I consider myself a Christian.
I believe in Jesus Christ. I follow his teachings and try to love my neighbor and put kindness into the world. I go to church almost every Sunday, where I read scripture and teach Sunday school. I love Jesus, my church family, and learning about God, Christ, and his teachings.
But being called a Christian makes me cringe.
Every time I see the word “Christian” lately it is about wielding judgment and hate. It’s about using rules — rules that come from I don’t know where – as a weapon. Most recently I have seen Christians blast transsexuals with the “God doesn’t make mistakes” argument, write open letters to tween girls to lambast them for acting like…gasp…tween girls, and support fundamentalist Christian pedophiles.
All of this falls under what so-called Christians say is “God’s Will.” These people apparently understand the mind of Christ; they have divined what he would or would not approve of, and they have made it their mission to point out what God would “hate” so that each and every sinner can repent.
Some Christians post outright hateful diatribes about how today’s girls are going straight to hell for tempting boys with their short shorts and flirty voices. But what infuriates me most is this judgment wrapped up in humility, caring and self-congratulation.
It’s between him and God. Who am I to judge? I just know God doesn’t make mistakes. He/She will not find happiness this way.
I just feel bad for him. He was just a boy being a boy and now his name is smeared all over the media. God knows his heart.
We really need more positive role models for girls to show them that covering up is really what boys want in a wife. I would never allow my daughter to wear a bikini.
I honestly don’t know what is worse. On the one hand, the ragey rants are transparent. They are clearly not following Jesus when he said, “and the greatest of these is love.” I find those kinds of “Christians” to be gross, but at least they are obviously so.
On the other hand, the snooty judgmental type of Christian is a fraud. Their backhanded “concern” most un-Christianly smacks of intolerance and self-righteousness. They conveniently forget when Jesus said, “those without sin be the first to cast the first stone.” These judgmental Christians, however, tend to embrace this statement passionately when someone they thought was a good role model screws up. Then that line is thrown all over the place.
Apparently Christians know everything about sin and they are certain of what qualifies as “sin”. They know that “God doesn’t make mistakes.”
That has to be the worst line next to “That just is/isn’t God’s will.” Do they really think they are comforting people or bringing people to Christ with those lines?
About seven years ago, my husband and I were at a holiday family reunion for his very large family. There were over sixty of us there at a retreat center for a weekend. On Saturday evening we held a very casual church service–mostly singing Christmas songs and saying prayers. My husband’s cousin, a pastor, led the service. He also delivered a brief sermon-type message.
I don’t remember much that he said other than the main point of his message was that anything bad that happened to us in the past year was due to our own sin. It was supposed to be a message about choosing good in the new year or something, but all I heard was “your sin caused bad things to happen to you.”
That year we had experienced our second miscarriage. We experienced our first one the year before. Two years prior my husband’s father had died of cancer. Also in those years, my school made many budget cuts and four times, I almost lost my job due to layoffs. There were many other struggles too.
And this guy–this CHRISTIAN pastor–was telling me these things happened because they were “God’s Will” and because I sinned?
I wanted to yell, “EFF YOU!” at him, but I didn’t. Instead, as my husband and I listened, we exchanged heated whispers and my face grew hotter and hotter. Finally, I burst into tears and left the room.
Girls are not responsible for a boy’s feelings of lust simply because she wore a bikini to a pool and told him he was “hot”.
Transgender people do not choose the body they are born into, nor do they choose the gender they identify with.
Pedophiles do not get a free pass with the legal system because they are “sorry,” “were young,” and have since “repented.”
For a really long time I refused to be identified as a Christian because I didn’t want anyone assuming that I felt that bad things happened because of “sin” or that who they are was somehow “wrong” because it’s “not what God intended.”
I know not all Christians are sanctimonious judgmental bigots, but I feel ashamed to fall under the same label as the ones who are. It sucks to be part of something typecast as so hateful and hurtful when it is meant to be peaceful and loving.
It would be easy to throw my hands up and say “forget it!” when I see the blog posts and articles spewing vitriol from so-called Christians. It would be easy to remove “Christian” from what defines me.
But I can’t do that because I am a Christian.
Christians can certainly be the worst, but I believe – I have faith — that there are more good ones out there than bad ones. Sadly, as with everything and everyone else these days, the bad ones get more press.To those wielding judgment and hate, I am #NotThatKindofChristian @ksluiter Click To Tweet
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This post was written by Katie Sluiter exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.