment, blessings to you, and thanks for the courage to write!

      • Travis

        Arf Arf, I’m honored you think I wrote the article. I did not, however, I’ve been following the comments as this article is something I felt very passionate about. Chris Kratzer deserves the honor of writing this incredibly cogent article that seems to be reaching across the aisles of Christianity and touching the gulf between where the “outsiders” lie.

        Like you, I am a former Christian but no longer claim the title. Instead I forcefully reject it whenever anyone applies it to me. It belongs to the derogatory class of words that the romans originally coined it for, to me it is an embarrassment, not a point of pride.

        Instead, I’ll walk with Christ, outside the box enjoying the journey Father has set for us.

  32. Louis hart

    I got halfway and I was like, I NEED TO MEET YOU. You have spoken our hearts. I know I would get along very well with you. I also see behind the “dead religion” within mainstream Christianity. Like a corpse with thick make up it appears to me. If we all just took a good look at jesus, stopped our sophisticated Christianity and got back the simple truths of jesus and obeyed them. The desciples were fishermen who could barely read. Look what they achieved through christ. I fully support this post. God bless and peace, from louis.

    • ckratzer

      Louis, so great to connect with you, and thanks for your comment! I’ll make a Liverpool fan out of your one day!

  33. GT

    I am very sorry for your hurt pain and offense that the so called church has put on you , I would ask that you practice what your so impassioned about ,Grace ! by reading this it seems as if you have not received true grace at all, those that recieve grace do not deserve and cannot merit the free gift but as I see in your post , condemnation and judgement toward those that have harmed you . We must forgive to be forgiven . Jesus spoke on offense tbat we all will at some point be offended but allowing that offense to become a snare Is where we must becareful because right after the offense comes false teachers to deceive and ensnare those that believe and we must ask ourselves how can the false teacher deceive ? It’s very clear though the offense speaking the language of the offense , so my brother please becareful of your words they are life and death and many are offended and as you speak the offense you will also ensnare thise that are hurt and take sides with the accuser which is Satan . the thing that I see the most with the estatic grace followers is that when disagreed with they do foward that same grace with those that disagree with their doctrine yes that’s right doctrine , whether you agree or not it’s still doctrine , so I will do the religious thing and yes your right pray for you , according to my over zealousy of the scriptures, in where I can only and truly find the reality of life , true grace is we all deserve hell due to the fallen nature of our carnal appetites that was handed over in the beginning , but grace was given that mankind can be united with God in covenant through our Lord Jesus our propitiation and what mankind deserved He took and now by an unmerited favor from a Just and merciful God we are adopted into this glorious life , we must be different than our accuser

    • ckratzer

      Garrett, thanks for reading my article, and I appreciate the thought given to your comments! In my humble opinion, it’s a lame excuse from being confronted with the truth of this article to play the “where’s the Grace?” card. If you read the article, it’s clear that I am speaking for the countless people who feel what I articulate and are afraid or don’t have the words to say it. At times, the truth is offensive, especially to the religious who like to dish it out, but can’t stand a good look in the mirror.

      • David A Morse

        I like a quote from Dan Dennett and although I could not find it to share here is the basic idea. He was asked why are you so arrogant and so sure of yourself. This from a Christian that himself was certain of God and what he wanted of man.

    • Tyler

      It’s truly hysterical that you can read a piece of writing like this an actually invoke “Satan” into your response! Besides the fact that the entire Satan concept is such ludicrous nonsense, I love the fact that a grown person actually think there is a real life “devil”that influences people to do morally horrible acts such as support gay rights or teach evolution in public schools. Have you ever wondered why after the invention of cameras that God stopped performing miracles, or after the development and understanding of psychology that exorcists stopped performing excorsisms ? Believing in the devil is as about as ridiculous as believing in galaxy forming unicorns! Grow up! Until you are ready to deal with reality on realities terms than you’ll never be able to deal with real life. Your religion is nothing more than an ancient system of superstitions that intellectually stifles progress and hinders the development of humanity. Wake up already.

