The Disconnect Between the Evangelical Church and Jesus

The Disconnect Between the Evangelical Church and Jesus October 23, 2023

Evangelical Christianity is often seen as a representation of Jesus’ teachings and values. The truth is, there could be nothing further from the truth. There is a significant discrepancy between the teachings of Jesus and the actions and beliefs of the evangelical Christian church. Maybe we can shed some light on how some practices within the evangelical church contradict the compassionate and inclusive message that Jesus preached.

Jesus’ Emphasis on Love and Compassion

Jesus, the central figure of Christianity, preached a message of love, compassion, and understanding. He advocated for treating others with kindness and reaching out to those who were marginalized or suffering. The essence of Jesus’ teachings was to love one another, exemplified in the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-40). However, in some instances, the evangelical Christian church has failed to fully embody this message.

The Acceptance of All Individuals

Jesus’ interactions with various societal outcasts, sinners, and non-believers reflected His unconditional love and acceptance of all individuals. He dined with tax collectors, healed lepers, and embraced the marginalized, teaching His followers to love beyond societal norms and prejudices. Unfortunately, some segments of the evangelical Christian church have perpetuated exclusivity and judgment rather than displaying the inclusive love that Jesus advocated.

Jesus’ Opposition to Hypocrisy

Jesus strongly opposed hypocrisy and emphasized authenticity and sincerity in one’s faith. He criticized religious leaders for their outward displays of piety while lacking true compassion and understanding (Matthew 23:27-28). However, the evangelical Christian church has been at times criticized for similar hypocrisy, where some members or leaders preach certain values but do not consistently practice them.

Church Overemphasis on Doctrine

While Jesus placed a significant emphasis on love and compassion, some segments of the evangelical Christian church have placed more focus on doctrinal purity, legalism, and rigid interpretations of religious texts. This is hard to stomach as many of the core, foundational, doctrine of the evangelical church was not even part of Christianity until 300-400 years after Jesus. This has led to the mistreatment, rejection and oppression of those who do not conform to specific interpretations. Truly indefensible.

The Role of Politics and Exclusion

In recent years, certain factions of the evangelical Christian church have become closely aligned with political ideologies, sometimes prioritizing partisan interests over Jesus’ teachings of love, mercy, and justice. This alignment has often resulted in the exclusion or marginalization of groups that Jesus would have shown compassion towards, such as the LGBTQ+ community or immigrants.

So what now?

I would say that it is essential for those within the evangelical Christian church to critically evaluate their beliefs and practices, ensuring they align with the fundamental teachings of Jesus. But, honestly, I hold little hope of that ever happening. It’s on us.

Maybe it is time to take our Jesus back. Maybe it is time to deconstruct those unChristlike teachings and beliefs and build a spirituality that is life-affirming, life-giving.

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