People new to my work may think I hate Christianity. I don’t. There are aspects of it I despise, but there is also great beauty in the faith. Like most things, it’s a mixed bag.
Some may also think that I hate Christians. Again, I don’t. I cohost podcasts with Christians. My parents are Christian. Some of the people I respect the most are Christian pastors (shout out to Adam Ericksen).
My issue is never with individual people, or even the faith as a whole; my issue is with the toxicity of any system that causes harm. Christianity, in many ways, has become such a system. That is, the version of Christianity we find so prevalent today.
For instance . . .
As an open bisexual man, I despise any version of the faith that doesn’t celebrate the LGBTQ community. And yes, I said “celebrate.” We don’t want to be tolerated, we want to be celebrated for who we are.
As the uncle of two beautiful Black girls, I despise any version of the faith that doesn’t fight racial injustice. And yes, I said “fight.” It’s not enough to “not be personally racist.” Silence is compliance.
As the father of a beautiful young girl, I despise any version of the faith that doesn’t champion women’s bodies and sexuality. And yes, I said “champion,” mainly because of how toxic the purity movement has been proven to be.
As the friend and confidant of non-Christian people, I despise any version of the faith that teaches the eternal suffering of those who aren’t Christian. More harm has been caused with hell as a justification than we’d ever like to admit.
For me, these are non-negotiables. I’m sure there are others, but these are the big ones. Most other things – debates about theories of the atonement, discussions about Christology, hermeneutical methods – are things we can agree to disagree on. That is, unless your theologies cause actual harm to actual people. It is at that point where I have to stand up for the ones being harmed.
This may make it seem like I hate Christianity. To that I ask: If your Christianity is causing harm, how Christian is it? To my mind, it’s not Christian but anti-Christ. As in, antithetical to the teachings of Christ. That, I do hate.
I hate xenophobia. I hate racism. I hate bigotry. I hate misogyny. I especially hate it when Christianity is used as the justification for any of these.
Is “hate” a strong word? Yes. But shouldn’t we hate these things? Jesus seemed to, and he was rarely one to mince words.
So, if your faith lacks the basic ingredients for love – empathy and compassion (to quote Derrick Day) – then your faith is hardly Christian. Again, that I do hate.
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