    • Mike

      Welcome to the world of the prophets. The folks who need to hear the message dismiss it because it’s easier to “tone-police”. I was at the point of this post for years and years. Finally, a divorce ended up pushing me out of the fundagelical nest. I ended up in a church that many would call heretical due to its progressive social stances. However, every week two things happen in that church that keep me going. There is a congregational confession of sin and a pastoral reminder that through Jesus, we are forgiven of that sin. The second is the pastor begins every sermon with this blessing: “Grace, mercy, and peace belong to you. They are free gifts from the one who was, who is, and is to come.”

      Doesn’t get any more grace-ful than that to me.

  34. Daniel Cox

    I just…am I supposed…what do I do with this? Do I congratulate myself because I’m not like those awful, vomit inducing Christians? Or do I repent because I somehow suck at being human? I’m trying hard to find grace in this article, but I can’t hear it through all the condemnation. Maybe I’ll find it in the scripture…oh, wait…maybe not. I might misinterpret the Word.

    Sigh. This all just makes me …want to vomit.

    • ckratzer

      Daniel, thanks for reading my article. Where is the condemnation in this article? Do I anywhere say or even suggest that the ills I point out or the people involved are doomed to hell, beyond love, or forever imprisoned to their own cancer? No. Jesus, on several occasions, pointed out the evils of the religious and the religious systems of His day. As it would be with Him, it’s a lame excuse from being confronted with the truth of this article to play the “where’s the Grace?” card.

      • Daniel Cox


        You ask “where is the condemnation in your article”?. Condemnation doesn’t just mean “doomed to hell”. Condemnation is also defined as an expression of strong disapproval. And the post does so in spades. It’s in the tone. It’s in the language. It’s in the use of “You are… You do…”, like an angry, pointing finger.

        I presume the article was written to call those condemned to changed their behavior and their thinking? If grace is the great leveler (and it is), then how does this public flaying bring change? You call me lame for “playing” the grace card, and yet, when you justify your condemnation by saying Jesus did so, it comes off as smug. Better than thou. And though I don’t know you, I’m fairly certain that is NOT your intent. But that’s how it looks from over here.

        I also read four of your other posts, to try to understand your perspective a little better. Clearly, you are passionate. But this tone! My impression is that you understand grace and how it applies to the modern discussion of gays. You affirm gays and call those who don’t, by inference, control freaks. If we don’t quite believe as you, we’re accused of trying to “control, manipulate, label and sway”. That we’re “way off base…not of this planet”.

        I find it difficult to read your posts not because I disagree but because I’m given the sense that IF I disagree, I’ll be lumped together with those homophobic, ignorant control freaks who don’t get it. Dismissed out of hand. You’re right and they’re not.

        The angry, condemning tone of these posts leaves me to feel like you have it and you see people like me as a project. And if we believe differently as you, then you kinda feel sorry for us, lost in our religiosity.

        You accuse us of believing we”…are always right; … true, genuine follower(s) of Christ—everyone else, some shade of rebellion and unfaithfulness—desperately in need of (y)our discipleship. ” And yet, from my perspective, I don’t see much of a difference between this post and the very Christians you thrash.

        And I’m not quite sure of what to do with this.

        • ckratzer

          Daniel, grace for the broken, outcast, and “least of these” often feels like condemnation to the religious. I wrote this as a common sense article knowing that most people will have the common sense to know to whom it applies (and those it doesn’t) and the behaviors thereof. Additionally, they will sense the communication of not just my voice, but countless others. You can criticize me for stylistic components that don’t appeal to you and cry foul all you want, but in doing so, I believe you join the others who likewise, seemingly excel at missing the point. As I mentioned in the opening of the article, there are those who are determined to bury their heads in the sand in defense of their black and white spiritualities. Again, thanks for reading my article and for your thoughtful comments. I enjoyed the discussion.

          • Teresa l

            To add to that, many of those condemned by the modern church were also those condemned by the Pharisees. It was those outcasts who Christ called to, whom he nurtured and loved so well. He also called out the Pharisees on their own hypocracy. If it is not love, mercy and compassion to all, it is not Christ.

