Where did Christianity go wrong?

October 7, 2015


These represent how Jesus Christ lived and and by example, what he taught his followers. These are, in fact, the central tenets of the Christian faith. And yet, we see exactly the opposite from many of the most visible preachers. You know, the ones that get all the publicity.

How much love is shown by those “Christians” who spew venom at gay people?

How much charity is actually going out from monies collected by television evangelists who live in mansions, drive luxury cars and wear designer apparel?

Is there much mercy in the treatment of immigrants escaping horrible abuse in their own countries?

How many Christians actually give money to the poor in lieu of giving expensive gifts on Christ’s birthday?

Sadly, like anything else, Christianity is rife with abuse and peopled with “pastors” and others who wave the Christian flag but don’t deserve the title.

When I think of the many desperate, naive people writing checks they can’t afford to television evangelists in the hope of getting the Lord’s blessing, it turns my stomach. Far too often that money is used to support an over-the-top lifestyle and far too little of it goes to good works.  It makes me sad that people believe they have to support these charlatans in order to gain God’s grace.

God’s grace is free and available to all.

Shame on these people who would use those donations to live large. Their day of reckoning will come and they might be mightily surprised.

It’s always a shock when I see some of the most politically reactionary and loveless people wave the cross around as if they alone owned it, even as their lives demonstrate how they have perverted the gospel. They, too, might be surprised on their judgment day.

My heart breaks when I see people I know to be good say cruel and narrow things about those in need, treating these real, human lives like so much political chattel.  We live in a world that is in need. What are we doing about that?

It’s time we were reminded of what Pope Francis pointed out:  the central missions of Christianity are love, charity, mercy and caring for the poor.

Yet, some of the most visible “Christians” do too little of any of these things.

So today, I’m asking: Where did Christianity go wrong? And what can we do about it?

21 comments on “Where did Christianity go wrong?
  1. Linda Hobden says:

    I haven’t got an answer but I just wanted to say that I agree with your viewpoint. I’ve encountered many who attend church & live “christian” lives in their view but are actually unChristianlike in manner.

  2. Carol Graham says:

    I don’t think there is anything we can do about it — it hasn’t changed in thousands of years. Faith and religion are two very different things and a true Christian does not get caught up into the hoopla of what these charlatans do in the name of the “religion.” Just like the radicals who kill in the name of their religion, these opportunists use the Christian blanket to stand on a pedestal and take advantage of the naive.

  3. One of the very many reasons why I cannot stomach television evangelists. As Christians, there is never a right way or a wrong way to worship—but asking for money is just wrong.

  4. I ask the same questions, Carol. I’m sorry to say that I decided to unfriend a ‘Christian’ on FB for the crazy stuff she was spouting post the Oregon shooting -defending the gun lobby and suggesting that the President Obama was a Muslim! She may be a nice lady, but I can do without reading such stuff.

    Just last week, she commented on a post of mine that she was disappointed that Pope Francis did not address the killing of Christians by Islamic fundamentalists. I’m not sure how that would have helped his American audience, except to underline what most ‘Christians’ seem to believe – that every one of any other religious leaning is bad!

  5. This is one of those subject that resonates so much with me, Carol. I was raised by a non-believer whose behavior was more “Christian like” than the majority of devout Christians I have known. Behave in a way that doesn’t require forgiveness…it’s actually quite simple.

  6. Laurel Regan says:

    Yes to all of this. It’s heartbreaking to me. I was raised as a Christian, but don’t recall seeing any of the horrible views and hatefulness then that seem to be overflowing in so-called Christians today. Then again, perhaps it only becomes evident when one steps outside the circle? I don’t know.

  7. There are those Christians, such as Frs. Greg Boyle and Michael Kennedy, and others, who do walk the walk. But I would have to say that my experience with church people conforms with yours, Carol. Ironically, Jesus often praised foreigners, like the Syrian woman and the Good Centurian – technically the non-believers – for their faith, and only condemned the religious establishment of his day. Hookers, thieves and other scum, those were the people he forgave and hung with. Sigh. But then certainty and being right is so much easier than getting outside of yourself and really helping people.

