I am one of those people who are pretty vocal about my disdain regarding mainstream American Conservative Christian ideology. I pretty much disagree with any ideology that directly hurts other people, and to be honest, I’m not open-minded when it comes to this view.
One of my big struggles is with understanding how the Conservative Christian ideology aligns with the Red Letters because from where I stand, the direct contradictions are vast. In other words, either much of the ways of Conservative Christianity are wrong, or much of the ways of Jesus are wrong, and I seriously doubt it’s the guy whom the entire religion is based on who is in the wrong.
So yeah, I’m not a fan of the ways American Conservative Christianity and I have no doubt that refusing to call them out as a whole because it doesn’t feel “nice” is a bit cowardly to be honest. If we didn’t speak out against the oppression we see, there would never be change.
Now I’m going to get even more real with you. When I am around someone who holds some of the harmful views that we are seeing, I don’t argue with them. Yep, that’s right; I don’t hold an informal debate.
You see, there is a difference between calling out a mainstream ideology and attacking individual people. Now, on the same hand, I don’t avoid the topic or shy away from it. I just have the tendency to try to ask more questions and listen than to run my mouth when I am in conversation – well - with really anyone.
Though I am adamantly against the ideology of Conservative Christians, I don’t feel any hatred toward them as individuals. Like at all. Though I don’t agree with them on many issues, I don’t think they are evil. I don’t attack them personally or even directly try to change their mind because, although I definitely hope the change their views, I know that I can’t change people’s individual thoughts by trying to personally overpower them in conversation. Really, that would be completely counterproductive.
You know, I know a lot of really amazing humans that hold the same ideology that I constantly speak out against. I know many Conservative Christians who are incredibly giving and genuinely care about other people. I can’t for the life of me understand why they hold some of the beliefs that appear to contradict their own character, but I love them.
Just because I indeed hate oppression doesn’t mean I hate the individuals who enable oppression. And just because I don’t hate the individual who enables oppression doesn’t mean that I don’t loudly speak out against their ideology.
I feel like there is this movement in this divisive environment of our nation, that argues that speaking out against the hurtful actions of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is wrong. I don’t know, it’s hard for me to follow this stance when see Jesus harshly and publicly calling out the ways of the religious elite of his people. And I know, I’m not Jesus, I don’t know what is in their heart. Regardless, what I do know is that the result of mainstream Conservative Christian ideology is oppressing others - it is hurting people - and I don’t think it is the way of Jesus to avoid this tension. In my honest opinion the way of Jesus looks more like standing in the tension bringing it to light as Martin Luther King Jr. did and as Jesus himself did with the Pharisees.
So here’s the deal, please stop confusing my outspokenness against American Conservative Christian ideology for a hatred toward any individual. It is a hatred towards oppression, towards the hurt of the marginalized while using the name of Jesus, there is a vast difference.
Loving others as Jesus doesn’t mean never calling anyone out, it means always standing on the side of the vulnerable, standing in that tension, trying to be the change that we need in our hurting world.