One question Christians should be asking themselves is why anyone not currently involved in a church would ever want to visit or join one. I see the public invites on marquees and on Facebook (come join us for an amazing worship experience!!!), but it must certainly seem to some that the Christian community isn't a place for an outsider.
As long as I've been paying attention to politics, which I would say has been from junior high until now, it has been conservative Christians who want to talk about family values. Anyone who had ideas that weren't in line with traditional, Christian thinking were labeled as dangerous.
Then, a funny thing happened. Along comes Donald Trump, a man who's entire life has been lived about as opposite from the gospel as you can get. His several marriages, insults towards minorities, complete lack of humility, disrespect to war heroes and their families, and winner-take-all, grab-em-by-the-pussy ethos on full display for everyone, and he gets 80% of the white evangelical vote.
Was the posturing among many of these evangelicals just a sham? Was it ever about trying to be a better person and live like Jesus would want you to live, or was that always just a clever way of marginalizing those who experienced the world differently and demonizing those who dared ask to change it?
Now, we're seeing that despite Republican Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore taking heat nationally, and from establishment Republicans, over allegations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls while he was in his thirties, that his support among some Evangelical Christians in Alabama may be actually growing. In a survey among Alabama voters, more Evangelical voters said that the allegations made them more likely to support him than did those who said they were less likely. While the survey says his overall support among Evangelicals has dropped, Moore still leads among this group 55% to 34%.
What does this say to the person on the outside? Who are these modern-day Christians and what are they supposed to represent? Are they a group who, as a whole, just want people to experience the love of Jesus Christ? Or, are they really just an organized group of people who have decided to reject anything seen as outside of the traditional norm, so much so that they'll rally behind a man accused of trying to seduce a 14 year old so long as he validates their views?
If I was on the outside looking in, these would be questions I would certainly be asking. For the marginalized among us, the minorities and the poor and immigrants and now sex assault victims, the gospel teaches us that Jesus has your back. It just seems anymore that there's a good chance the person sitting next to you in the pew doesn't.
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