Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Evangelicals and Fundamentalists are Killing Christianity

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.
And that’s the irony of it all; that the very Evangelicals who’ve spent that last 50 years in this country demonizing those who reject Jesus—are the single most compelling reason for them to do so. They are giving people who suspect that all Christians are self-righteous, hateful hypocrites, all the evidence they need. The Church is confirming the outside world’s most dire suspicions about itself.
People are steering clear in droves, choosing to find meaning and community and something that resembles love outside its gatherings.
And one day soon, these same religious folks will look around, lamenting the empty buildings and the irrelevance of the Church and a world that has no use for it, and they’ll wonder how this happened. . . . . 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.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had an adult daughter by a former marriage to a woman. My daughter, several years back, dated an apparently nice young man. He asked her to come to his church one dsy. She was raised a Catholic, but had no religious ties at the time. It turned out he belonged to an Evangelical mega-church. The day she went to the church, they had a sermon on the horrors of homosexuality. She was appalled. She has a very close relationship to me and my husband, and was disgusted by the sermon. Her boyfriend told her that if he was supposed to be tolerant of her beliefs, she should be of his.

My daugter came to me to get my response. The last thing I wanted to do was to become embroiled in her romantic life, and really wanted her to come to her own conclusions. So while my head said to tell her she needn't be tolerant of the intolerance of others, I said that I thought if she valued the relationship, she would need to be somewhat accepting.

Fortunately, she did not take my advice. She ended up dumping the guy, and marrying a nice young man who is accepting of gays and somewhat skeptical about religion. My daughter now has two children of her own, and a healthy disgust for fundamentalism and her former boyfriend.