Recently proudly posted on a family member’s Facebook timeline was a story entitled: “THEY GAVE ME THE MIDDLE FINGER AT THE ALTAR,” by Jeremiah Johnson. In it Mr. Johnson told the story of a engaged young couple that came up front to be blessed before marriage (honestly I don’t know what that’s all about, but it must be something done at his church). In a moment of (I’m sure of pure wisdom), the Pastor asked if the couple we’re sleeping together. Basically he read them the riot act about God’s condemnation of them in their sin. Slut-shamed, they fled the church, giving him the finger as they ran out.
Just a few days earlier, the same family member posted a meme about the first slaves on American soil being 100 Irish children. A simple Google search and visit to Scopes, of course, proved it to be a reoccurring post started by White Supremacists to discredit Black slavery in the US. My family member didn’t think to check if it were true or not because they came from a background of White privilege.
I love all my family members, but so many are evangelical “Trump,” Fox News Christians. And, of course, post things about the wall, immigrants, etc. It makes me very sad. I attend (for now), an evangelical church, which has a discipleship program (as many do), to learn your “purpose” in life. Finding “God’s purpose for your life” seems to be a popular theme in evangelical circles, especially Pentecostal ones. Books have been written about it. The teaching is usually geared to fill Sunday school teaching positions, welcome desk and greeters. But God’s purpose is clearly outlined in Jesus’ teaching: love God, love your neighbor, love your enemies. It’s that simple. Love abundantly, extravagantly and unconditionally.
The problem with evangelicalism is there is so many exceptions and strings attached to loving.