“So are you a fake christian or a fake nonbeliever?” she questioned me after I told her that, no, I wasn’t going to subscribe to her line of thinking just because she said it. “It’s God’s word,” she would have insisted had I said that, her blue eyes fiercely locked with mine. It’s the classic christian way of winning an argument, by quoting something likely out of context and then stacking the deck against you. Because, you know, the Bible’s never EVER been misinterpreted.
“I’m not a fake christian,” I said, not sure of how to defend my position. How do you explain that you’re just…doing what’s right for your situation when suddenly the God of the universe is being used to squash your opinion? It’s intimidating as hell.
Christians, y’all want to know why people are leaving? Comments like that right there. Telling people if they do something it’s indicative of their most personal, intimate relationship with God. No one-NO ONE-has the right to tell anyone else how their relationship with God functions. Not a damn person. I don’t care if they’ve got the book of Leviticus memorized and tattooed on their arm, no one has that right.
Tantalizing. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think about my upbringing. I think about the time I cheated in school and turned myself in. I remember never feeling comfortable even speaking to a man in case he thought I was trying to seduce him. I remember feeling ashamed of my body, my desires, my failures, or anything that wasn’t perfect. A messy room was a heart issue. A bad attitude was Satan. A bad grade was a result of disobedience. Anything bad that happened that was normal was chalked up to a spiritual problem because American christians STILL don’t know that you can do everything “right” and still have bad things happen. What if…now bear with me here…God permits things to happen as a natural result of free will, but his only role is that he doesn’t leave our side? What if he never comes to our rescue but he gives us hope that all the bad isn’t for nothing? What if he’s working in the mess to redeem what we can’t? Isn’t that…the gospel?
Jesus isn’t your damn MLM. You don’t get stars for bringing a quota of people “back to God.” You don’t get a badge for knowing JUST the verse to put that heathen in their place. God doesn’t operate out of a box. And people don’t have to change to be part of the kingdom. The kingdom has every sort of person imaginable in it and God loves them all the same. So if thinking like that makes me a fake christian, yeah okay. I’ll take that label. I’m not a christian. I won’t subscribe to the narrative any longer.
Quite frankly, if heaven is going to be filled with shitty, narcissistic pharisees…y’all can have that.