Name it to confront it.(The Church, Culture, & Mass Shootings.)

I do think that as Christians, we are called to have a pulse on and a concern for culture. It is very apparent that there is a rise in mass murderers leading all of us Christian and non-Christian and those in-between to ask why?

We want to name the thing so that we can confront it and end it.

What I see so often from Christians is an anger and blame at secular culture. “It’s because we took God out of the schools. It’s because we have forsaken the sanctity of marriage, it’s because abortions are legal. It’s because of Muslims and atheists making our laws.” That all of these things have equated into a genuine lack of concern for life. Because your understanding of Christ is the vehicle that has allowed you to understanding and develop value for life.

I find profound issue with this thinking. While many of you don’t care if it’s offensive or not because you think it is a truth people need to hear, you need to understand it’s this very contempt for lives unlike your own that has pushed people away from your small and fickle concept of Christianity.

Do you not recognize that you are teaching and training the same rationality of these mass murderers. Christians, we hold so much of this blame. We have created such violent dualism in the name of our ego superiority to everyone unlike us.

Is it not that same mentality you’re preaching that is creating these people? That “the morality of our nation is suffering because THOSE people don’t think like “we” do. That they are ruining the good nation that I love and that they need to be like me. We need to stop those who dare be different. That’s how we’ll win back our culture!”

It’s a fragile and dishonest conformity that creates hatred and violence. Because it removes us from honestly experiencing and learning and loving from one another. I do not see Christ in this thinking and I lived in it for many years.

It’s that very thinking that pushed me out of your churches. That anything self-critical was to be traded for blaming the “unknown them.” You protected me from experiences that were bound to change me and my understanding. And taught me to be offended by those who grew tired of my ignorance as the rest of the world moved on.

This tribal thinking takes no blame for the problems we the American church have birthed. Our racism. Our colonialism. Our toxic forms of patriarchy. Each of which are present in all of these shooters.

They see a diverse world and cry hatred. God sees a diverse world and calls it Kingdom.

When your sermons says the cultural problems all exist in the secular culture but your congregation supports a man who eggs on these types of violent, racist people, laughs their violence off, designated them as fine people who’ve done nothing wrong, you have no authority to anyone outside your tribe to speak of cultural issues, because you are inconsistent and cowardly.

The sermons you’re preaching are irresponsible and they create the very sort of intimidated radicals that stoke violence in our communities and division across our nation. Because they teach us to be hateful of the different. To not seek understanding from those unlike us because you’ve already told us what to think for years before we’ve encountered the different among us. You’ve cradled us to believe ourselves superior. That we are the best version of an American. That we are the righteous. And that anyone who would change our world, change our community, challenge our beliefs, is a threat. And oh boy I am speaking here from experience. I was the worst of such sinners. Some days I still am.

That is the fragility these men are acting from and the narrative of the church and its grip on national power I think is largely to blame. And this moment and this power SHINES of it.

You want to see the problems of our culture. Look inward my siblings in Christ. You are not so righteous. You are not morally higher. You too are violent. Your ideas are violent.

Am I being unfair Church?

If our message is so ineffective that we have to force it upon little perceptible children in the schools, that’s not culture’s fault, it’s ours.

Love is a contagious victorious deed. You will see it’s fruit. Give it and you will teach it.

What I think you mean to say, is that you have found life in Christ, and you want others to share in your blessed experiences. That you’ve been challenged to love more deeply, to confront your biases more outright, to see the beauty in all of creation, to feel hope when times are dark and hopeless. And that Christ got you there.

Church, rather than love we’ve preached conformity and it’s fruit has built large, large ego driven churches. Churches who are fragile to criticism. Churches who are fearful of diverse people and perspectives. It’s elected irresponsible and disharmonizing men like Donald Trump. Because what gathers people best, is a common enemy. We’ve taught America how to do this. And we need to lament, we need to repent. Such violence is our original sin. Our turn or burn.

And we have always been dealing with it.

Confront that. You can learn how from those outside the walls of your churches. You would be so blessed to welcome them in.

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