..my question for those evangelicals is this: Is it worth it? Is a “victory” against gay marriage really worth leaving thousands of needy children without financial support? Is a “victory” against gay marriage worth losing more young people to cynicism regarding the church? Is a “victory” against gay marriage worth perpetuating the idea that evangelical Christians are at war with LGBT people?
-Rachel Held Evans
Every day, through news and through people I know, I see a divide growing between “Christian love” and actually daring to love. It’s become an act of rebellion against fellow Christians to stand up for LGBT, for pro-choice, for strangers in this strange land, and even for the poor.
The title of the article Rachel wrote (from which the above quote is from) is called “How evangelicals won a culture war and lost a generation.” This is what Christianity in America has become. A war. Love looks like a sword, but instead of destroying powers and principalities that oppress, that sword is slicing through people and then the wielder dares to say “I love you.” It’s become more important to “make a stand” than to serve the needy. World Vision did not reverse its decision to hire married homosexuals because it had a change of heart. Thousands of Christians were “making a stand” and threatening to abandon their sponsorships. Pastors exhorted their congregations to “make a stand” and stop financing World Vision. Sure, there are other organizations that do similar work, but isn’t that more about how you feel than anything else? You abandon one child to just pick up another? So everything is fine? WV admitted that the reason they backed away from their revolutionary decision was because they had not considered/consulted their partners and their supporters. They had not expected that kind of fury to rise up from the ranks of kind, selfless Christians and actually threaten the state of their organization.
This is the biggest news in the culture war as of late, but there are others. I have seen the film “Noah” simultaneously mocked, and from others shunned as demonic. None of them have considered that perhaps this movie was not intended for them. Perhaps it was intended for an audience that is sick and tired of white-bearded and (frankly) boring Sunday School stories, and is more accustomed to action heroes who cut instead of pray their way through evil and do things that most of us would regret later. Russell Crowe’s Noah is more than a little rough around the edges and the religion of his cinematic world looks like more like Wicca than Christianity, but what the hell, is this surprising? This is a world that is further from the Ten Commandments than the number of years the US of A has existed, and it’s a world where there is little to no divide between the spiritual and physical realms. Is Noah supposed to just fold his hands and sadly shake his head while outside his door humanity is raping and murdering itself into oblivion? This generation is moving farther and farther away from traditional Christianity and as my family has said, perhaps this movie will at least get their attention again.
The war rages on. Discussions on abortion are littered with words like “murder,” a clear attempt to consciously or unconsciously shame those struggling with the decision. Behind closed doors, I have seen discussions where the abortion topic is saturated with unveiled death wishes upon pro-choice women, name-calling like “bitch,” “slut, ‘whore, and “c–t.” There is no distinction between women who voluntarily have abortions with those who have to choose between preserving their own lives, or inflicting both their death and the death of their child upon their grief-dizzied families. To these people, anyone who has an abortion is a murdering whore, or at the very least, an ignorant, selfish victim of politically-liberal ideals.
My convictions continue to separate me from supporters of “traditional” evangelicalism. I have had my Christianity questioned in ways as direct as being told I am “straying from the straight and narrow,” to micro-aggressions such as vague questioning of how anyone could be a Christian and believe what I believe. I am terrified of attempting to go to a church because I have no idea what kind of opposition I might face when my beliefs inevitably come out. I am not alone in this increasingly bitter pulling away from evangelicalism and instead of looking inwardly, I find that Christians are blaming the generation they are losing, claiming we are losing our morals, becoming infatuated with “political correctness” and “liberal propaganda,” or are just plain stupid.
Maybe we’re just fed up with being told we have to rally against our neighbors in order to be a good Christian.