I am no longer an evangelical. Or at least, I am no longer an evangelical as much of the evangelical church in America continues to define itself in ways that have estranged me.
This summer I hiked Glacier National Park, arguably one of the most beautiful places in our country. By 2030, all the million year old glaciers will likely be melted away. Our climate change has led to their demise. Yet, when do we hear the church take serious stands for the beauty of creation? What public official in D.C. who claim to follow Jesus actually take pollution, climate change, and drilling on public lands seriously? It's always about job and creating wealth for those in power... almost always.
Yesterday I officiated a beautiful wedding. I was so honored to be there, to have been asked to make the day happen. During the course of the weekend I met several gay people with partners, people who were beautiful and full of life. I tried to imagine how these good people would mess up my marriage or the marriage of my kids someday? There is no real answer except to condemn for the sake of accolades by the Creator perhaps. But even that idea is incredibly misguided.
I hear Jesus calling those who follow to really follow, to care for creation, to care for people, to find harmony between business and the earth's resources. I hear the Apostle Paul saying, 'Follow me as I follow Christ" and the call by the prophet Micah to, "Do justice and seek mercy."
And I certainly do not see the evangelical American church of today having a voice that sounds like music to anyone -- except those on the inside. If the church is ever to reclaim it's mission of the ways of Jesus, leaders need to realize the reflection of their churches is more noise than music to those outside its walls on Sunday morning.
The Apostle Paul stated boldly that all things in life revolve around love. The Apostle John went so far as to say that without love, we do not love God. Rather than protecting traditions that live in the past, that are not going to be in the future, I strain forward. On my best of days, I hope I give goodness, kindness, and genuine love to both friends and strangers.
Jesus disciples actually proclaimed good news. They were not jerks. They spoke against the powers of the day, and they often died for it. If you have no interest in church, God, or Jesus, it's OK with me. Be my friend. I love you just for who you are. This is what I've learned from following Jesus.