  8. donna says:

    I can certainly see where you are coming from. It seems everywhere we turn on the news there is some sort of cuh-razy person claiming to be all “Jesus-y” and not exemplifying Him at all. Makes me so sad…because I am a Christian.

    As much as I agree with what you say, I also know that what we often see in the news in what the reporters/networks have deemed to be “newsworthy”. You get more “views” when you report something awful, does that make sense???

    It is not often the news/media reports about people such as Ann Voskamp at http://www.aholyexperience.com , Jen Hatmaker at http://www.jenhatmaker.com , Sarah Bessey at http://www.sarahbessey.com<<<my Jesus Feminist gal :), Jaime Wright at http://www.theveryworstmissionary.com
    There are also amazing men out there like Micah J. Murray at http://www.micahjmurray.com/ and Jayson Bradley at http://www.jaysonbradley.com .
    These are just a few examples of what I call "Jesus with skin and bones on".

    They are real human beings trying to make real differences in the world we live in. They reach out to all people and touch the "untouchable" and cry and support and reveal inconsistencies within the church AS WELL AS inconsistencies within themselves.

    I think it is easy to forget that although we are "Christians", we are human beings and we are flawed and broken and in need of so much "fixing" it brought Christ to earth to bear the weight of this on His perfect shoulders. He knows how often we fall short of what He expects of His followers and He extends grace to us in our flawed state in the same way I am called to reciprocate that grace to everyone around me.

    There is a verse in scripture that says:
    "…and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all". {1 Tim 1:14-15}

    I look at my own heart/life and know that I fall short every single day in my attempts to represent the God I have chosen to serve. All I can do is face that truth and ask Him to help me represent Him a little better each day.
    I am sorry that your experience with Christians has been limited to the creepy ones like over the top televangeslists and the crazy Wesboro Baptist lunatics<<<they know NOTHING of my Jesus!

    As difficult as it is to do, it is important realize there are good, bad, and REALLY awful representatives in all "religions".

    • Thanks so much for the deeper viewpoint and sharing your personal experience. Of course, I am not lambasting all Christians, only those who do not really live as Jesus taught. I do know some spectacularly good, Christ-like Christians. But I also know some of the phonies. Well.

  9. Roz Warren says:

    I’m a Jew but I believe that Jesus was a great man who would not be okay with much of what has been done in his name.

  10. I’m not Christian and don’t want to comment on anyone else’s religion but it does seem like a lot of people who are doing things “in the name of God” are not acting in a very “Christian” way.

  11. Estelle says:

    Carol, I wish I had an answer. My only thought is that there are perils inherent in any organized religion. And absolute power corrupts.

  12. I don’t think Christianity went wrong at all. Yes there are some uncharitable people who claim to be Christian and yes there are some people that honestly believe they are Christian when they really are dangerous extremist hiding behind religion. There are extremists in every religion, every political party, every country etc…
    Just like the bad kid in a family, the obnoxious employee, the destructive student get all of the attention, the few extreme Christians get all of the attention.
    The thousands and thousands of ‘real’ Christians in the world that go about taking care of the sick, the poor, the homeless and living their imperfect lives emulating Jesus the best way they can get shamed and called stupid but they continue to not judge and go about doing the right thing.

  13. Vi Dotter says:

    I know where you’re coming from. I started social media seriously this year and it has brought out the true colors of some of my “friends”. I have been really disappointed at some of their reactions/commentaries in regards to current things in the media. I know they are good people, but they are just afraid of something that is different from them – i.e. your mention of the gay rights. When that came to the forefront and I received so much irrational arguments against it – I told my husband that we needed to expat if this is not resolved by the Supreme Court. In this day and age – it would have been ridiculous. Anyhow, you’ve struck a chord with me.
    Thank you. I feel your frustrations.
    Religion should be a source for happiness – how do we get happiness from another’s unhappiness? And I don’t want to go into the corruption – I hate those big churches with those huge signs with their website urls on the freeways.

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