This article is a response to Candace Baker’s “What the Hell,” published by the Orator on Sept. 19, 2019.
Walking past the University United Methodist Church everyday on my way to class, I am always surprised and disturbed by the political signs on the church’s lawn. The first sign that I remember seeing was in the winter of 2018. The banner had a picture of a snowflake accompanied by propagandistic statements, such as “I am not a liberal snowflake. I am a bad*** believer in human rights. But if my belief in equity, empathy, goodness, and love indeed makes me or people like me snowflakes then you should know… Winter is coming.” Reading that sign, I couldn’t help but sadly notice this church had evidently missed the message of the Bible. Ironically, this “equity, empathy, goodness, and love” seemed to exclude people that disagree with their liberal values. Not only was I shocked that a self-proclaimed Christian church would put out such a politically exclusive and polarizing message, but I was also stunned by its promotion of liberal values that contradict the gospel.
According to the University United Methodist Church’s statement on their website that “practicing (their) faith is more important than adhering to doctrines.” Yikes. What is a faith without a doctrine? This statement implies adherence to what society or the individual feels trumps adherence to the doctrines that God commands in the Bible. Furthermore, the UUMC is a self-proclaimed “reconciling congregation,” meaning they welcome LGBTQ+ membership. While I believe that LGBTQ+ individuals ought to be welcomed into a church, the church should not be promoting a sinful behavior that is so explicitly condemned in the Bible. It is heretical at best. The UUMC certainly isn’t the only one of its kind. Almost every politically-correct church around UT’s campus has a rainbow flag waving outside with a left-leaning message about immigration, abortion, or LGBTQ+ rights.
One of the issues that the Bible is most explicit about is sexual immorality and homosexual relationships. Sexual liberation has been one of the most normalized issues of the past decade, to the extent that “reproductive rights” is now a euphemism for excusing the killing of fetuses. The Bible says that God knew us in the womb. Using blanket words like “love,” “mercy,” and “social justice” to justify progressive agendas that are clearly condemned in the Bible isn’t a sound belief system. It seems to me that taking a few Bible verses out of context to push a political agenda reflects a very lukewarm faith based more on feeling and less on doctrine. Judging the morality of actions based on personal preferences leads to unsound theology, as there is no longer a universal moral standard that is generally provided by a doctrine.
However, this departure from doctrine isn’t surprising considering that only 23% of liberal Christians believe in absolute conceptions of right and wrong, a significant contrast to the 48% of Conservative Christians who believe in clear moral standards. Although the Democratic Party celebrates its tolerance, I’m not sure how a Christian could reconcile God’s sanctity of human life and staunch opposition to sexual immorality with a liberal political ideology.
Additionally, some progressive Christians claim that Jesus wouldn’t condone a border wall and that Christians who don’t believe in open borders for illegal immigrants are likely racist. First of all, belief in a country’s sovereignty doesn’t make someone racist. Secondly, the Bible is full of examples of God urging His people to construct walls around nations to protect themselves. Even Heaven will have a wall and gates. Protecting our nation from illegal activities, such as drug and human trafficking, is not a matter of racism. Border security doesn’t have to do with race, but rather the fact that 90% of heroin crosses over from the southern border. Similarly, ICE made 1500 human trafficking arrests in 2018. Christians should want to protect one another from these dangers. Conservative Christians aren’t trying to deny well-intended refugees, but we see the value in a fair process with walls that have a chance to limit the entrance of illegal activity.
In my experience, the belief that Christians ought to accept and embrace liberalism comes from a gross misinterpretation of what it means to love someone. Loving an individual means letting them know when something they are doing is detrimental to their mental, physical, or spiritual well-being. Believe it or not, Christians can simultaneously support and aid refugees while also protecting the importance of legal processes. We can improve conditions at facilities on Texas’s southern border without allowing open borders or decriminalizing unauthorized entry into the United States, which have been proposed by several leading Democratic candidates, including Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders. Among progressive Christian communities, “love thy neighbor” has become justification for condoning immoral behavior. The believer is justified by God’s grace, whereas the sin had to be atoned for because it was never acceptable. Jesus commands Christians to abandon sin and live a changed life. Thus, a Christian should hate the sin but love the sinner, and I have found that to be the central theme of the Conservative Christian community.
During my 18 years as a member of a Dallas Christian community, I never encountered an individual among Conservative evangelicals who did not love someone because they weren’t white, straight, Christian, or American. That’s not to say that those people don’t exist, but it is an inaccurate view pushed by the liberal Christians. There’s a variety of Conservative faith-based organizations, such as Human Coalition, that provide resources for women facing unplanned pregnancies. Similarly, humanitarian relief groups like Samaritan’s Purse provide resources for migrants on the US-Mexico Border, among other international crises. Conservative Christians are loving and serving others by implementing pro-life and pro-legal solutions to issues rather than resorting to promoting sin, and in general, they donate 30% more of their income on average than self-described liberal Christians.
Above all, the hypocrisy of progressive Christians bothers me. The “righteous condemnation” among Conservative evangelicals is a matter of promoting moral values, and if anything, the left has become a greater actor of it, likening Conservatives to racists, bigots, homophobes, and even Nazis. I am certainly not saying that Conservative Christians are blameless in the current political climate, but I want to point out that this “righteous condemnation” is at the very least a two-sided issue. For the most part, the progressive Christian message isn’t inclusive or tolerant to Conservative views. However, if progressive Christians continue to make tolerance the highest moral value, then by their own moral compass, they are equally obliged to tolerate Conservative Christian views. Conversely, Conservative Christians have dogmatic moral grounds for intolerance.
Certainly, Christ commanded that he who has not sinned should throw the first stone, and Christians shouldn’t condemn non-believers who are trapped in sin. However, promoting sin within the church is not an accurate reflection of God’s love, and political correctness will not fix the issue of religious hypocrisy. You don’t have to believe in killing babies in the womb, allowing open borders, and promoting LGBTQ+ relationships in order to be a Christian. Ultimately, rather than promoting tolerance, Christians ought to focus on promoting values that are actually in the Bible.
Disregarding teachings that aren’t “woke” enough for us is hypocritical and makes Christians look like zombies blindly following mainstream progressive movements. Christianity is called a city on a hill, yet it seems that progressive churches are hell-bent on wokeness rather than what the Bible actually teaches.