          • ckratzer

            Thank you Teresa for reading my article and for your thoughtful, encouraging comments.

      • Cat Young

        I think what he, and others, are trying to say to you is this: “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1 NIV) No one is saying people in the church do not need correction, but there is a way to do it that is respectful to the one receiving it, and actually encourages change rather than raising (often justifiable) defenses. I don’t think its at all meaningful to talk about “the church” in any corrective sense because it is made up of individuals, with widely differing behaviors, all growing out of widely differing backgrounds and experiences. Much more effective and appropriate to address sin in individuals so you are not tarring everyone with the same brush, and best when you can confess to your own faults in the same area before trying to correct someone else–in other words, from a place of humility. There is a way you could have written your article so it did this, but I suspect you let your anger get in the way.

        • Travis

          I rather prefer this one from 1 Tim 4
          1 Now the spirit is saying explicitly, that in subsequent eras some will be withdrawing from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and the teachings of demons,
          2 in the hypocrisy of false expressions, their own conscience having been cauterized;
          3 forbidding to marry, abstaining from foods, which God creates to be partaken of with thanksgiving by those who believe and realize the truth,
          4 seeing that every creature of God is ideal and nothing is to be cast away, being taken with thanksgiving,
          5 for it is hallowed through the word of God and pleading.

        • Travis

          Sorry wrong one 2 Tim 4 is what I meant

          2 Herald the word. Stand by it, opportunely, inopportunely, expose, rebuke, entreat, with all patience and teaching.

          • Tyler

            Forgetting your total lack of grammar, do you have any thoughts of your own, or are you content with just spewing out bible verses (specific to your particular translation, as the actual passage you refer is substantially different from the original text). If all you have to offer is regurgitated quotes from a morally bankrupt book than why do you even bother to participate in discussions? Are you physically and emotionally as well as Intellectually powerless to form your own thought?

          • Travis

            I was responding to a christian according to a text they themselves profess to follow but quite typically skip over the parts they find uncomfortable. Rest assured, I’m not bible bashing an athiest.

        • ckratzer

          Cat, I appreciate your comments and discussion. I think we will have to agree to disagree, respectfully. I wrote this as a common sense article knowing that most people will have the common sense to know to whom it applies (and those it doesn’t) and the behaviors thereof. Additionally, they will sense the communication of not just my voice, but countless others. You can criticize me for stylistic components that don’t appeal to you and cry foul all you want, but in doing so, I believe you join the others who likewise, seemingly excel at missing the point. As I mentioned in the opening of the article, there are those who are determined to bury their heads in the sand in defense of their black and white spiritualities. Again, thanks for reading my article and for your thoughtful comments. I enjoyed the discussion.

  35. Anneka Haining

    While I don’t fundamentally disagree with points made. I just think due to sin, we all will fall into religiosity from time to time as we aren’t perfect. So a case of remove the plank in your own eye before removing the spec from your brothers.
    Also is the tone of this article loving to those people? If we are called to love everyone, then surely that includes people that “makes us vomit”

  36. Travis

    Not really, you haven’t exactly been gracious in your words either.

  37. Tyler

    Absolutely brilliant. As a strident atheist I appreciate your struggle for truth, but as a human, I deeply respect your quest for equality, unity and righteousness. Thanks for your incredible insight!

  38. Nancy Hollo

    Found your post while searching online for a Christian church without a stage. I was so disappointed to find out the Quakers have stages, worship teams and sermons by paid professionals, too. My ideal church would be one where you could stand up and express this prophetic tirade and you would be listened to with empathy, not arrested and hauled out by the police. If I see one more worship leader sticking a microphone down their throat I will throw up! Why can’t they sit out with the congregation with invisible mikes on and sing? What is it about holding a microphone on a stage, like a scepter of a king or queen, and an adoring audience waving hands at them? Of course they feel like royalty, look at the buildings that house their performance, most church building mortgage payments could keep plenty of third world starving children alive, not to mention the sickening, putrid jumbotrons and depraved electric bills. My local mini mega church started rebuking the audience when they became too demonstrative, criticizing us for attention getting behavior. Yet they perform on a stage in front of video cameras for a paying audience. I’m 61 and thank God I don’t have to live too much longer in this horrifying apostate world.

