Conservative Christians: is this who we want to be?

Conservative Christians: is this who we want to be? November 2, 2020

It’s been a tough couple of years in America. Whether Biden wins or Trump, Christians can exit campaign mode, take a moment, and regroup. Let’s talk about why that’s a great idea.

It seems that many Christians have become like the proverbial frog in the cooking pot. We want to protect the most vulnerable, so we’ve jumped in the pot marked “Trump.” Or we want to see equality, so we’ve jumped in the pot marked “Biden.”

(If you’ve read any of my posts, you know I’m more concerned about the Trump pot, but the Biden pot is also concerning. Politics always attracts the self-serving.)

The problem is, both of these pots are on the stove, and the heat is on. It’s been on for some time, but like frogs, we haven’t paid attention.

trump christians are like a frog in a pot
“frog in a pot 1” by jronaldlee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Our environment has become downright dangerous – and, instead of getting the heck outta there, we’ve adjusted.

And when we Christians in the Trump pot are criticized for being indifferent toward the suffering of people outside the womb, we think we’re being tormented by baby-killers. We see ourselves as toiling to make the world holy – a thankless job on earth – but, “blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” 

We don’t mind being persecuted. We expect it. We’re in good company: “…for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Christians need to cross-examine Trump

To identify with the prophets requires the assumption that we are representing God – but hold on: are we representing God, or repeating the ideology of someone who claims to represent God?

If it’s the former, then our words should line up with Scripture, and we should be willing to enter into dialogue that challenges our position.

If it’s the latter, then we’d better be darn sure that person and ideology are really of God. We should be eager to interrogate them fully.

Either way, we should be humble enough to recognize where we need to change.

I haven’t seen much of that from Trump pot Christians.

We seem to believe that (to paraphrase), “he who began a good work in me has already pretty much completed it.” We don’t look critically at our beliefs and assumptions.

I long to hear a Christian say, “I’ve realized that Trump is a terrible man. I object to everything about his lifestyle, but I’m sticking with him only because he promised to help outlaw abortion.” Words like this might begin to rebuild the world’s respect for Christians – because we are (along with our country) a laughingstock. (The wisdom of outlawing of abortion is a whole separate, important subject.)

We’ve been too proud to admit – even to ourselves – that this man is an embarrassment. We tout his anti-abortion stance, but we’ve refused to look at him objectively and in his entirety. And we’ve dared not examine the degree to which we’ve compromised in our alliance with him.

Time for a change – in us

Christians: whether Trump wins the day or not, the election battle is about to end. We can soon choose to disengage with him and start a new chapter.

Regardless of the outcome, we need to take a good, hard, honest look at ourselves in the coming months. What have we become? And is this who we want to be?

No more dodging the issues, no more excuses, no more refusal to dialogue.

No more frogging around.

We must engage with the words of Jesus,

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

FEATURED IMAGE: “frog in a pot 2” by jronaldlee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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One response to “Conservative Christians: is this who we want to be?”

  1. I recently read an article about evangelical christians who are disheartened. Here’s an excerpt with the link.

    “Three years later, Hawthorne’s faith felt stronger than it had ever been and he was eager to tell others about the way Jesus had changed his life. He was talking to a co-worker about the Gospel one day, when the man asked a question that caught him off guard.

    “He looked right at me and said, ‘Why would I want to be a Christian when you support such a horrible human being?’”

    Hawthorne said the question left him dumbfounded ― and cut the conversation short.

    “It just reminded me of how I felt that day in that voting booth,” Hawthorne said. “I didn’t have an answer.””
    As an atheist, this article made me incredibly happy. I have no words to describe my joy at reading these Christian’s words. It wasn’t at the Christians’ despair. It was that person’s response.
    “Why would I want to be a Christian when you support such a horrible human being?’”

    Let me spell out why I’m happy. It’s because this person didn’t respect the Christian even to give a token listen. This person didn’t respect the Christian even to politely reject it by saying “Yeah, I follow another faith tradition”. No, this person made a moral claim and implied that Christians are bad people. He shut that Christian down hard.

    This is what I’ve dreamed about. As an atheist, this is what you want. Brand recognition. Up till now, we’ve always given token lip service to Christians being good people. Now, the evangelicals tore that mask off and all the good people made a choice. The one that you haven’t. The one to say “you’re a bad person”.

    That’s your flaw. You want to be nice to these evangelicals. Instead, you should, if you really are a Christian, channel a bit of your Jesus. The Jesus who said that the Pharisees were a brood of vipers. The Jesus who horsewhipped the moneylenders. The Jesus who kept it real and didn’t play polite games. Your Jesus is a far more interesting character than any of your Christians.

    Your type of Christian is the low fat version of ice cream. It’s devoid of all the specialness that good ice cream has. You need to eat gallons of the fake stuff when a few bites of the real stuff would satiate completely. But hey, I do like you more. You’re better than the evangelicals or their vapid “I can’t decide” middle Christians.

    Can you imagine a Jesus that acts like your kind of Christian. He would never have insulted the Pharisees. He would have tut-tuted them and had a sad look in his eye. He would definitely have had a hashtag Samaritan lives matter. When he saw the moneylenders at the temple, he would have put up a little little sign saying “god is so disappointed in you” and then, gave all the money lenders a cupcake or two.

    The Jesus in your Bible had values. He had convictions. He had righteous anger driven by his values. He didn’t hold a negative peace but strove for a just peace. That’s a character that I admire. But the vapid goody two shoes version that the “non-evangelical” Christians have is devoid of all that flavour and nuance. It’s a diet version of Christianity.

    Don’t get me wrong. The evangelical version is like evil Superman in the Reeves Superman series. It’s a demonically perverted version where they channel that angry Jesus but without basic human decency so they go full nazi. The evangelicals want to save the world (actually it’s to save themselves) so much that they are willing to kill everybody. They wouldn’t even have the grace to be sorry afterwards. They would blame the victims just like they blamed the children at ICE detention camps for the crime of having immigrant parents. Evangelicals are a satanic version of Jesus. If I were Satan, Evangelicals is how I would destroy Christianity.

    As for the middling vapid Christians… they’re Christianity is tokenism. They’re the lazy people who never once asked a question of “Why am I here? What is my purpose?” They never stared into the darkness and asked questions. For them, Christianity is just one adjective in a list of adjectives and it isn’t even in the top ten. You and your demonic counterparts (evangelicals) did make a choice.

    Yeah.. you do your religion a disservice. You created diet Jesus. I can’t get that out of my head.
    And the fact that evangelicals are losing or have lost their witness.. . Santa came early.

    My advice… channel a bit of Jesus anger and call out the brood of vipers and white sepulchers. Braid a whip and clean your god’s temple. Otherwise, you will lose your witness too. I’d be working hard to dissociate the evangelicals from any Christianity if I were you. Once a brand is damaged, it’s really really hard to come back.

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