Saturday, March 26, 2011

the wrong jesus

Dangerous Minds | Amen to that: Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus:
Jesus was very clear that the pursuit of wealth was inimical to the Kingdom of God, that the rich are to be condemned, and that to be a follower of Him means to give one’s money to the poor. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of corporate greed and capitalistic excess, and they are the most opposed to institutional help for the nation’s poor—especially poor children. They hate anything that smacks of “socialism,” even though that is essentially what their Savior preached.
And this:

And as is the case for most White Evangelical Christians, what they are ignoring is actually the very heart and soul of Jesus’s message—a message that emphasizes sharing, not greed. Peace-making, not war-mongering. Love, not violence.
I think that if the trajectory our country is on is ever going to change, and if there's a chance for the rampant craziness from the religious Right to be checked, those of us of faith will need to be more confrontational and call out these so-called Christians for their hypocrisy and greed. The liberals don't really understand church language or sentiment so it's really up to us.


Joy said...

thanks for that link.

The thing is, as you pointed out two posts ago, mixing up religion and politics is dicey business. How do we, as people of faith with a particular vision of good social policy (that is based in our faith) call out the religious right without also saying "this is the right policy because it's in keeping with the tenets of Christianity"?

I'm not saying we should not call them out, I'm just wondering what it would look like. I can certainly imagine such conversations on a personal level (I've had a few with a particularly fervent cousin) but I suspect that a lot of liberal Christians don't even have much in the way of right-wing and/or fundamentalist friends and relatives. How do we have that conversation on the level of the broader society?

Tameshia said...

It is not just the White Evangelicals that love capitalism and greed. Let's not forget the Prosperity Gospel that is prevalent in many Black churches. It's focus on wealth and exces as a sign of blessing is just as dangerous. While it is not as politicized as what spews from White Evangelicals I think it is still incredibly destructive, on a personal and spiritual level by reducing the a Christian's relationship with God and understanding of Jesus to the ultimate genies who will get you shit you obey and act right. It's just bad theology all around!

Joy: I have friends who are Conservative Christians and have spent many years in Conservative churches. Didn't take long for them to see that I didn't share their politics or their worldview. The relationships were challenging, but I think it showed them there is more than one way to understand the Bible to show your love for Jesus. As for me, it forced me to show grace to folks who I strongly disagreed with on many political and social issues. It forced me to look closer at and for the ways that showed their love of Jesus in ways that were reflective of the Jesus I know and love - their kindness to strangers, their giving hearts, etc. The ones I am friends with to this day are the folks that showed me the same kindness and openness that I tried to show them. We still talk politics and disagree on many issues, but because we know each other, we are able to have thee conversations without attacking each others character, intelligence, or faith - something that is totally lacking in political discourse from either side these d days.
Besides, they are more worried about my salvation because I'm shacking up with my Agnostic boyfriend, than because I'm pro-choice....