  39. Nancy Hollo

    Not to mention that American Christian leadership has continued to garner all the money they can for themselves and done nothing, nothing to help the Christians being slaughtered by Muslim radicals. Why weren’t we led into conviction and coops formed so we could pool our resources, sell our extravagances and bring those suffering souls to safety before they were killed? Judgment will fall on us for this.

    • ckratzer

      Nancy, thanks so much for checking out my article and for taking the time to post your thoughtful comments!

      • Nancy Hollo

        Your post was a catalyst for me to face my own depression/disappointment about the state of the church, and now I feel a really healthy anger that I can pour out in prayer, leave the depression behind along with the shackles of controlling pastors and fear of disapproval. My favorite prayer is “Oh Holy Spirit whose presence is liberty, grant us the freedom of the Spirit that will not fear to tread in unknown or be held back by misgivings of ourselves or fear of others. Lead us always to the place of You will, which is also the place of Your power.” Thank you for your honest anger. It helped me make peace with the fact that church is not the place of God’s will for some of us. God bless you!

  40. Ken Nichols

    I loved this piece because it was very cathartic. It said what I’ve wanted to say so many times (especially today where I’ve been dealing with bathroom law supporters). It was like having a good mental temper tantrum.

    But I could never post this to my FB. It’s just too harsh to do anything but provide more fuel for anger and rhetoric on both sides. It talks about Jesus’ love, but doesn’t show it.

    But maybe you didn’t really write it for the audience it SOUNDS like it’s written to. Maybe you REALLY wrote it for yourself (and for others like you – which, yeah, includes me). So, IF that was your intention, thank you, it did the job. I feel better. I got all the “you are SO wrong, and we are SO right” nuggets out of it.

    But, in the end, isn’t that EXACTLY the same thing that “they” say? Aren’t we just feeding our OWN egos with this kind of talk? And doesn’t that make us the same as “them”?

    • Nancy Hollo

      Do I detect a sense of political correctness in your comment, that modern reticence when it comes to clearly pointing out when someone is just plain wrong? Just saw a YouTube video called “College Kids Say the Darndest Things”. Half a dozen college kids could not tell a 5’9″ white male interviewer that he was not a 6’5″ Chinese woman, out of respect for his right to believe what he wants about himself. But clearly he can’t meet the height requirement to become a fireman. What if he pressed this issue in court? There has to be a point where we can say – you are wrong! And YOU are wrong if you assert that we can’t disagree with or correct mainstream Christian churches because of “I’m okay, you’re okay luv”.

      • Ken Nichols

        No, I don’t mind telling people they are wrong. Just check my FB page to see plenty of that.

        But I try to do it in a more peaceful spirit than this piece exudes. You can be right and be loving about it, or at least cordial.

        Like I said in my original comment, I agreed with almost all of this and it made ME feel better (justified?), but I don’t think it’s going to bring anyone over to “our way” of thinking, but rather make them MORE defensive after feeling “attacked”. And is that really the kind of “spirit” we want to put out into the world, right or not?

        • Nancy Hollo

          So your issue is not with what he said, but how he said it? I’m getting a sense of that you think Christians should adopt a certain persona and not deviate from that? Kind of like the mild-mannered, affable Christian male persona and the hearts and butterflies and bows Christian female persona?

          • Ken Nichols

            “Adopt” No. That would imply “pretending” to be something we’re not for the sake of acceptance by others. I certainly don’t advocate for that.

