Not All Christians?
We’ve been here before, but it’s obvious this is a topic we’re destined to revisit time and again. I’ll begin by admitting that I understand how some people may feel compelled to push back with a “Not all” statement when the truth hits too close to home. I understand this because I’ve been there.
Defensiveness arose when I was confronted with my own shadow, especially when someone used broad language to discuss the racist and prejudicial attitudes of white people.
“Not all white people,” I’d say. I’m thankful to my mentors and accountability partners who helped me see that my response was a deflection to distance myself from the active responsibility of addressing systemic racism. Passive responsibility is much more comfortable because it’s easy to be supportive from a distance — you don’t have to take action.
In other words, with “Not all” I was convinced that I was doing something good, when in reality my religious and political indoctrination was keeping me comfortable and complacent.
Are you hearing me?
Yes, I came out of the gate strong and hard on this blog, because there is no time to mince words in hopes that someone will be gently and lovingly guided into seeing that sitting in their comfort zones won’t change the world or even their immediate environment.
Let me also be clear about why I’m writing this. This post is not for the “not all” Christians crowd. Nothing I say will ever change their minds. Their religious indoctrination reinforces their beliefs that they alone are the exclusive holders of wisdom and their spiritual path is the only one that matters.
Repeatedly, I have said I’m not here to engage them or convince them of anything. An individual’s beliefs are just that — their own to which they are entitled. Christainity certainly isn’t the only religion that contains a “members only” element that excludes others based on where they were born, the color of their skin, who they love and what they believe.
Christianity, however, is my religious heritage and as such, the one where I am now called to help others recover from the trauma caused by the radicalized elements that have harmed people for centuries. This includes the “not all Christians.”
I’m writing specifically to the hurting, the ones who have rejected the elements of their faith that continue to marginalize, oppress and dehumanize. I feel your pain when someone responds with “not all Christians.” I read your responses and see your anger and frustrations. I witness your need to respond with passion and oftentimes rage.
And I understand.
I understand that the “not all Christians” have caused as much harm as the ones who directly hurt you. They sat in the pews alongside you and heard the hate-filled words spewing from the pulpit, condemning your family member — or worse, you — for being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. They offered prayers instead of action when human rights were violated. When they witnessed your spiritual abuse, they chose community over righteousness and offered you meaningless comfort outside of earshot of others.
Your triggers to the “not all Christians” are valid, Beloved. Your pain is real. Your feelings of rejection are true. Your heart and soul are not deceiving you.
In other words, your shadow is responding appropriately to the shadow of another. This is where we shift the focus from the outside world to this moment as an invitation to release that which is not serving your highest good. The “not all Christians” will always be here. Your response to them, however, can and I believe, must change.
Let me clarify — I’m not suggesting you change how you tell your stories and heal your wounds. There is power in sharing your life experiences, and it is a critical element of your healing. The response of others is irrelevant — they are merely a byproduct of navigating your journey.
When you accept that someone’s personal comfort is more important to them than the harm it’s caused, you begin to embrace that with or without them, you are moving toward true healing.
Their reaction to it or support of it becomes irrelevant. The statement “not all Christians” serves to affirm your decision to reject a belief system that at its core, is abusive and becomes painfully ingrained in your identity. Your stories invite them to stretch beyond their comfort zone and hold witness to your pain…
and they instead choose to boomerang back to their safety net. We know their words are hollow because there is no action behind them. They are merely the byproduct of an ideology that has convinced them that thoughts and prayers for deep human suffering and tragedy are enough to prove they care.
They are not.
Beloved, within every moment is an invitation to release that which no longer serves you and move toward a better version of yourself. When we do this, and the elements of our past arise to remind us of our pain, we can say “thank you for reminding me that I chose to be released from something so harmful and broken.”
To the “Not all Christians” I say, “thank you for reminding me that nothing has changed, and confirming my decision to embrace a spiritual path aligned with my true, authentic self.”
Will you join me on this journey? For it is we who must continue to heal and grow in spite of those around us.
This is indeed, sacred soulwork.