Roughly one year ago, I entered my third faith deconstruction in just under a decade. It was my longest and most painful one to date, clocking in at seven months and ending with me coming to terms with some harsh, disappointing truths about the state of the American Church.
Each one of my deconstructions was triggered by gaping disparities between the life of Jesus and personal experiences in the Church. What made this one different was the nature of 2020, which kept bringing worsening disparities in rapid-fire succession.
I certainly haven’t been alone in my generation. I know more Millennials…
To say that being a Christian in the United States during the last five years has been hard would be an understatement.
Much like the rest of the country, the Church witnessed her own brokenness during the 2016 presidential election. Many Evangelicals supported a thrice-married, serial cheater who openly talks about having sex with his daughter, is a business fraud, and mocks their beliefs. Some did so fervently, gleeful that a politically-incorrect culture warrior was leading them into battle. Others held their noses as they cast their ballots, genuinely believing they were voting for the lesser of two evils.
Since the Ravi Zacharias abuse story broke, I’ve had several people reach out asking for my thoughts.
I’m an Exvangelical who now simply identifies as a Christian. A majority of my Christian friends are now Exvangelicals as well. Over the past several years, I’ve been a part of more private conversations concerning the disparities between Evangelical culture and the teachings of Jesus than I can count.
In 2020, I started taking some of those conversations public here on Medium after I realized my personal experiences and conversations with others could help Christians navigate the many contradictions found in Evangelical culture…
In early May 2020, I woke up to a half dozen messages asking about a new video called Plandemic.
“Have you seen this documentary?
“Watch this. Crazy times we live in.”
“They’re trying to hide the truth from us. We need to share this everywhere!”
Conditions in the United States were ripe for a conspiracy theory to thrive. Two months into COVID-19 lockdowns, our country had no strategy for dealing with the pandemic and cratering economy. Right-wing minority rule had arrived at its logical conclusion: raging incompetence. People were hurting and ready to cling to any explanation.
With nowhere to…
In June 2012, I found myself standing on a rocky hillside in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. It was a hot day underneath the unforgiving sun, so hot that most people were under the shade of nearby trees. Even this was barely a respite: the slight breeze was a burst of warm air in your face, like a hair-dryer being turned on and off.
Despite the relentless heat, it was impossible not to admire the beauty of this place. Clusters of trees, small villages, and farms gave the area an idyllic feel. We had arrived during the dry season, so…
Years ago, a Sudanese friend advised me to recommend Letter From Birmingham Jail to people who couldn’t understand the frustrations of those who have been historically oppressed. “You’ll be surprised at how many people have never read it,” he said.
This section of Letter has been seared into my mind for years:
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens’ Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but…
Watching the January 6 coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol, I was upset — but completely unsurprised — to see Jesus Saves signs amidst the Trump and Confederate flags, a gallows, and makeshift weapons being wielded against outnumbered Capitol police.
I was shocked because, well, it was shocking. Having walked the halls of the Capitol complex many times, it was heart-breaking to see images of specific places I have been being desecrated. Knowing that many of the devoted Capitol police officers and kind Congressional staffers I have met over the years were now in danger was even more concerning.
I usually don’t make a New Year’s resolution. I’ve never really believed that changing a calendar makes change in life easier.
Now that 2020 is over though, I’m ready to give it a shot. 2020 was a dumpster fire. It seems like a good time to leave some things behind, as well as replace them with more meaningful pursuits.
I’m not sure if this counts as a New Year’s resolution or not. If it does, I guess the joke is on me? Anyways, let’s start with what I’m leaving behind.
I started walking away from this several years ago, but…
If there’s one thing we have learned the past four years, it’s that the modern Republican Party is often the exact opposite of what its leaders claim to be.
Lowering the deficit and national debt? Spend trillions on COVID-19 relief. Invest in our national infrastructure? We’re still waiting for infrastructure week. Responsible governance? Use national security briefings to adjust your investment strategy for personal self-enrichment. Claim you’re standing strong against a foreign regime? Refuse to help the victims of said regime:
Rampant Republican hypocrisy existed long before Donald Trump seized control over the party. The past four years have enhanced…
Republicans have been railing against China for quite some time. It’s become a central feature of Trumpist foreign policy especially.
The Republican argument against the Chinese government isn’t entirely bad. For example, China’s treatment of the Uighurs is truly deplorable. There’s plenty of evidence that Chinese officials tried to hide the severity of COVID-19 when it emerged. And there are legitimate concerns around trade, patents, regional security, and more. These are hard issues that require focus, resources, and strong language.
Nonprofit founder and executive director. Husband and father. Unashamed Millennial.