As you may have heard, a few years ago I stepped away from my faith. Since then I have been wrestling with rebuilding my identity: which elements of Christianity will remain a part of the core of who I am and what I will fight for. I don’t regret my days in the church because I lived a life that enriched those around me, and for that reason I have decided to keep the following Christian virtues (among others): community, self-sacrifice, and taking care of the poor and marginalized.
Now that I am weeks(!) away from bringing my first child into this world, I have been confronted with the need for me to improve the world she is coming into. Right now, unfortunately, America is not a good place to raise a mixed-race child of a non-US citizen immigrant. To you, my Christian friends, whom I’ve spent years within the church worshiping, praying, bible studying, and boba slurping… what exactly is the church doing about this?
From my perspective, there are two American Evangelical Churches. 1. The mainstream Evangelical Church: the majority, is more effective at communicating its message, more unified, and better funded. Its voice speaks the language of FEAR: fear the latin immigrant, the black male, the Arab refugee, the female with an accusation, the Central American seeking asylum… the list goes on. This church acts and votes and donates in step with the extreme-conservative-political machine.
Church 2. The remnant Evangelical Church is the minority, the representatives of the true faith of Jesus. It is poorly funded, disunified, with no message, meandering without leadership. This church should be loudly using a language of LOVE, boldly proclaiming that Christianity is about accepting and taking care of the most desperate of people (James 1:27). I believe that these Christians should be at the border ready to receive this migrant caravan from Honduras with an offer to shelter them in their own homes and churches. These Christians should be writing their legislators asking for Syrian and Yemeni refugees to enter the US so they can give them new lives in their own homes and churches. From my knowledge of you, this is the church that I know you belong to. But I don’t hear your voice, I don’t see what your church is doing.
I’m genuinely curious, what is the dialogue in your church today? What is the plan? Is the mainstream church the “elephant in the room” no one is talking about? Are the sermons in church about benign day-to-day Christian issues? Or are the leaders of the remnant church preaching fiery rebukes of the mainstream church and admonishing Christians to love the poor and marginalized? I cannot possibly summarize all of the hypocrisy of the mainstream church but one passage from scripture addresses the greater issue: 1 John 4: God is love, and perfect love drives out fear. In other words, Christians should be speaking the language of love and driving out the message of fear.
Even though I work outside of the church I soundly reject the mainstream message of fear, I condemn it as the work of lost-believers gathering leaders around them telling them what their “itching ears” want to hear (2 Tim 4:3). I loudly proclaim through social media, through protest, through donations, and through my voting that we should care for the poor and the immigrant. But lately I have found that it’s atheists and secular activists who are joining me in this message, why is the remnant church not out here defending itself? As a professing Christian, how could you allow this to happen? The mainstream church espouses a selfish, fear-based interpretation of scripture, non-Christians like myself defend the true message, and true believers like yourself seemingly remain silent. I am genuinely asking, what’s going on?
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention here that on Tuesday you do have an opportunity to make your voice heard and do something to correct the hypocrisy of the mainstream church. After pouring millions into getting Evangelicals to vote, the mainstream church is expected to vote similarly to how they did in 2016, a huge majority in favor of the extreme-conservative platform. I am urging you to stand up for your faith and stand with me by voting for policies that demand our government do what Jesus would do: advocate for the poor and needy.
I am mainly asking you to engage me here. If there is a movement among the remnant, tell me, I want to be a part of it. If there is no action and you are wanting to do something, engage me here and let this conversation be your first act. If you genuinely think that the mainstream church is acting in line with scripture then please allow me the opportunity to try to convince you otherwise. One thing I know for sure, now is the time to act, because if we stay on this course in one generation our country could be an unrecognizable and hostile world for our children live in.