In many posts on this blog I am very hard on evangelical Christians and fundamentalist Christians for a simple reason: they are increasingly the antithesis of Christ's message. They cherry pick bible passages to condemn others, parade about feigning piety as they wear pretend religiosity on their sleeves. Meanwhile, they are blind to the reality that they are the Pharisees condemned in the bible ten fold. Their hypocrisy knows few limits and they are best defined by hatred of others and contempt for the religious freedom of others (e.g., John Adams, the GOP candidate for attorney general of Virginia thinks his religious beliefs should be binding on everyone). People are watching their behavior, especially Millennials and, based on what they see, they are walking away from organized religion and rightfully so when atheists and agnostics act in far more moral ways then the self-anointed "godly folk." There is a reason one third of Millennials claim no religious affiliation. In a word, because of "Christians." I came across a column that summarizes many of my thoughts on this issue. Here are excerpts:
Growing-up in the Church, I was taught that the worst thing one could be was a non-believer; that nothing was as tragic as a doomed soul that condemned itself by rejecting God.The religion of my childhood drew a sharp, clear line between the saved and the damned.All that mattered was making sure someone found themselves on the better side of this line—and the Atheists and Humanists didn’t have a shot.
The Bible called it “making disciples” and it was the heart of our tradition.As the venerable hymn declared, we Jesus people were to be known—by our love.
People outside the Church will tell you: love is no longer our calling card.It is now condemnation, bigotry, judgment and hypocrisy. By operating in a way that is in full opposition to the life and ministry of Jesus—it is understandably producing people fully opposed to the faith that bears his name.
Christians; people who no longer consider organized religion an option because the Jesus they recognize is absent. In fact, this God may be toxic.
People are steering clear in droves, choosing to find meaning and community and something that resembles love outside its gatherings.
. . . . the reason the Church soon will be teetering on the verge of extinction and irrelevance, will be because those entrusted to perpetuate the love of Jesus in the world, lost the plot so horribly, and gave the world no other option but to look elsewhere for goodness and purpose and truth.
Sadly, the non-toxic Christian denomination have yielded the field to the haters and for better or worse, the haters now define Christianity.