Brand, Westboro, and Christianity


Image by: Burstein!

Note: this isn’t a post about Russell Brand, his show or anything he stands for or endorses. This is a post about the current state of Christianity in America (and the western world).

Watching this interview, I was surprised how fair and graceful Russell Brand was with the guys from Westboro Baptist Church. It’s a sad thing when Brand acts more like Jesus than these professing Christians. That’s not a dig on Brand (who is a professing Hindu), but more of a commentary on the sickness that is Westboro Baptist Church. I cannot comprehend the warped hatred that fuels this “church.” Especially, this week, with Westboro planning on picketing the Sandy Brook funerals of the children that died in the massacre – this is a level of sickness that transcends words. It’s times like this that my faith is ashamed and I wish I could distance myself from Christianity.

It’s not just the Westboros of the world that bother me the most, because I know they are extremists and insane. It’s the subtle (and not so subtle) judgmentalism that seems to be wagging the tail of Christianity these days. Westboro is an extreme example of the plague that is happening everywhere. As a result, Christians are seen in contemporary culture as, “judgmental, hypocritical, too political, and antihomosexual” (Gabe Lyons – The Next Christians). Christians are so concerned with being right (and/or correct) that they’ve forgotten to be loving, graceful and kind. There is no hate in seeking and saving the lost. There is no hate in loving your neighbor. There is no hate in offering healing and help to a broken world. There is no hate in redemption. When judgmentalism takes over the whole way you view the world and read scripture becomes warped. You lose all grace and/or humility.  If you lose this, you lose the heart of Christianity along with the life and mission of Christ.

If the atheist can take Christ out of Christmas, can’t I just take Christ out of Christianity? I just wish we could seperate Christ from what Christianity has become in many places. Sometimes I want to take Jesus with me and make a run for it. Gandhi put it right when he said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” All I need is to find some broken, graceful people and go into the world to live out the gospel together with a bunch of sinners. That’s my plan. Anyone with me?

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