Just typing the question as the title of this posting seems ridiculous to me, but no where as ridiculous as the multitude of comments, emails, etc. I get suggesting and/or asking the same thing.
In short the answer is the obvious is no.
Some people view criticism as an act of hate. Let me be specific, I do disdain what I commonly refer to as new Christians. Principally those who tend to identify themselves as “evangelicals” “right-wing” etc. etc. etc.
Maybe it’s the difference in how some are raised, but in all my time going to church, studying, etc. I was never taught, heard, or witnessed some of the actions of these type of Christians.
They seem to be anti-everything other than themselves of course. If this description doesn’t fit you, then your not the type of Christian I’m referring to.
Case in point, I belong to several right-leaning message boards where 98% of the members are Caucasian and identify themselves as Christian. In almost every instance, they are hostile to any idea or belief different than their own especially on the topic of religion.
Granted that’s just one case, however, one would have to be blind if they can’t admit that this ever present mentality isn’t constantly expressed in the media primarily Fox “News” their viewers and supporters. Do I have to bring up the Bush Presidency or the 2008 Campaign?
Recently, a friend of mine told me that he was seeking an Arabic tutor on Craigslist and came upon a local Christian group who was meeting for the sole purpose of discussing ways to convert Muslims to Christianity (joke in of itself), and my response was that I could guarantee the majority present would not look like me (see black) and would most likely identify themselves as evangelical. I’m sad to report that there was in fact ONE black guy present….
My reasoning to him for that assumption was that the way I was raised as is typical of most black Christians is that we don’t tend to focus or teach from a supremacist perspective. Our theology tends to focus on the deliverance of God to the meek and humble and focusing on ourselves and getting right with God. When it comes to those different from ourselves we are taught to pray for them and approach them in love, hate the sin but love and forgive the sinner.
I speculate this is because black people in general have had to deal with a lot and as such we have all kinds of baggage and issues to contend with. This up close and personal reality causes us to have a theology that focuses on compassion, mercy, forgiveness. Experience is often the best teacher. Many black families have gay relatives, Muslim relatives, drug addicted relatives, imprisoned, poor, etc. etc. you name it. Therefore, when you have family members that have these issues or differences of religion, you can see past that because blood is thicker than water.
By comparison, many of these so-called Evangelical, Right-wing, and often Caucasian Christians couldn’t relate to any of this, they don’t know what it’s like for their cousin, uncle, sister, etc. to come to a family gathering with their partner, they don’t have to deal with babysitting (i.e. watching their every move) crackhead aunt, they don’t know what it’s like to be mindful how to cook the greens (collard, turnip, kale) because their Muslim family member is coming to the gathering, etc. etc. because of these lack of experiences it’s easier to look down your nose at those different and far removed from your life. Is it necessarily racist? No I doubt it, though I do believe that many white supremacists, bigots, etc. hide in these groups, I’m just suggesting that experience shapes theology and when theology is manifested in words, actions, political activity, etc. you will see these noted contrasts.
That said, it may appear that I might disdain Christians at times, but it’s really a certain type of Christian. To me, Christians resemble those like my late Grandmother who did so much for our family with all our issues and loved us all the same, even those who decided to change religions 🙂 and she did it all with compassion and with the praise of Jesus constantly coming from her mouth. She had to deal with wayward children, grandchildren, etc. who between us realized almost every negative statistic one could find minus murder (I don’t think) and she never treated us any differently regardless of our condition. That’s the type of Christian home I was raised in, that’s the type of Christians I deal with in my family, so I’m sorry if I find it strange when I see some claiming the banner of Christianity calling me evil because I believe differently, or supporting legislation that would increase the burden of the least of the people, and challenge the rights of others.
You don’t have to take my word for it, go to church Sunday Christian or not. First visit a majority black congregation and then visit a majority white congregation, I can tell you from experience often the messages are night and day.
Going off on another tangent, I just happen to believe that’s why God often sent a Prophet or Messenger from among the least of the people or the ones most steeped in ignorance. I believe God did that so that the ones He sent would have compassion, experience, and be best equipped to deal with their communities.
Is this a condemnation of white Churches? Hardly, because I’m sure Joel Olsteen, Rick Warren, etc. are not foaming at the mouth like the Pat Robertson’s, Franklin Graham’s, etc. of the world.
I’m just saying that experience is often the best teacher and when it comes to why I appear to be disdainful of Christians in general, the reality is that I dislike some of them whom I find to be “strange” and almost a new religion in of itself or as my Grandfather would call them (who by the way has been a Pastor for over 50 years) pseudo-Christians.
Let’s just put it this way when it comes to theology through the prism of race, experience, and politics….
The overwhelming majority of black Americans are Christian, so are the overwhelming majority of white Americans, in fact America as a whole is over 75% Christian, yet look at the exit polls at various elections.
Do people think that black people as a whole aren’t religiously against abortion, gay marriage, etc. etc.? Of course they are, in fact black people poll among the highest when it’s comes to most homophobic, yet somehow blacks overwhelmingly vote Democratic and/or Left?
Why? Because in our Churches the message is often on the self and fixing your individual issues and often letting people be, it’s a very rare day when you will hear anti other religion, lifestyle, or other issues being preached with the ferocity as you will find in other pulpits. I mean c’mon President Bush and many other Republicans won elections on single so-called social issues like gay marriage for instance and who’s the majority of their constituents?
So please stop with the “Do I hate Christians” question, it’s stupid, what I despise are those who call themselves Christian yet refuse to be Christ-like in their words and actions.