There’s a conservative catchphrase, hashtag, and even small budget movie based on the phrase: “God’s Not Dead”, but in an ironic turn of events, the vast majority of its target market and fanbase act like God died every day. Let me explain…
These people have set rules of behavior based on their personal moral beliefs grounded in their religious worldview. Okay. Cool. No problem. HOWEVER, the people who usually make the most ardent claims about their “Churchianity” often are the same ones who act like God has in fact kicked the bucket and the Holy One’s last living will left to them the title of Supreme Ruler and Enforcer of Morality. They take their own, private personal rules of behavior and insist that they’re actually God’s Universal Rules of Behavior. See the problem?
One of the many hypocritical flaws of radicalized, fundamentalist, Christian religion is its very assumption that the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-encompassing Creator of the Universe has trouble doing the job. The reality remains that: God. Doesn’t. Need. Help. Enforcing. Any. Rules.
In Christianity especially, the concept of moral policing becomes especially inane as one explores the notion of the Holy Spirit. Each individual Christian is to be guided in their journey by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. But whisper the words “rape/purity culture”, “sexual orientation”, “gender equality”, “intersectionality”, “social justice”, or “reproductive rights” into the wind and fundies pop their heads out of the sand and scream “heresy!!” back at you.
Here’s the thing, y’all. They don’t make the rules. They may think they do. But they’re mistaken. And their very insistence that they do exposes their faith as a fraud. Even according to their own dogma, God is powerful. God is alive. And the Holy One lives inside us.
They may think they make the rules, but they don’t. And their very insistence that they do exposes their faith as a fraud.
Their assistance in sculpting other autonomous human beings’ worldview and theology is not needed. The Holy Ghost has that job covered. So, the next time someone tries to tell you that the “Bible CLEARLY SAYS” you’re not a ™True Christian because you’re not: pro-life, anti-gay rights, “modest dresser”, republican, “complementarian”, “anti-social-justice”, Hollywood hater, yada-yada-yada (it never ends)… Yank these beautiful catchphrases right out of the air and send them sailing right on back…
“But the Bible CLEARLY SAYS that God’s Not Dead, so why are you trying to fill that role?”
The thing is the Scriptures very rarely clearly say anything. And if someone needs to pull that phrase out in an argument about a Bible passage, then OBVIOUSLY it’s not clear. Otherwise, there would be no debate. #duh
In a beautiful, crazy, mind-blowing turn of events, God left a lot of things open to interpretation. Some people have come to solid conclusions on certain subjects, others pretend they have because otherwise they face spiritual abuse, and still others are on a journey to discover their personal convictions.
No matter how many times you apply, God’s job isn’t yours to fill.
Hear me now: If you 👏 try to 👏 force anyone 👏 to conform 👏 to your 👏 personal belief-based behaviors… You are playing God. You are using God’s name to shame other people. You are using God’s name to control other people. You are pretending you have special access to The Most Holy Way To Live. It’s not cool. It’s not okay. It’s abusive. And, yes, that’s in the Bible. So feel free to dress a certain way, refrain from certain activities, or choose your personal lifestyle, but the moment you start shaming, negatively affecting other people through these choices, or trying to force other people to live your lifestyle as well, is the MOMENT you just stepped into Shoes far too large for you to fill. Don’t kid yourself. Your interpretation of the Sacred Text is no more valid than anyone else’s. Your lifestyle is no more righteous than anyone else’s. You are one of us. Human. Flawed. Accept it. Because no matter how many times you apply, God’s job isn’t yours to fill.