Sometimes it is downright embarrassing to be an evangelical.
Oh, I’m not the least bit afraid to speak the name of Jesus, or to tell others that I’m a person of faith.
What shames me is that in claiming the name of Jesus I immediately become associated with some of the most judgmental people: Evangelicals in the hands of an angry God.
People like Fred Phelps and his Westboro clan.
Or James Dobson, who said the Newtown, CT., massacre is the result of Americans turning their backs on God. Pay back for gay marriage as it were.
I think we have turned our back on the scripture and on God almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us. I think that’s what’s going on, Dobson said.
And Dobson isn’t the only Evangelical acting like God’s loudmouth.
Bryan Fischer, host of American Family Association radio show, said God did not protect the Sandy Hook’s victims because prayer was removed from the schools. Former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Americans should not be surprised at the tragedy because “we have systematically removed God from our schools.”
And Tennessee Pastor Sam Morris stood before his congregation and told them the following about the murders in Newtown:
– We ought to “string Adam Lanza up in public and set his body on fire and leave it out there to let the birds pick his bones.”
– “We get all up in arms about 20 children being shot in a day care but we don’t give one good-glory rip about the 4,000 that were removed violently from the wombs of their mothers [in abortion procedures] the same day,” he explained. “I believe they use children and Christmas and all that to pull on our heart strings about gun control. That’s what it’s all about.”
–“What’s behind this shooting that we saw on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Connecticut and the other one’s like it? What’s going on. Well, number one, deception… I got news for you, when you kicked God out of schools, you’re going to be judged for that.”
Poor God. Do you think he is ever ashamed to be associated with the likes of us Evangelicals?
If your faith simply compels you to be afraid, to shut yourself off from the world, to think you are better, more righteous, more right than everybody else, that is not faith. It’s the Religion of Certainosity. A belief system for people who are more concerned with being right than they are redeemed.
If your faith compels you to be so afraid of an impending economic collapse, that you stockpile weapons, that’s not faith.
If your faith compels you to isolate yourself from those you deem less than, that’s not faith.
If your faith compels you to speak ill of anyone who thinks differently than you, that’s not faith.
If your faith compels you to despise others for their wickedness and to gloat in your own goodness, that’s not faith.
If your faith compels you to be abrasive in your speech, caustic in your humor, and hateful in your attitudes toward others, that’s not faith.
If your faith compels you to think you have the right to firearms, that’s not faith.
If your faith compels you to blame God for the failures of humanity, that’s not faith.
If your faith compels you to denigrate others, that’s not faith.
If your faith compels you to consider others as emissaries of evil, that’s not faith.
That’s something else entirely different than the Gospel Narrative Jesus lived.
Given the opportunity to call forth the angels of heaven to fight on his behalf, Jesus refused.
Given the chance to slay those who sought to kill him, Jesus refused.
Given the chance to blame God for his own suffering, Jesus refused.
Given the chance to reject the people who rejected him, Jesus refused.
Given the chance to condemn anyone, Jesus refused.
Jesus did not come in order that we have the right to bear arms — he came to wrap his arms around us. Should we do any less toward one another?
When will Evangelicals ever learn that we are not sinners in the hands of an angry God, but dear ones grasped by the nail-scarred hands of Christ?