After 50 years in pastoral ministry (now retired), I find myself wondering where I belong. I hear daily stories of what “evangelicals” say and do, and I want nothing to do with most of it. I think Jesus wants nothing to do with it.
I’m reading a book by Sarah Augustine, called “The Land Is Not Empty,” about how Europeans, often under the authority of the Christian Church, stole this land from indigenous people and sought to destroy them. The stories the people tell to this day bring me to my knees in lament and repentance for what people who look like me have done.
I continue to listen to stories and learn how white people, thinking Christian scriptures authorized it, enslaved and lynched and denied the humanity of Black people. And in the last few years, I have seen how people continue to do it.
The Church as an institution, a tradition, a religion, a culture, a power in this world has been responsible for so much evil. Confession, lament, repentance must come if there is hope for its future. Christians – evangelicals – traditional Catholics – not all, but so many – refuse to acknowledge what “we” have done.
I follow Jesus. I choose to love God and others. But do I want to be “a Christian”? Some days, I don’t know.