            If one’s heart is truly being ruled by love, and a desire for the best for others, just as God’s desire is the best for all of US (“He is FOR us.”), then we should NATURALLY desire to communicate that in an attractive way MOST of the time. Yes, there are times for harshness. Jesus was harsh at times. But this piece seemed a bit “over the top” in that department to ME (yeah, this is just MY opinion here.) as a NATURALLY affable, mild-mannered Christian male who doesn’t often “get riled up” over things. I just think it’s generally true that you attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

            I don’t FAULT Chris for the tone of the piece. I say more power to him. But it’s just not something *I* want to put out there on MY Facebook wall. In other words, while I agree with it in content, it’s just not “ME” in spirit.

          • ckratzer

            Ken, I truly understand your perspective and realize this was a strong article, for sure. Yet, if it was going to honestly communicate what so many people on the outside truly feel and so desperately want to say to much of modern Christianity, it had to be. No way around it. That’s the risk I had to take. For most people, I think they understood that and appreciated it. However, I appreciate you and respect your perspective as well.

          • Nancy Hollo

            I love your answer! I enjoyed the discussion.

          • Ken Nichols

            Chris, thanks for replying.

            And I respect you, sir. I understand your reasons for the post and for the tone in which you presented it. I think it’s great, and it spoke to me, and I’m sure many others.

            Just because I don’t want to post it on MY Facebook doesn’t lessen either it’s quality or it’s necessity. I just don’t need the additional “aggravation” that posting this would send my way.

            Nancy, thank you for dialoguing with me. I’m glad I was able to articulate my reservations clearly. I enjoyed the conversation as well. 🙂

  41. LJ

    In all honesty, as a Christian committed to working toward peace and justice, your comments are very disheartening, and they paint all Christians with one broad stroke. That does nothing to build up the body of Christ. There are many, many Christians working desperately to try and not behave as you claim all Christians act. The shock value of this article does nothing for those of us who seek daily to live like Christ would have us live…you know…Christ-like! We don’t toss out the platitudes. We don’t go with the cliched comments. We work on building community, and yes, we say “We will be praying for you” and actually do it. Yet you throw stones at everyone who claims to be Christian. Many of us love all, give grace freely, practice hospitality and forgiveness, and seek to live justly. What you say will do nothing to change the minds of actions of the people who claim Christianity and adhere to the behavior to describe. Those of us who don’t behave that way and who try to live authentic, Christ-like lives will more than likely be insulted. I know I am.

    • ckratzer

      Linda, thanks for reading my article and your reflections on it. I understand this article is strong. However, it was written with the assumption that most people will have the common sense to realize that not all the points apply to all Christians. Obviously, there are Christians who don’t exude all or even some of these attributes. However, this article was also purposed on not communicating primarily my viewpoints, but rather primarily the views of people on the outside of Christianity looking in who have serious concerns about Christianity and either lack the words or the courage to speak them honestly. The truth is, people on the outside, see Christianity as a whole, for right or wrong. They lump it all into one sentiment. Furthermore, this article represents exactly what so many on the outside are thinking and feeling towards Christianity as a whole. I am saddened, but not surprised that there are some like you who are offended by this article. As much as we might want to close our ears to the message of this article and cry foul, the real question is, will Christianity finally start to listen. If soft, cuddling words of suggestion and correction were taken seriously by much of Christianity, this article would not be warranted, nor would it gain such traction among many who find tremendous hope and validation within its words.

  42. adrianne

    Love it Chris, hit the nail on the head. Amazes me though when the truth is told instant defense comes to some and immediately they condemn or play victim in their retorts. I really appreciated this article and a uplifting reminder of what I have been getting freer and freer from.

    • ckratzer

      Adrianne, thanks so much for reading my article and your encouragement. I understand this is a strong article and that some my have a hard time hearing it. So glad it has served to encourage you!

      • Teresa l

        It was very articulate, very moving article that touched me deeply and (while of course it doesn’t apply to everyone, which shouldn’t even need to be said) all too true. This “brand” of Christianity has sickened many a Christian and we are horrified by the shear abuse of the Word of our Creator thrown down our throats, trickling into our politics and stifling the free will given to us.

