I have been trying to put my finger on what it is about modern evangelical Christianity across the spectrum of flavors that has been making me cringe in its interaction with, first of all, its own kind, but, more importantly, those who are not considered to be part of the “clique.” It is this in a nutshell: There is a blatant lack of basic respect. The show of such putrid disrespect for other cultures and belief systems that are considered outside its own culture literally translates to an unconscionable rudeness toward human beings – from within and without the ranks of the cliques.
If Jesus had shown even a hint of such disrespect in His dealings and interactions with people during His time of walking as a man among us in the earth, His followers would have been few and so insignificant there would be no mention of them in historical chronology. But it was the high level of respect He showed to others that inspired people to follow Him just to see what He would do and say next.
It is this lack of respect I see that tempts me into contempt and ridicule toward the evangelical movement – from the whole spectrum of flavors starting with Pentecostal and Charismatic leanings to the staunchest of the fundamentalist unyielding denominational circles. It has proven difficult not to fall prey to this temptation to scoff on a daily basis. I wince at the things I see people doing and saying so blithely, that show such disregard for the sacredness of all life, the sacredness of the human soul. When I first began paying attention, at first, I was stirred to shock, then horror (especially at the realization that I’d participated), then quiet indignation, and then I began to not want to be so quiet and compliant until I noticed recently that the cuss words I had been suppressing for many years began to finally flow freely out about it.
Though I recognize that my feelings are justified, to continue down this path is only going to accomplish one thing: to alienate me from that which I have desired the most, which is closeness with God. I recognize that I succumb to anger so that I don’t have to feel or deal with how my heart breaks that people do not get to touch, and see, and feel, and hear a very real Jesus who would never wound the way people who use His name do. Either way, I feel utterly powerless against such an onslaught and such a growing widespread epidemic of entitlement, and arrogance, and brutality – which may actually be the very design of the trend!
You know what? Why give them the satisfaction?