Opinion: Christians don’t say things like this

by Peter Heck · Feb 14th, 2021 2:02 pm

Last Updated Mar 13th, 2021 at 9:13 am

It sometimes astounds me how so many people can totally whiff on demonstrating any kind of basic grasp on what Christianity is, what it represents, and what it means. It shouldn't be hard – it's right there in the name.

Christianity is about Christ. It's about Jesus. It's about hopeless humans surrendering to Him and accepting His spectacularly unmerited grace.

Yet remarkably, that gallingly obvious point is often lost on the people our world holds out as the most educated, thoughtful, intellectual among us.

The most recent example of this spectacle came from the keyboard of a professor of Public Policy at Davidson College in North Carolina, Isaac Bailey. Taking to the pages of Newsweek, the distinguished professor attempted to explain how Donald Trump, and more specifically those who supported Donald Trump, were making him doubt his faith in Christ. If that sounds utterly disengaged from rationality to you, it should.

Here's the key section of Bailey's article:

I'm struggling to hold fast to my Christianity— because of Donald Trump. Not exactly Trump himself, though, but the undying support of the self-professed Christian pro-life movement that he enjoyed. My faith is in tatters because of that alliance. And I am constantly wondering if I am indirectly complicit because I dedicated my life to the same Jesus the insurrectionists prayed to in the Capitol building after ransacking it and promising to kill those who didn't do their bidding.

If Christianity can convince so many to follow a man like Trump almost worshipfully—or couldn't at least help millions discern the unique threat Trump represented—what good is it really?

I say this as someone who has been Christian all my life, who spent two decades praying in a white evangelical church. How could our faith have allowed this, encouraged it, enabled so much violence, so much death?

I don't know how to say this delicately, so I'll just avoid trying. To a Christian mind, those three paragraphs are simply incomprehensible.

If you have been convinced and convicted of the divinity and Lordship of Jesus Christ, if you have surrendered to Him and accepted His free gift of salvation, confessing and accepting that He alone holds the keys to your redemption and deliverance from eternal death, walking away from it would be unthinkable for any reason – particularly something as trivial as the obnoxious antics or off-putting behavior of other fellow sinners.

Personally, I've often been embarrassed by a great number of people who wear the name of Christ. Every time Pat Robertson opens his mouth, it makes me want to throw myself through a stained-glassed window. Every time I read Tyler Huckabee prostitute the gospel on the pages of Relevant magazine in his vain hopes of being granted a seat at the cultural cool kids' lunch table, I want to yank my hair out until I'm left looking like the Prophet Elisha. And don't even get me started on what the woke preachers do to my sanity.

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But never once have any of them even come close to making me second guess my allegiance to Jesus, or doubt the incomprehensible, life-changing power of His resurrection as it manifests within me.

Men who are true believers won't relinquish their grip on Christ even in the face of death itself – yet Professor Bailey's faith is rocked to its core because of an intense political disagreement with Republicans? Huh?

Pardon me for suggesting that Bailey's Newsweek tirade does far more to cast reproach upon the state of his own relationship with Jesus than that of anyone he attempts to besmirch.

Christians down through the ages have had deep, passionate, even severe disagreements with one another. They've had them over issues of far greater importance than the ransacking of government office buildings, in fact.

Protestants and Catholics split violently over issues of doctrine and biblical authority, yet notice neither side claimed the other made them love Christ less. No one who knows Jesus would ever say such a thing, because Christ is worth far too much to sacrifice over personal differences with a fellow believer.

So, what does that imply about Professor Bailey?

To say, "I'm struggling to understand how these people can possibly reconcile what they support with the teachings of Jesus," is a completely reasonable Christian frustration.

But to say, "I'm struggling to decide if I really want eternal life because Orange Man Bad," is breathtakingly absurd.


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