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What is the agenda?

Updated: Sep 27, 2021

Growing up in a White fundamental Baptist home, I always accepted the Christian culture paradigm without any question. It wasn’t until I experienced some unsettling dynamics within this culture, did I start to explore what my faith means to me. It was the beginning of separating my faith from the religious traditions. The separation continued as I learned how to honestly and curiously sit with others who were similar and different from me through my marriage and family therapy training. It was during this time, and harmful cultural themes began to emerge. The anguish of others who were turning away from Christianity due to the actions of Christians, not doctrinal values, was ever-present. Moreover, a theme of Christians also pushing aside their contribution to this pattern was disheartening.

The more I explored this dynamic, I would receive responses of “Christians are human,” and it was the harmed individual‘s responsibility to look beyond the pain and others’ “to see God.” Additionally, others are leaving Christianity because they are rejecting the “truth” being professed. I cannot express how traumatic and unbiblical these responses are. It is detrimental to encourage others to keep engaging with a harmful system that is unwilling and/or unable to assess how their culture and traditions may be causing the trauma.

Others who interact with professing Christians will associate God with them. It is part of being within an identified group, a group professing to follow God. Christians are to walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel and show a heart of humility/compassion to others. We are to strive to be conformed into the image of Christ, who was active in altering abusive systems, reaching out to those hurting, and showing others a radically different paradigm.

As Christians, being created in the image of God and ambassadors of him, we have an obligation to reflect on how we are showing Christ to others. Yet, the White evangelical culture is permeated with unchecked protected abusive systemic structures, which can be seen throughout history (i.e., the holy crusades; slavery; conversion therapy; marginalization of women, children, and immigrants; etc.). Child and interpersonal domestic violence have been on the rise; yet, the Christian culture tends to protect those within the authority, and shame/ignore those giving voice to the abuse.

Thus, the agenda of this blog is to highlight these closed structures and open spaces to explore them. If we, Christians, cannot accept our humanity as creating space for harmful dynamics and acknowledge our cultural limitations, we will continue to mar the image of our Creator.

The narrative of Scripture highlights how we should be interacting with others. God looked at his broken creation and made our problems his problems; furthermore, He acted in our favor by making way for us to be in a right relationship with him, by sacrificing himself. It is time for Christians to reflect and break free from the harmful systems we have established and perpetuated.

Note: this blog is going to focus on the general themes. Not every Christian nor Christian subculture holds the patterns identified. However, we need to explore these dynamics with humility to assess our contribution and ways to address the discrepancy.

#walkinamannerworthy #timeforreflection

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