As I watched my Facebook timeline fill with hate and status updates celebrating the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, my disillusionment with Christianity moved to the forefront of my mind. My hatred of Christianity, and of myself for being so immersed in its teachings, came to a boil as I watched my Christian friends rant about how terrible a job Chris Wallace did at the first Presidential debate because he asked Donald Trump to be quiet and stay on point. Those “spirit-and-loved-filled” individuals were not upset that the president had told white supremacists to be on standby, but rather at the mere notion that someone dared ask the president to be civil.
It was at this point that I walked up the stairs to my home-office and grabbed my Bible. I looked at it. I flipped through its pages and reflected on the lessons that I had been taught from it as a child. I could not remember any of the messages of love. I could only remember the messages of hate and fear of non-Christians and immoral deviants. I could not remember the good times and the good friends. I could only see the Facebook MAGA mobs quoting the Bible to justify their bigotry and hatred. I then did what any self-respecting person would do. I took the Bible to the garbage can and threw it in. I did this because I knew I had to reject the hate of my childhood if I wanted to continue to evolve as a person.
But then something hit me. A specific verse xame to mind. Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter though it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
This verse reminded me of the simple fact that very few of us will ever take the teachings of Christ seriously. Very few of us will take his message of love, acceptance, and caring for one’s neighbor to heart. The writers of the New Testament knew that; Christ himself, if he existed, knew that. It is time that many of us progressive Christians accept that as well.
I am not trying to say that we should be so arrogant to think that we are the only true Christians. However, those of us who continue to be drawn to this particular religion should not let the hypocrite majority taint the message of love that we wish to convey to our fellow humans.
Now admittedly I am much more atheist than I am Catholic. After all, as an educated person and Sociologist it is hard for me to completely accept Christianity given my understanding of how social structures form religions. However, after reflecting on Matthew 7, I cannot help but to find myself in a position in which I can again become a practicing Christian.
The celebration of Mass and the ceremony brings me peace. Having the thought that maybe one day I will see my sister again and be able to apologize for not being there for her on the day that she passed away, gives me peace. Is that peace a delusion? Possibly. But I grew up a Christian and at the end of the day, I will most certainly die one.
I’m not trying to sway or convert my non-Christian readers to my religion. If it is not for you, then it is not for you. I am speaking to fellow progressive Christians and lapsed Catholics who have walked away from the hate and vitriol that coming from many pulpits and social media. Although in the eyes of many, the hypocrites and hate mongers are the face of Christianity, We know that they neither truly represent or practice the love that the Bible commands us to.
So rather than walking away, and giving up on that love, let’s reclaim the messages of the Bible. Let’s reclaim the words of Christ, pull our Bibles out of the Garbage and show the hypocrite Christian what a true believer is supposed to look like.