Updated: Feb 15
“Please know I’m asking from a place of love.”
Well, I know how this is going to end.
This type of statement precedes a judgment disguised as a question.
“If you were a true Christian, wouldn’t you be telling people to go to church?”
“Why would you accept other religions when you know that everyone outside of Christianity is going to hell?”
“What male authority do you work under, because you know women can’t be leaders?”
I used to care and would give much thought to my answers, detailing my call out of Christianity, my studies, my ordination and scriptures that affirm my journey.
This was always a mistake. Regardless of how much thought I would invest and the respectful tone I would inflect into my response, the comeback would be swift, vitriolic and, from where I stand, unChrist-like.
“You’re an arrogant hypocrite who is sending people to hell.”
“Stupid woman. Hope you burn.”
“For someone who claims to know the Bible, you sure are stupid.”
“Ha! Hey I’ll pray for ya, but it’s probably already too late to save you.”
Oh, it goes on, like when I’m called a witch deserving to be burned, or a great example of why women should have never been given equal rights to men. If I were still in church, I would be very concerned about the impact this type of toxic theology would have on all women.
But alas, I am not. When I was still in church, I pushed back, knocked down barriers, questioned ill-thought-out plans and challenged decisions that favored one and judged another. I count, among some of my greatest blessings, the Divine calling that beckoned me to leave church and release myself from this rhetoric that was suffocating me.
Based on these comments and the many others I have witnessed directed at others, it is obvious that this type of vitriolic judgment still exists, prompting this week’s teaching theme:
“You worship Jesus with that mouth?”
I’m seriously asking this question to understand how you spew such hatred then raise your hands in praise of Jesus? Jesus — who told us the greatest commandment was to love the Lord God with all your soul — with the 2nd commandment being to love your neighbor as yourself.
There seems to be a belief among some — not all — Christian denominations that faith equates to moral superiority, which leads to a need to put that moral superiority on full display through condemnation, judgment and persecution.
The data doesn’t support that this public display of condemnation is winning over the masses. In fact, just the opposite. People are leaving church, including young people. One of the top reasons given?
Christians’ behavior toward other people.
But, the purpose of this week’s theme isn’t to convince an entire group of Christians to reconsider their behavior. It is no longer in my wheelhouse to be concerned with how the world perceives Christians.
My calling is to help those who have been traumatized by the religious condemnation that repels people from spirituality. I remind them it doesn’t have to look this way — there are many of us out here who choose another path and hear another call for how this Divine love should be offered to the world.
If that is you, please hear this: loving your neighbor as yourself has no asterisk, Beloved. Join us on this journey to embrace this unconditional Christ consciousness.
There is no condemnation here.
There is only love.