I’ve gnawed on that grief this summer, mourning Eugene Peterson and raging at the Nashville Statement. I’ve processed the loss of trust, the hypocrisy of a Church that told me that only the Gospel mattered, and then snuck in a bunch of fine-print clauses at the end. I’ve wrestled with being betrayed by a community that talked a big talk about saved-by-grace-alone, and then tacked sloppy works-righteousness on to their statements of faith.
What the gatekeepers of evangelicalism always seem to miss is that we wouldn’t care about being “left out” if we didn’t still love the same things they love. We are not clamoring to return to our old ways of thinking, but we’re also not trying to infiltrate and corrupt people with mind games.
You made us look foolish, Eugene. You made the lives of hope that we lead look foolish. God grant me the courage to not let my cynicism win. God grant me the courage to look foolish, again and again, because I haven’t stopped hoping.
Why would anyone ask questions and express doubts—in a church—if a Christian is likely to tell them they are wrong for questioning or doubting? Who wants that? No sane person. And certainly not Jesus, either.
This tells me you haven’t engaged with my story. This tells me you aren’t really interested in hearing what Jesus is doing my life and are more interested in pointing out the sin in my life and trying to save me from myself.
If the Women's March does not become intersectional, it will merely be a continuation of what feminism was in the beginning: catering to the needs of white women and ignoring racism, LGBTQ discrimination, transphobia, the exploitation of indigenous people, and so on.
And maybe that is how you fight hellfire. Not with more hellfire, but with embodied solidarity. With protests. With makeshift signage. With fierce compassion and bravery in the face of the depths of human ignorance and depravity.