This is a great read from the Atlantic.
And as much as this is true of the Evangelical Church in the US, it’s just as true of the Catholic Church in the US.
Too many Christians have “domesticated” Jesus by their resistance to his call to radically rethink our attitude toward power, ourselves, and others, Mark Labberton, the president of Fuller Theological Seminary, told me. We live in “an era of acute anxiety and great fear,” he said. As a result, too often Christians end up wrapping Jesus into our angry and fearful distortions. We want Jesus to validate everything we believe, often as if he never walked the face of this Earth. What we’re witnessing can be explained “more by sociology than Christology,” he said.
Unlike in the Sermon on the Mount and the parable of the Good Samaritan—unlike Jesus’s barrier-breaking encounters with prostitutes and Roman collaborators, with the lowly and despised, with the unclean and those on the wrong side of the “holiness code,” with the wounded souls whom he healed on the Sabbath—many Christians today see the world divided between us and them, the children of light and the children of darkness. Blessed are the politically powerful, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed are the culture warriors, for they will be called children of God.
For many of us who have made Christianity central to our lives, the pain of this moment is watching those who claim to follow Jesus do so much to distort who he really was. Those who deform his image may be doing so unwittingly—this isn’t an intentionally malicious enterprise they’re engaging in; they believe they’re being faithful—but it is nonetheless destructive and unsettling.