Folks, I can’t.
I try as much as possible to “live and let live,” but I just can’t do this anymore.
When a televangelist says that “You don’t need a flu shot if you have Jesus,” I just can’t.
I can’t let it go without saying something.
Jesus may be called “The Great Physician,” but good golly, get a flu shot. Kids are dying.
When a popular Christian website run by neo-Calvinist author (and, in my opinion, Biblical hack) John Piper tweets “We will find mental health when we stop staring in the mirror, and fix our eyes on the strength and beauty of God,” implying that somehow people who have mental illness are just “looking at things in the wrong way,” I just can’t.
I can’t let it go without saying something, because people are dying from mental illness and it’s not that they’re spiritually deficient. This is ignorance on fire, a charge too many people are already giving to Christians…thanks for proving them correct.
And when we start walking lock-step in line with political candidates, of whatever party, and claim such obviously blasphemous statements like “God has put them in charge,” I just can’t anymore.
Vote for who you vote for and don’t try to blame the outcome on God, regardless of who you wanted to win. You break the Second Commandment when you do so, by the way.
Did God put Hitler in charge of Germany? What about Pol Pot in Cambodia? No? It’s only in the US that God puts people in charge? Well, then God must have it out for the Native Americans to put Andrew Jackson in charge. Or for the Japanese Americans to put FDR in charge (we kindly forget about those prisons, don’t we?).
I just can’t, folks.
The church is wonderful and beautiful. We take care of one another and do good by the world. We can change the world for good, too, by God.
But boy oh boy, when we are silent in the face of such ignorance. When we just say, “Well, we’re not like those Christians…” to the rest of the world without providing the counter argument, without calling those voices to be silent, by God…
And even more problematically, when we continue to go to these churches, buy their spiritual wares, and don’t confront our friends and relatives (and even those shadow places inside ourselves) who buy into all of this, we are just sending invitations to the spiritually-seeking-but-religion-skeptical friends to not bother with the Jesus story altogether.
I’m all for big tent Christianity, but I just can’t anymore. I don’t know if I’m in a totally different tent, or no longer find myself in that tent, or am just making my own campsite…I can’t think that’s the case, but perhaps it is.
But what I do know is that will not be quiet about it, and I don’t want you to be, either.
Because people are dying. Because the cross cannot be confused with Caesar and still be the cross we see on Golgotha, the cross we find in scripture.
Because Christianity cannot be a religion where “ignorance is on fire and intelligence is on ice” as author Brian McLaren so rightly says (The Great Spiritual Migration, pg 7).
And we can’t let it become that.
And I can’t.