Christianity Should Give Life, Not Take it Away (Dr. Gushee)

Christianity Should Give Life, Not Take it Away (Dr. Gushee) April 10, 2024

My life-long faith journey has shown me many truths.  The largest truth I’ve come to know is, Christianity is supposed to give life, not take it away–Dr. David Gushee.  Dr. David Gushee is a world-renowned Christian Ethicist who has written a number of books about the dangers of Christian Nationalism, or what he calls Authoritarian Reactionary Christianity. Gushee also came to an LGBTQ+ affirming position and wrote a book called Changing My Mind.  His reason is, our faith is not supposed to hurt others. Let’s watch this video of him and see this truth.


♬ original sound – The Neuro-Catholic MamaBear


The far-right abusive Church in all branches of Christianity has caused a great deal of damage. If God truly has the heart of a Father, he will not expect us to conform through abuse that many on the far-right practice. I am not saying we throw out all morality, but I am saying that God loves us unconditionally, especially when we cannot conform.  In my line of profession as a disability practitioner and starting LGBTQ parent ministry, I stand by those who cannot and shouldn’t try to conform. They should present fully as themselves while seeking lives which promote fruit and stability. This must be done in their individual ways because many people cannot fit an assembly line mold of conformity. Years of science, research, and ministry support this.
As a life-long regular church-going Christian who has served many years in ministry, I’m going to be open and honest here. I believe the primary (not the only) reason for the decline in church attendance, the weakening of families, etc….is not secularism or factors outside the church. I believe it’s a large part of the church itself although not all of it. I include myself at least partially. When I say this, I’m not discounting the many charities and good acts of service the church does, but I am speaking of grave sins the Church needs to repent of. When I speak of grave sins the Church needs to repent of, I include the powerful parts of the American Catholic Church along with powerful parts of Evangelicalism.
For decades, the church has focused on gaining political power and changing laws to make them align with its “Christian values (anti-abortion and anti- LGBTQ+)” and its vision for a “Christian America.” When in reality, this political involvement has created more discrimination and more unjust laws towards minorities instead of doing what it’s called to do which is feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and heal the sick without condition. This is preaching the Gospel through love and service; that’s it. The Church should be following the teachings of Christ and the Sermon on the Mount by lifting up those most marginalized from society no matter who they are. Instead, the Church has been participating in the unholy practice of melding the Church and state into one flesh which by definition is Christian Nationalism. Now we are seeing the full ugly fruition of this after decades of participation.
I saw a cartoon from an artist pastor recently with a drawing of Jesus sitting next to a drawing of a Church building in a psychiatrist’s office. The Church and Jesus were trying to discuss what they had in common anymore which wasn’t much (Naked Pastor).
Until the Church repents of its hyper-involvement with the government and focuses on doing the real work of the kingdom which is unconditional love, service, and justice for the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed and stops making life more difficult for minority groups like racial minorities and LGBTQ+ people, it will continue to lose credibility, membership, and its witness for the Christian faith. The Church must stand by the marginalized which is standing by Jesus. When the Church rejects the marginalized, it rejects Jesus (Fr. Timothy Warren).
In conclusion, I’ve been asked several times now how I’ve become such a strong advocate for inclusion of all people without exception. I’ve been a disability advocate and practitioner for many years, but what really woke me up was lived experiences as a Catholic in the Roman Catholic Church. Nothing harms a marginalized person more than a powerful religious mechanism who sides with the elite, privileged, and powerful versus the marginalized, the vulnerable, and the oppressed. I actually get energized when I take these people on because I believe Jesus did the same when he flipped the tables. Until religion is used only for service, love, and justice rather than power, oppression, and endangerment, people like me will not rest until the Church gets with the program because it affects humanity, not just the Church.  As Dr. David Gushee says, Christianity is supposed to give life, not take it away.





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