I call BS!

I really don’t know what’s going on with Christianity at the moment! American Christianity in particular, but Australia as well.

Overnight Franklin Graham held a rally in North Carolina, part of his long running ‘Decision America’ tour. The rally was supposedly intended to call Americans back to Christ. Yet according to AP News, it became very much about ‘Right Wing’ support for Donald Trump in his hour of impeachment, while castigating Democrats for their liberal ways.

Not far away, another group of Christians were holding an alternative meeting, dubbed ‘A Red Letter Revival’, focussing on the usual ‘Left Wing’ stuff of justice, inequality, the poor etc. You can read the whole AP News report here.

I’m using the terms ‘Left Wing’ and ‘Right Wing’ as basic markers. It’s especially prevalent in America, but you can certainly see it in Australia as well. Two groups, meeting at the same time, that show, in one article the vast divide that seems to exist within Christianity. Both claiming to proclaim the truth about Jesus, yet unable to meet in the same building to worship him.

On the right you have conservative, pro-life, traditional marriage, personal sin, bible-quoting, family values, climate change sceptics, vote-republican beliefs. On the left you have social justice, pro-choice, corporate sin, same-sex marriage, climate change, poverty-focussed, vote Democrat stuff.

Both sides claim Jesus as Lord, both sides claim their way is the only way, and if you don’t subscribe wholly to their worldview then you’re either a bigot or a liberal. Neither side will admit to this of course, but scratch below the surface and it becomes pretty clear that if you’re not with them, you’re against them.

Yeah I know that sounds like a generalisation, but I reckon its accurate. I’m seeing it more and more, everywhere, from both sides.

And if you think these brands of Christianity are only found in America, then just substitute ‘Coalition’ and ‘Labour/Greens’ for Democrat and Republican, and you have the Australian version. It exists, I’ve seen and experienced it for myself. Every time I go on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, its there. Articles, comments, links, blogs. It’s here in Australia, very much alive and well.

I’m a Christian, but I don’t fit in with either category

I’m pro-life and pro justice.

I’m concerned about poverty, and believe that SSM is not consistent with biblical teaching.

I believe that sin can be both personal, and corporate.

I care about climate change, and I am concerned for the erosion of the family

I think that both the left and right wings of Christianity have got some things very right, and some things very wrong. Yet increasingly I’m feeling like I’m being asked to take sides. I’m being asked to choose.

And I’m not going to do it. I’m calling BS on the whole thing.

I’m not going to do it because I’m a Christian who at least tries to live and shape my faith around the whole counsel of scripture. I’m not going to do it because I don’t think Jesus would do that either.

There’s a couple of verses in John’s gospel, right after the stories of Jesus turning water into wine, then driving money-changers from the temple.

Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart. John 2:23-25 NLT

Plenty of people wanting to get on board the Jesus wagon, but Jesus not getting on board theirs. These verses have always stayed with me, and especially so in these tribalistic times, where I’m being asked to sign up and subscribe to this-or-that brand of Christianity. I think the problem with both the left and right wing Christians is that when I hold them up to Jesus, I find that neither side has a mortgage on the truth.

Discipleship to Jesus demands that we are His, lock, stock and two smoking barrels. Jesus didn’t entrust himself to people, and neither will I. I think we do that discipleship a great disservice by linking it to a particular ideology, and demanding that we see The Messiah only through the lens of that ideology.

It means that uncritical support for any leader, be it Trump, Biden, Clinton, Sanders, Morrison, Albanese, Di Natale, or (insert preferred leader’s name here) will be something I try to avoid. My allegiance is not to the leaders of this world, but to the King of Kings. Jesus is Lord! And I will measure myself by His standards.

About andy63

Auditorium/Facilities Manager at Kennedy Baptist College. Family man, Dockers Supporter, NFL and NBA tragic who loves the Red Bull Air Race and a good meal. A Christian who is grateful for grace and forgiveness and the fact that Jesus is alive.

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