There is something in the water.
We can’t bury our consciences about the rife cultic perversion that exists in mainstream Western Christianity today that has led to continued disillusionment with faith and accelerated exodus from the Christian religion. What naively seemed to many as only a fringe aberrancy that deserved quiet indifference with the occasionally whispered condemnation now seems to have infected large influential branches of the western church. Donning the Christian label is met with much more cultural and secular hostility and assumed to be a bastion of conspiracy theorizing, xenophobia, racist marginalizing toxicity. This deserved hostility is often dismissed by a defensive persecutory delusion — the promised persecution of Jesus' followers in scripture, in ironic contrast to the experiences of early Christians who were fed to lions for their allegiance to Jesus.
The disappointment that shivers down the spine of legitimate Christ-followers in the face of such misrepresentation of Jesus can’t be understated and what once felt like an annoying twitch is more like a paralyzing pain that is immobilizing the church.
I can’t pretend any longer that many of the people who depart this iteration of oppressive religion and corrupted faith leave with good, Christ-honouring intentions. Instead, I observe the religious tendency to gaslight them and use their moral failures, “sinful depravity" or diffuse anger at religion as an excuse to not deal with the reality of their religious trauma. Despite the calls for biblical fidelity, zealous campaigns for intercession and revival, it’s almost impossible to recognize and reconcile so much of what is fashionably called Christianity with anything revealed about the ethics and praxis of Jesus in scripture. The white nationalism cloaked in self-righteous Jesus worship absent Christ-likeness has been enthroned as the state religion in America yet corrupting many expressions of Christianity beyond her shores and is such a telling indictment. So many of the Christian voices I’d come to love and respect have become loudly complicit in this dangerous religious circus and Jesus cult that many are growing increasingly despondent of. The religious violence against minorities that gets legitimized as some kind of holy war for conserving the purity of western society from outsider perversion is as disingenuous as it is disgusting.
The prophets are just as guilty, many of whom have abandoned their posts to participate in the idolatry and hatred refusing to call out the madness with truth. Intercessors would rather pray to maintain the status quo than lead the way in prayers of repentance and worship leaders would rather protest the protective closure of large in-person gatherings during a pandemic than protesting the rabid white nationalism that is undermining national offices and pulpits. I can see what many Christians will say to all this. I’m simply a leftist puppet who has imbibed their rhetoric and weaponized it against the glorious bride of Christ. I’m just an enemy of the church whom I have loved and served for most of my life and still do.
But what do you when your faithfulness to Jesus means you are at odds with so much of what church and Christianity have bizarrely come to mean? What do you do with being torn to remain connected to a church that is infected by such ideological cyanide and prostitutes herself to the very ancient sins that justified slavery and genocide under a Christian banner? For many, this is an unconscionable compromise and understandably justifies an exodus with or without further explanation. And many are seeing the revival we need requiring the death of such forms of Christianity entirely and a rebirth of something that actually looks like Jesus.
Something is definitely in the water, once you have drunk from the sweet living water, you can no longer thirst for the bitter waters of toxic religion.
I can no longer be silent.