The Conservative Evangelical Christian understanding of God hurts people.
Throughout history, Christians have tortured, murdered, or abused groups of people with which they disagreed. Indigenous people of differing faiths, fellow Christians of different beliefs or different skin tones all have been victimized by mainstream Christians who confuse nationalism with the teaching of Christ.
What’s going on in Washington D.C. is counter to the message of Jesus, of the prophets and of the Bible.
While politicians increase government spending on weapons of war, they cut support for millions of children suffering without adequate food, affordable healthcare, or effective educations. The government of the United States has separated thousands of children from their families. People are suffering, because of government policies that conflict with the message of God.
When Christians raise our voices in opposition to abortion, we are asking our government to control the reproductive rights of women. Is it the will of God for governments to control our bodies?
The Old Testament prophets are never on the side of government or political leaders. They always support the poor, the oppressed, and the needy.
“Does it make you a king
to have more and more cedar?
Did not your father have food and drink?
He did what was right and just,
so all went well with him.
He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?”
declares the Lord” ~ Jeremiah 22:15-16
“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom:
She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” ~ Ezekiel 16:49
“I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them. …
But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!” ~ Amos 5:21-24
Jesus says that rich people who ignore the poor won’t listen to the prophets, and they won’t listen to him, even if he rises from the dead.
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; … The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” ~Luke 16:19-31.
When Jesus was asked what was most important, he didn’t mention governments, or borders, or tax plans, he said, “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. … Love your neighbor as yourself.’” ~ Mark 12:30-31
This wasn’t new to Jesus’ audience, they recognized Leviticus 19:18, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
They knew, and they didn’t care.
Just like some Conservative Christians today know what the Bible says, they know what Jesus teaches, they just don’t care. They care more about nationalism and tribalism than the do the lessons of Jesus.
They are the robbers, the priest, the Levite, and even the innkeeper. They are not the good Samaritan.
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” ~Luke 36-37
Conservative Christians were wrong when they interpreted scripture to justify slavery. Conservative Christians are wrong now when they interpret scripture to discriminate against others.
The Conservative Evangelical Christian understanding of the Bible hurts people by treating them unequally and making them second class citizens because of sexuality, gender, or nationality.
History shows that Christians in the future will look back at today’s Conservative Evangelical Christians and see moral failure.
God’s message is to treat others equally. The Bible tells us repeatedly to help others.
This is how we “love God and love others” and follow the will of God.