Arguments for "woke" Christianity. A thread.

I've been debating what the Christian right calls "woke" for years. It's always the same points. So instead of addressing them over and over again. I thought I'd create a thread to book mark. Warning-this will be long. 1/
My background. I'm a preacher's kid, been a Christian my entire life (I'm 56). I've also voted Republican, Democratic, Independent. I'm not particularly partisan and I think the marriage of Christianity and politics is incredibly dangerous as proved throughout history. 2/
The denomination I grew up was fairly liberal. However as an adult, I attended evangelical mega churches that became increasingly fundamentalist over the years. I was like a frog in boiling water-not recognizing the changes in doctrine until the Trump era. 3/
During the Obama era I did, finally, start to see the rhetoric from the pulpit and evangelical leaders start to become more and more political. It was no longer ok to vote Democrat- they were "Demonrats." They wanted to kill innocent babies in the womb and offend 4/
God by allowing gay people to marry. The beginning of my awakening towards the propaganda from the pulpit was when my hugely popular pastor called Ellen Degeneres, "Ellen Degenerate". The congregation thought that was hilarious. 5/
My pastor would go on to be one of a group to lead Ohio to against gay marriage. The rhetoric became increasingly paranoid, divisive, hate-filled and mocking towards the "other"- including single mothers, "absent black fathers", muslims, immigrants. 6/
Railing against these groups became virtually the only thing talked about in that megachurch. To prop all those things up- the church had to become increasingly legalistic and redefine love from "do unto others" and what love is and is not. 7/
They no longer preached the Corinthians version of what love looks like-patient, kind, enduring, humble, sacrificing, generous, merciful, compassionate. They redefined it as obedience- not to love as Christ commanded, but to every word of the "inerrant" bible. 8/
They redefined who we are to love and who are blessed not as the enemy, the outcast, the poor, the suffering but as other evangelical Christians. Other groups of people did not have to be loved, but converted to their narrowly defined version of "biblical Christianity".9/
Conveniently, this would require new Christians to obey not Christ and His commandment to love God and neighbor, but to obey the evangelical leaders through whom doctrine flowed. And, increasingly, far right political leaders. 10/
I increasingly watched my friends, family and church peers become paranoid, xenophobic, and hate filled. They focused on the enemies outside the church. This was war for our souls and nation. 11/
To them it was clear the war would not be won with the radical love of Christ and the heart changes that come with inviting the Holy Spirit within. I guess they though this was too much for Christ to achieve alone. They resorted earthly Kingdom methods of gaining control 12/
They campaigned for political leaders to put their version of Christianity into law. If necessary, they would use their 2A rights to bring this about. Gun idolization is a real thing in the evangelical/fundamentalist groups. 13/
This new form of Christian Nationalism raised all kinds of red flags to my inner lover of Christ who did not grow up hearing this kind of rhetoric from the pulpit. It all started sounding antithetical to the radically loving, merciful, humble, serving Christ I had known. 14/
So I made the decision to leave that church. I needed to get those angry voices out of my head so I could find the love of Christ again. I began to earnestly study different theological positions on the Kingdom of God vs. the kingdoms of men. I read how 15/
Different theologians over thousands of years have understood scripture and how "inerrancy" and "plain word " reading were actually pretty new. I rediscovered a more freeing way to read scripture through historical, literary, poetic, story telling and looking for 16/
common themes. What I eventually landed on was seeing the Bible as a group of flawed people trying to understand and follow God. The stories of slavery, freedom, sin, sacrifice peak through and point toward a new thing that would come through Christ. 17/
An earthly kingdom for God and strict law had failed miserably to establish the kind of Kingdom God has in mind for us. Enter, Christ. His message was radical and completely counter cultural to both secular and religious society. He saw a Kingdom of God inhabited by 18/
people who would follow Him and His way of a love so radical it would heal the sick, love the enemy, share a table with the sinner and the outcast. His Kingdom would be filled not with the rich, powerful, elite, strong, law and order earthly Kingdom idols but with 19/
all people who would choose to live in peaceful, generous, compassionate, merciful, kind, self-less love led by the Holy Spirit and His simple commands to love. 20/
So when other Christians call us "woke" or "progressive" this is what they are against. This kind of Christianity takes the methods of earthly power away and gives us the only weapon of love. This is incredibly threatening to those who want to use political, law making 21/
power, violence and culture war rhetoric to establish their earthly Kingdoms. It's frustrating to "inerrant bible" Christians who want to use every word of the Bible as the last word on any subject. 22/
So, yes, I am woke if you must call it that. I am progressive. I treasure the Bible for all it's wisdom, failures, searching for a better Kingdom. The law could only condemn. Christ's sacrificial love saves souls. 23/
So yes. I can vote Democrat or not vote at all and not be pro abortion. I can see that to reduce the necessity of abortion-law won't work. You need to address the needs of women who need affordable healthcare, birth control, affordable housing, education, childcare, 24/
generous PTO for pregnancy and maternity leave and sick kids. I can affirm same sex marriage because it seems the scripture used to condemn homosexuality was from a cultural viewpoint 2000 years ago where homosexuality was often coerced, non consensual, abusive and violent 25/
I think Jesus would affirm any marriage where 2 consenting adults vowed to do the very best for their spouse, center their marriage on Christ and grow in the fruits of the spirit. 26/
I believe scripture against women leaders was about a 2000 year old cultural norm and not how Christ views women. 27/
So in answer to being accused of conforming my Christianity to culture, I feel many Christians are conforming their faith into an ancient culture. 28/
I am woke to the radical Kingdom of God Jesus taught. Where love is so much more than obedience to law. Where love looks like joy, kindness, compassion, mercy, service, generosity, humility. Where it uplifts the lowly and outcast and everyone is treated as equal & worthy 29/
where peace reigns and the people can trust each other because they trust the Holy Spirit to lead them unto love in every circumstance. I.AM.Woke. 30/ #woke #ChristianNationalism #progressive #culturewar #LGBTQ #Resist

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