Our pastor’s sermons are among the most thought provoking I have ever heard. This Sunday, he posed the question, “If Jesus came back today, would He be a Christian?” Would Jesus look at the churches and say “Yep, this is what I had in mind”? I doubt it.
Pastor H referred to polling data that indicated that 100 million Americans tried something last year, other than Christianity, to make a spiritual connection. A third of Americans have more or less rejected the churches, and I interpret this as a massive failure of the churches in America. Another question Pastor H posed was “What might Jesus say to Christians?” The response that came to my mind at once was “You’re embarrassing me”.
Pastor H reminded us that Jesus was a revolutionary, that the message of Christianity is one of revolution and liberation. We should not be satisfied with anything less than a faith that is world changing and that turns our lives upside down.
But Christianity has been hijacked by counter-revolutionary forces, by men who wield the promise of a heavenly reward and the threat of damnation as tools to enslave their followers and garner earthly power to themselves. The so called religious right denies the grace of God and twists the liberating teachings of Jesus into something unrecognizable. Theirs is a Christianity without Christ. Is it any wonder that the 100 million want no part of it?
How can the news of God’s grace be heard when it is drowned out by all this noise from the religious right? They have placed huge stumbling blocks in the paths of many who might otherwise have believed. They have misled their followers and deprived them of the freedom that comes with understanding God’s grace. This is heartbreaking to me, and I pray about it often.