John Hunt
3 min readJan 6, 2021

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Why “White Christian Evangelical” Is a Contradiction in Terms

On the one hand, there’s the teaching of Jesus. His overarching theme is the Kingdom of God, present on the earth here and now. The commandments boil down to love God, and love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:36–40). The Jews regarded God with such reverence that they did not address Him by name. Jesus calls Him Abba, “Dad.” But Jesus says we are all sons of God (John 20:17). We are all one (Matthew: 25:40). We can never be separated (Matthew 28:20). Jesus models the way to live in conscious union with God (John 14:6). There really is no divide between Him and us, us and the world. Jesus is simply the mirror in which we can see ourselves Is this the best you can do? Can you go further? If you’ve forgiven someone seven times, forgive them seventy seven times. If someone hits you, turn the other cheek.

In this kingdom there is no distinction of race, class, age, family, gender, ability/disability or wealth. Indeed around the half the parables (which all scholars agree are the words most likely to have been spoken by Jesus) are on the evils of wealth and possessions. If you’ve given some of your money away, give it all away. The most vivid teaching is given in the parable of Lazarus, the only parable character to be given a name. He lives on the crumbs from the rich man’s table. The rich man doesn’t do anything wrong in the parable, he’s just rich. He probably thought he was doing Lazarus a favour by leaving him the crumbs. After all, wealth trickles down from the top to help everybody. Maybe Lazarus should have found himself a job. If the rich man had given him more he would probably have gambled or drunk it away. But the condemnation of the rich man is absolute. He doesn’t even get the chance to warn his brothers of the burning fires of hell that are waiting for them.

On the other hand, there is Donald Trump, the most mendacious, narcissistic, toxic president to hold the office. His main achievement has been to reduce the tax burden on the rich. He fosters division, builds walls, demonizes immigrants, encourages racism and state executions, tries to overturn democracy, and plays down the pandemic that has killed over 350,000 Americans. Yet four out of five white evangelicals, the largest single religious grouping, who voted — they voted for him, both in 2016 and 2020.

His supporters include most senior church leaders; ministers, professors and theologians, along with the majority of whites. One of his most distinguished and vocal defenders for instance is the author of the definitive, magisterial, 1,300 page Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Biblical Moral Reasoning.

Whoever said God didn’t have a sense of humor? You couldn’t make this stuff up, unless you’re a fantasy or comic writer like Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett. The bulk of the Church today is intellectually and morally bankrupt. It is religion played out as farce. It embraces patriarchy, pseudoscience and white supremacy in its world view. It’s a self-serving religion of exclusion, judgment and fear, a religion of empire rather than love. It’s turned into the Church of lies, peddling fake news, following the Prince of Liars.

There is a battle on for the soul of America, and it will be won or lost in the churches.

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