  43. Julian

    Holy shit, man! I originally started reading and laughed at your sarcasm and wittiness, but the further I read the more I thought “you fucking hit the nail on the head with this!” Glad you wrote this because although you spoke with a fairly brutal honesty, you [almost] exactly expressed my thoughts on the matter.

    You really nailed it.

  44. Dave B

    Congratulations on reinforcing all the attitudes of the people on the fringes of the church who may have taken offence at some small insult by a church person to “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. Mr Kratzer, whom ever the “we” are in this article sounds like a judgmental, bitter person who thinks they can read the minds and see the hearts of people who may actually have good intentions. The “you” whom you vilify with your words may or may not have an “agenda” that is so devious or superficial as you make them out to be. I’m sure I have looked at others and thought some of the things you wrote but its not my place to assume or correct them until its obvious. Even if I discovered things that needed correction I don’t see the need to broadcast all the failings of God’s people across the web. You are not a prophet called to bring a whip on God’s people. Maybe you need to examine your own heart and motives here. Did you think that this article would do more to bring people in contact with Christ and His people or do you think it will cause them to continue to hold on to their stumbling blocks and forsake the church? How will this article “build up” the body as we are called to do? We are not called to be divisive. I guess that is for God to know what your words will accomplish. He is sovereign and sometimes God will use of the actions of some people to save others and sometimes despite the actions of others.

  45. devin bouchelle

    those that have the holy spirit have been given the adoption into being co-heirs with Christ. and further being the bride of the bride-groom.
    the father never talks to his sons bride with indignation.
    i know there are plenty of people who have evidence of the spirit that do not evoke the ethics of the kingdom, but none the less the living God has accepted them and chosen to give them His spirit. if it were unto us we would not accept them unto ourselves. and that’s the problem.
    to say the church is like the scribes and the pharisees, is a little off kilter. we can’t lump in christian-dom and the show of church with the guardians of the law. it’s a new era and the people groups have changed. i think you validate your loathing by saying Jesus treated the religious this way, so it’s alright. but the “they” of the church arn’t the “they” of the temple although there are similarities that cannot be dismissed.
    it’s disheartening for you to see what is off and blare a trumpet at them, it would be commendable to take the face and hands of Jesus to them. you seeing it and diagnosing it, is not in the least remarkable or note-worthy. what would be note worth and worth of good news embodied is you coming to the realization in your heart of “forgive them father for they know not what they do”. Jesus died with in earshot of the empire and religious establishments uttering those words. So even to those, who would enter after the tax collectors and prostitutes, his blood flowed out for as a slayed lamb at cavalry.
    i feel this post it all it’s seething anger of everything wrong with church void of compassion, mercy, and forgiving justice. i would saw refocus this fire to be construction to bring reformation by displaying the Jesus you know face to face heart to heart one person at a time. cause quiet frankly nothing is done with diagnosing an illness, the illness is still there untreated. they only thing that matters is the solution to the illness. like a doctor exposing the problem you have only went half way. the other half is writing the script for the medication.
    do that! announce the solution and remedy, now that you have signified the cancer. anyone can and is ready and willing to critique, no one wants to get there hands dirty in the synagogues of hypocrites and trenches of the outcast. check out ragamuffin gospel by brennan manning and see how he diagnosed the church many years before us and offered the remedy, with finesse’ and clout. and I DARE YOU to take as much time and energy in your blog to write out the “how”, in “how” to be people of God following the lamb.
    i hear you, i understand you, been there in that same mind.
    your brother in Christ, devin
    with hope for a reformation to a sleeping church and dying world

    • Kaatje Murakami

      American Evangelical Fundamentalist Christianity is dying. About time, too. They have caused so much pain to people. Many are in denial and will not take responsibility for their actions. Then when you try to explain, they pull the old ‘ you were never a Christian card. One day, I just got tired of the abuse, isolation, meanness, lack of love and compassion and left. I searched for a spirituality and found it.

  46. John Longworth

    This process began at Gethsemane when the first disciples ran for cover. Even before the crucifixion, disciples were jockeying for power.

