I think I’ve finally reached a tipping point. I’ve been trying to find ways to reconcile my convictions about what it means to be a Christian with the kinds of political policies I’ve seen my more conservative Christian friends supporting for the last three years and I’m growing quite weary of it. It is an exercise in frustration and a pathway to depression. How could we have drifted so far apart in our understanding of the example Christ left for us? I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried to express my thoughts, hopes, and fears through dozens of articles I’ve written–some of which have been quite widely read and have received a great number of responses. I’ve come to the conclusion that, for the most part, I’m just preaching to the choir. Probably 75% of the feedback I get is positive, but that’s because most of the platforms that share my articles lean toward a progressive audience. But I do get enough negative push back to understand that the people whom I really would like to reach are either ashamed of me for my “heretical” views, or have just never read my words at all. All of this has brought me to a sobering conclusion: Christian Trump supporters are attempting to steal my faith away and I’m going to need to change my approach or they just might be successful.
It’s been a long, slow process that has brought me here. A quick perusal of my archived articles should bring you up to speed. Like the proverbial straws on a camel’s back, one straw at a time has gradually broken me down. It’s funny when that happens, the straw that breaks the camel’s back might not be that big of a deal in isolation. My breaking straw was a silly social media post, shared by a conservative Christian friend. I say it was silly because it was clearly written by someone who was not particularly well-educated and certainly had a very poor theological footing. The message was couched in a story that was clearly made up to serve a political agenda. Most times, I would have laughed it off as ignorance and moved on but this time, it stopped me in my tracks. I was furious. I’m going to reprint that post, unedited, so that you can read what sent me over the edge. By the way, this post had been shared more than 26,000 times when I first saw it.
Experience in hell A true life story of a 24-Year-old lady
“I was raped by a supposed friend (someone I thought I could trust). I was embarrassed and shocked. I couldn’t tell anyone about my terrible experience. I kept it for me and followed my normal life. A few weeks later, after returning from a vigil, I started feeling weak, so I went to a nearby hospital and did some tests. For my biggest surprise, say positive to pregnancy. I told the man involved that after many pleas he convinced me to have an abortion that will be kept secret. I went to an abortion; however, before the procedure, I asked God to forgive me for what I was about to do and, in the process I died, I left my body. Still looking at the lifeless form at the abortion table, I started to ascend, but in an instant a force pushed me down through a dark tunnel. I couldn’t see the beginning or end of the tunnel walls. It was dark, so dark, I saw cobwebs like cells on the walls and in an instant I was in hell. I saw a woman who had been there for more than a hundred years, she was plunged into a deep pain and agony, she melted in the flames and magma, like the liquid, would again join in the form of the woman. It happened repeatedly. I knew I was in hell. I started to burn and burn, I wanted to pluck my hair from the roots, because the pain was unbearable. It was as if my senses were more than a thousand times. The agony of the burns wasn’t enough. The cry of people under the same torment was worse, it was so strong that I felt I was going to be deaf, but they didn’t stop ringing in my ears. I started screaming, the more I screamed, the weaker I felt, but the screams did nothing but scream while weakening me. I rechiné the teeth, but no form of all these expressions made me feel better… it just worsened, beyond all description. I was in a deep torment. The worst feeling was not just the pain, the noise, the screams or the pungent smell. It was the feeling of despair / total threat. He was doomed forever. I knew I was in hell forever ever. There was no exit. I started crying to God for mercy. In a moment, Jesus appeared and cried more. I asked him to give me a second place of hell to scream that Jesus is the Lord and die again. Jesus replied: ” how many seconds are there in a minute, how many minutes there are in an hour, how many hours are there in one day, how many days are there in a week, how many weeks are there in a month and how many months there are in a On Earth? ” I’ve given you all the seconds in your years of life and you failed me. I cried more and asked him to have mercy and please give me another chance to go and tell the world about hell. I begged the Lord to give me a chance, even if i came back to the world without my hands or my legs, at least let there be breath in my nose. I understood the adagio better that a living dog is better than a dead lion. I even promised to tell the world about my torment if it frees my soul from torment in hell. He replied: ” many have gone from here to tell you, what makes you think they will believe you, but I kept pleading for a second chance and while crying and bay the teeth. Jesus had mercy on me, but he warned me harshly that if he did not preach he would end up in hell He said, “tell my people to stop playing with me”. at that moment I woke up in the hospital room. At First I was afraid to share my horrible experience because I was worried about my reputation, but I finally opened up when I came in contact with a true prophet of God. What is the cost of your chance? If you are reading this post that means you have the opportunity to make a change and make up with God or if you are warm, it’s time to stop playing with God. Words by themselves can’t count my torment in hell or the torment of those in hell. Hell is not a myth, a story, or a product of someone’s imagination, hell is a real place. A place you don’t even wish for your enemies or for those who have hurt you the most. (HEB 9:27 ~ and how it is established that men die once, but after this the judgment. ) If we recognize that one day we will take away all earthly things, then the longing for material possessions will matter to us much less now. We must get away from physical indulgence, as earthly pleasure does not leave any permanent gratification. (2 Peter 3:11 ~ seeing that all these things will be dissolved, what kind of people must be in all holy conversation and mercy? ) – we must stop making excuses for God’s work – we must imitate Christ – discover our purpose on earth and tell it – be part of the movement of God in these last days – make a constant walk with the Holy Spirit. If you were blessed with this testimony, please share. Prayer for those who love to write amen, they will not end in hell. Please type amen. Pray for God to forgive you all your sins and have mercy on you. Please don’t ignore this. Hell is real!”
That was all it took; that was the straw that broke this camel’s back. Silly, I know, but that’s how straws and camels’ backs work. I won’t even go into the bad theology in this viral post–the fact that Heaven and Hell (assuming this version of Hell is even biblical, which it isn’t) are devoid of humans until the dead rise from their sleep on the Judgement Day. What really pushed me over the edge was when I saw that the post had been shared so many times. That number–26,000+–just hit me sideways. A feeling of helplessness swept over me, right then and there. If that many people read the same story I had just read and thought it was so meaningful that it needed to be widely spread then I am fighting a losing battle trying to get them to look at things with a new perspective. It was at that moment that I understood with crystal clarity that I no longer wanted to be associated with them. I can no longer stand under the same banner with those people.
I will no longer stand under a banner that supports intolerance and hate while coated by a thin veneer of love.
I will no longer stand under a banner that endangers the freedoms of a multitude of the living in order to save the yet unborn.
I will no longer stand under a banner that implies that all are created in God’s own image yet supports policies which deny the rights of millions of people simply because of what color their skin is, where they were born, or whom they love.
I will no longer stand under a banner that represents caring for the least of these while supporting policies that severely widen the already canyon-like income inequality gap.
I will no longer stand under a banner that proclaims the glory of the Prince of Peace while simultaneously hawking for war.
I will no longer stand under a banner that stands for stewardship of creation while supporting policies that hasten its destruction.
I will no longer stand under a banner that proclaims undeserved grace while standing in bigoted judgement.
So, this is my coming out announcement. Since Christian Trump supporters have sullied the terminology for my faith, I will no longer call myself a Christian. I will now consider myself a SPESAC (Struggling Progressive Ever Seeking After Christ).
From now on, when someone asks about my faith, I’ll say I’m a SPESAC. The conversation that follows will tell them that I’m not standing under the banner of the kind of Christianity that so many have come to revile. There are many out here in the wilderness with me, I know. We are tired of having our faith stolen away.
Will you join me as a SPESAC?
I wrote a song that is a companion to this article. Please take a moment to listen to it below.