I wasn’t in town to go to church Sunday morning, but had I been, I know I would have struggled with attending. I know I’m not alone in my disillusionment with evangelical Christianity right now. A group I have considered myself a part of my entire life doesn’t feel at all safe or genuine right now, and I’ve seen this echoed over and over again on social media this week, so I know I’m not alone.
I love our church. It’s filled with good, no great, people who have consistently prayed for our family and blessed us abundantly. I’ve been a part of the women’s Bible study for six years now and our children love going to church and have the most wonderful teachers in the children’s ministry. I have several close friends that I met at church. My church does wonderful work in the community and consistently blesses many people and spreads the good news of Christ. This isn’t about my particular church or even individual Christians.
I believe and try my best to live out the basic ideology of evangelical Christianity concerning Jesus’ teachings and salvation. But on more controversial issues that sometimes divide our faith, I’m more liberal. I am politically pro-choice, although I do believe in most cases, abortion is the morally wrong choice. I grieve that my gay friends aren’t welcomed in most churches, whether that be literally or because they feel judged and unwelcome. I believe women should have equal opportunities in leadership in the church. I realize that in my religion I’m in the minority in holding these beliefs, and I suppose I’ve just reconciled within myself that I interpret scripture differently than a lot of Christians and that even people who share the same faith will never agree on 100% of issues.
What I’m feeling as a huge blow is that with their vote, 80% of people just like me (white evangelical Christians) aligned themselves with a leader whose values and policies I see as completely contradictory to what the Christian faith is all about. Many influential leaders in my faith endorsed a man whose words have demeaned and marginalized the “least of these”: the very people Jesus would have welcomed and embraced. I understand most good, loving Christians voted for Trump for economic reasons, against the other candidate, or as vote for the unborn, but at what cost to our witness to a hurting world?
I don’t know how I’m supposed to witness anymore. This whole mess has killed Christianity’s credibility. 80% of us decided that racism, demeaning women and admitting to sexual assault, and making fun of people with disabilities weren’t deal breakers. 80% of us decided that economic policies matter more than our government’s role in protecting the lives and freedom of the marginalized. I don’t know what to do with that. Who on the outside will want to be a part of that? I predict in the coming years, the church is going to need some major PR help.
All I heard before Election Day was that Trump would surround himself with Godly advisors- people who would ensure that his more extreme rhetoric wouldn’t become reality. But now Trump has chosen Steve Bannon as his right hand man. Bannon has close ties to the Alt Right, a group that includes and has given a voice to white supremacists. For a reality check on what the Alt Right spends some of their time doing, read this and this. This is not media hype, and I personally witnessed the attacks of these families on Twitter. 80%, where are you? Why aren’t you loudly and decisively holding your guy accountable? Where is the outrage?
Please, Christians, stop trying to minimize people’s pain and fear. You don’t know the details of anyone’s personal story and their circumstances. This week, I’ve seen a
post on Facebook where those upset were called “4 year old cry babies”: Posted by a Christian. My friend who is struggling with the church sent a prayer request to an entire church staff and heard nothing. Silence. That silence screams louder than any argument.
I’m not giving up on my faith, or my religion, or the church. God is bigger than any election and any candidate. But I do feel lost, confused and hurt in a place that I don’t really recognize anymore.
If you are also struggling with the Christian church right now, I found this really helpful.