  47. J Dawg

    Love the fast food hamburger metaphor! Accurate.

    This reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw (no, it’s not, “Jesus is coming back soon, look busy.” (Paraphrased))… It is (paraphrased), “If Jesus came back tomorrow (and saw the condition of the faith in His name), He’d never stop vomiting.”

  48. David Allen

    You forgot to expound on “You tirade and chastigate on social media without ever using an I word”?

  49. Pamela Huskey


    • ckratzer

      Thanks Pamela!

  50. Carrie Hannah

    I am a believer and a Christian author. Who writes with the passages of the bible cannon. I wrote a true relationship journey with God. I read all things written in the field. I am now writting a soul winning book.I’m now working on a scientific explanation of creation in Gen.I hope if you come across my book. Birthing The Phoenix by Carrie Hannah that you find no condemnation in what I write.

  51. Damon Lewis

    Thank you Chris,

    Your evocative and heartfelt article aptly describes the malaisse which has unfortunately permeated much of the American church and I applaud your effort to address this elephant-in-the-congregation. Sadly, as important as this conversation is, many of the underlying causes of the affliction are so subtle & elusive as to render such introspection as yours maddeningly difficult and thus exceedingly rare. If I may and for what it’s worth, I’d like to offer a few observations of my own as to how & why we’ve come to such a collectively low spiritual place.

    First, we must always begin with time, place, and culture.
    I think too often we gloss over just how radically different life (and our understanding of the natural world) was in the Bronze Age Near East vs. Modern Day America. We would also do well to keep in mind the simple reality that our Bible is a Jewish codex (even omitting Enoch, Thomas, the Maccabbees, etc.). Also, the fact remains despite whatever posthumous “makeovers” we have subjected him to, that the Rabbi Yeshua ben-Joseph was not the Christian “Jesus”. Furthermore, as is all-too-common with cultural-appropriations, our attempt to transform the Old Testament from a collection of Hebrew allegories meant to confer abstract moral, intellectual, and spiritual lessons into a literal historical record, we’ve missed the point of it entirely. This is further exacerbated by the fact that the Bible as we know it was written in Hebrew & Greek and does not translate very well into English. I cringe when I hear the linguistical & logical pretzels Christians twist themselves into becuase of this. To name just one example, Jesus was not talking about dromedarries & sewing, he was actually referring to the narrowness of the East gate of Jerusalem (The Needle) and ones need to unsaddle their goods to enter the city. That said and as you rightly point out, pedantic Pharisee-like parsing of Scripture is not something to be embraced at the expense of inclusiveness, however, better scholarship and clarity from Christian ministers does act as bulwark against inconsistent and absurd doctrine becoming pervasive. Our disconnection from Scripture has become so pronounced, I frequently hear Milton & Dante conflated with the Word even among longtime believers. Frequently.

    Secondly, we Americans largely follow the dictates of Saul/Paul rather than the Evangel of Jesus. How many church services have you attended where the preacher delivers an entire sermon without once quoting Christ, but instead only cites Paul? Sadly, I’ve heard far too many of those and let’s face it, Paul is a serious bummer. While Jesus is always admonishing us TO DO, Paul too often obsesses about what he feels we ought NOT TO DO. Jesus was moved by compassion. Paul was moved by ambition. We’ve given Paul much too much authority that rightly only belongs to Christ. It’s the teachings of Paul that leads to the superficial focus of BEING “A” CHRISTIAN, It’s the teachings of Jesus that leads to BEING CHRISTIAN – a subtle but distinct difference.

    Lastly, because I’ve rambled far too long already, it behooves us to make up our minds. Either Jesus absolved us of our obligation to Old Testament Law and created a New Compact or he didn’t. We seemingly try to have it both ways (depending on the issue-at-hand) and I think this dissonance, this spiritual schizophrenia is contributing to the rot. How else to explain why, unlike Christians anywhere else on earth, the unequivocal tenet of our American Faith sect has become opposition to abortion even though Jesus never once mentions it? He does mention helping the poor, old, and infirmed. Quite often actually. He does mention eschewing material goods for spiritual ones. He does mention loving one another. He does mention how pleasing the Lord finds forgiveness, compassion, and truth. Maybe the church would prosper and people would feel more welcome if we redirected our focus back to the real message

  52. FRED turner

    Wow! Feel better now, I hope!

