[Note: Obviously not all Christian-right/evangelicals behave in some of the ways I’ve described below, so humor me as I make my points]
As I observe how the Christian-right have been behaving as of late, it is clear to me that the terms “evangelicals” or sometimes, even “Christians” (as spoken by media) have long stopped being a religious identity and have become a sociopolitical label. To be supporting such a disgrace like Trump, it greatly concerns me and makes me wonder if some of these people even know what it means to be a Christian or even faintly understand the Christian doctrine.
Chart below supports my suspicions – that those “Christians” supporting Trump actually aren’t quite representative of Christians, in the sense that they do not practice their faith. (Though merely going to church doesn’t mean one is Christian either, but in general it would be reasonable to establish the causality here)
Data on evangelical Trump supporters and their church attendance
Some of the poor behaviors found in these Christian-right are:
- Attending church where only “sweet” sounding words of blessing and success are preached over and over (the prosperity gospel)
- Cherry-picking only the verses that give you “blessing” and the verses that punish the groups of people you dislike (your favorite picks from Leviticus)
- In general only caring about one’s welfare and jumping in to rain judgment and tirade to any that disagrees with them (“I want my guns, f*ck off!”, “Send them back to their country!”, “My rights, my rights, my rights!”, etc.)
These are absolutely problematic because they aren’t Christian at all, but a foreign doctrine. Increasingly many of the Christian right have become insular and are far out of touch with the reality of this globalizing world. They do not realize that they can’t just stick to their own thing when the world around them is changing, and keep complaining about any changes as if changes themselves are the devil. So they are easily swayed by back-scratching words of an egomaniac that indulges their secret desire of prejudice and bigotry (we all have these traits, to be fair) and rally behind him who spews hatred with every other comment. That makes their act anything but Christian. It also totally showcases their spectacular ignorance about the Scripture.
As we jump at the first slight mention of muslims (which isn’t even proven) and start spewing hatred against some 1.6 billion people urging their immigration to be banned, and as we starting killing the victims of the Orlando massacre a second time by saying they got what they deserved, we miss the far, far bigger point, the main point, about Christianity.
It is LOVE.
So on point.
One part of it is the second commandment of “Love thy neighbor”, and yes, that includes people of different faith and sexual orientations. The other part is the first commandment of “Love thy God.” Loving God means to be in a relationship with God, and we all know that for a relationship to be established, we first establish our place in the relationship. In this relationship between the Creator and the creation, know your place in that relationship and leave judgment to God. If you’ve paid attention in reading the Bible, this shouldn’t be hard. As for who’s being judged it’s not just muslims and gay people – it is all of us. So let’s focus on how we can work out our salvation… in becoming more like Christ, a laborer of Love, instead of utilizing snippets from shallow menu of Bible verses in condemning those we don’t like. If we’ve been good at that, only then will we truly stand a chance in being a real evangelist – the messenger of the Gospel, the promise of the greatest love of all. But because we have so often failed at this, no wonder so many atheists and agnostics say they are sick and tired of Christians!
The road to destruction is wide. The road to salvation is narrow. Choose to honor those fallen with love. Choose the higher road than to start a hateful diatribe against Muslims based on one quick mention of the word “Islam” in the lone wolf shooter’s case. Choose to restrain your hateful urges against a group of people and turn that into love, a love poured out to the queer community at this time of unspeakable grief. A love without a “but.” That is what Jesus Christ would have done, and that is the power of the Christian faith & the act of a Christian.