Jesus Minus Christianity

I’ve never really understood that handsome, light-skinned, blue-eyed Jesus who never seems to smile in the portraits that hang on the walls of so many American churches. I’ve always had the tendency to lean towards skepticism when it came to American Christianity. I think I picked up on the hypocrisy rather early in life.

Growing up in this “Christian Nation,” it took me twenty-five years to differentiate the Christianity I saw, with the ways of Jesus. It was definitely a paradigm shift realizing that Jesus is not religion nor is he even Christianity.

That white Jesus I saw growing up was a fabrication, and the Middle Eastern refugee guy, real Jesus, is a bad ass whose ways are rooted in bold Love, completely different from what I often saw in the church.

I am constantly finding more and more people who have come to the same realization. Many of us come from the generation that doesn’t like labels and drinks too much expensive coffee, you know the one. Others have simply been burnt out and scarred from religion. And some, some have been life-long truth-seekers grounded in the Love of non-white Jesus, never fooled by the ways of religion. Regardless of our backgrounds, there’s a trend.

We are sick of Conservative American Christianity.

Most of American Christianity is lacking something major, like really major - the ways of the guy whom the entire religion is based on. Before you shut down, please try to bear with me and let me explain.

Think about it, in the self-proclaimed “Christian Nation” of the world, outwardly, our numero uno goal is self-preservation. It takes precedent over pretty much everything and is comes at the expense of the greatest command of Jesus, Love one another. We are blinded by fear and supported by ego.

My husband recently made a bold statement, it will probably be hard to hear, but sadly, it is pretty much on-point with what the majority of the world sees in American Christianity:

“How to justify hating or killing your neighbor, in Jesus’ name.

Start by dehumanizing your neighbor: Let propaganda against them go unchallenged, in big and small ways. Promote anything that seems negative about them, while ignoring or disputing anything positive.

Then, create a threat: compare their entire society to a minority that makes up the worst of their society. Use violent imagery to suggest a connection between the majority and the violent outliers, while ignoring or silencing the voices and actions of the majority.

Lastly, quote scripture: focus on Romans 13 to justify any actions government takes against these now less-than-human neighbors, as well as justification for any vote you made in support of these government officials. Also, be sure to quote "wise like a serpent, innocent as a dove" often. This will justify any action, reaction or ideology against these neighbors because they have been established to be a threat, suggesting anything to the contrary is foolish.

Follow these steps, and just like that, you can justify hating or killing your neighbor in Jesus’ name, while trying to maintain a "godly" and "righteous" image in the eyes of others.”

Fiery sarcasm aside, this is a reality we are seeing every day. It’s disturbing; we should all be thoroughly uncomfortable right now.

A lot of us are over this crap, we are sick of seeing Christianity hurt those suffering, we are sick of Christianity contradicting the ways of Jesus. Whitewashed tombs, outwardly beautiful, but full of dead rotting flesh and bones, inwardly everything unclean.

Nice picture, I know.

There is a silver lining, out of the hate and all of the craziness we are seeing a new bolder unity arise.

Those sick of the hypocrisy, those trying to follow the ways of real-life Jesus, those choosing the red letters over religion, those choosing bold Love, you are bringing hope in times of great suffering.

The greatest among you shall be servants, humble, kind, boldly Loving back. Giving your time, your money, your ambition, your heart, your life pursuing Loving those whom our world has rejected.

You know what is awesome, if you’re not quite there yet, it’s not too late. If you are frustrated in what you’re seeing in our world, there is always room and opportunity to Love back. 

Your voice matters, our voice matters. This is how the world changes, this is the hope that truly meaningful rebellions are built on. Now is when we throw out our lame politically-based fabricated fears. Today is the day you Love the hurting, you invite the “other” into your home, and you see our shared humanity.

Let them never hear us say our lives are worth more than yours. Let them never hear us say our children’s lives are more important than yours. Let them never hear us say, I want to help you but...

We won't listen to the lies. We won't stand by the fear. We won't give into the fabrication that a life is more valuable based on nationality.

Let them see this Love unify us. Let them see their wall of fear fall to dust. Let them see the ripple effect when Love wins. Let us become that change.

Sheri Rosendahl1 Comment