  53. Bernice Welborn

    You’re a true light.Shine..Thankyou for boldly delivering truth..

    • ckratzer

      Bernice, thank you!

  54. Gabriel N. Akins

    I believe much of the observations above are honest reactions and I have had many, if not all, of the same myself. Though I am not sure the traits of an old line fundamentalism have properly been digested and understood for what they are, another impersonal cultural and social bulldozing force. Otherwise we would not also see as many other people behaving much the same way only with different ideals and claims to moral high ground… “like a microwave hamburger patty” warm and ready to enjoy on the outside and ice cold in the middle. I do believe Christianity for some people is a tool among other tools for their own purposes, regardless of how much it seems they would have us imagine God is in control. Still, there is a great deal of the same fundamentalism among reactionaries to the older/previous version; with holy vehemence they have become what they have felt dominated by.

    Doubt In The South

    There’s blinding invective and pain-throbbing tears
    They’ve worn and torn coat tails of parents and peers
    Just asking their questions, not knowing what for
    They’re turned to in silence, then words without warmth

    There are questions galore, questions galore
    But no understanding, words without warmth
    Blind are the eyes and ears do not hear
    When questions are answered with words out of fear

    There’s a pendulum ride made from the years
    From each generation of pain-throbbing tears
    Rejecting the worst of parents and peers
    Won’t teach a heart patience, won’t steady our fear

    There’s a teacher, a priest, who is what he says
    He turned on convention and spurned the church heads
    He gave to the Caesar, the coin it was his
    And gave to His Father whose Image He is

    Life giving water flows from His mouth
    He’s doing and blessing, He’s living it out
    He is what he says and restores from His mouth
    He’s overcoming doubt in the South

    © Gabriel N. Akins 2013

  55. David Fredrickson

    Thanks for refusing to water down the truth. How desperately it needs to be heard by too many of us who claim to be followers of Christ, but in reality are led by our own warped perspective and self righteousness!

    • ckratzer

      Thanks David!

  56. Tony Cutty

    Here, you have essentially expounded Jesus’s rants against the Religious of his day, and brought it up to date with specific examples. Today’s Pharisees could do with reading this – as could I – with an attitude of ‘Is this me?’ Brilliant piece 🙂

    • ckratzer

      Thanks Tony!

  57. Summer

    I value the opinion you have expressed, as I myself and so many others have fallen victim to the judgement of our “fellow” Christians.

    I am in a theology class currently in which we talked about the way that so many people are running away from religion to become “Nones” or nonaffiliated with religion. I think that this can be a huge part of the reason.

    I have experienced so much judgement in the place of grace and love I should receive from the church. I am trying so very hard to cling to my faith, but the rehearsed lines just aren’t the answers that can help me from where I am.

  58. Jasmine Monique Bell

    I think you wrote this because you and I both know that Christianity is worthless anyway you slice it, if you just believe in being disobedient and go along with the crowd all in the name of grace and go it is okay because Jesus loves me and ohhh grace grace grace. It makes me sick how untenable Christianity is and how weak modern day Christianity is and a joke that Christians are. Christianity is a religion if you lack the common sense to realize that then you are pathetic beyond measure.

    Christianity is the poison bottom line. Just rack up the lawlessness so that you can proclaim Jesus is my lord and Savior and if I don’t sin as much as I can his death was pointless. Christianity is a vicious cycle of fallacious faith.damned if you do damned if you don’t and the more damn mess you get into and the more you conform to worldliness while destructing the better off you are according to you. We are not the problem the problem is this world and and how downhill it is going down and only decent people in any faith get that and are sick of it too. Being human does not have to mean purposelessly throwing caution to the wind and being disrespectful you are bad at being human too because you sound like an animal.

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