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Toxic Christianity

Cover Image for Toxic Christianity
Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly

This morning I began reading about something called Christian Sexology. WOW.

I also learned about Shiela Wray Gregoire. She is my hero.

I am happily married. Very happily married. It takes work. I credit the counsel of my pastor Jeff Strong for actively listening to me in a time of deep reflection. I also credit several old friends who were able to help me hold a vision for a happy marriage during a time of deep strife.

Happily Ever After

Because happily married does not happen in a set it and forget it system. Marriage is a covenant. That means it is not just a contract. The renewal happens daily.

And, I guess this should be obvious, but I think you will understand why I have to state it clearly: Happy marriage requires mutual respect.

mark gungor meme

So, this meme is shared by Mark Gungor. He calls himself a pastor but I am a little confused by that because I was unaware that a pastor could demean and belittle people. And yet, it seems to be part of his modus operandi. So I think I will assume that he's simply a lost, confused person in need of help who would like one day to be a pastor but has not yet finished his healing.

More to the point: I honestly understand, to a small extent, the need for jokes like the one above. Actually, that one is so off, so reepulsive that I suppose maybe not that. But the light jokes we make about things like our husbands not knowing how to ask for directions. The jokes about wives, I don't know, being too concerned with matching pillows or something (I actually don't know...) If there is light teasing between two equals and both people find the joke funny, awesome. Marriage is not easy. Humor can help.

Not Funny

But. Wow. I have recently been made aware — I literally seem to have stumbled upon — some highly disturbing "teaching" within the so-called christian church. I really hesitate to call any of this teaching Christian since it so obviously goes against Christ's teaching.

The idea seems to be that, far from a marriage between equals, marriage is between two people, one of whom needs to be abusive for the other's good.

I don't think I am exaggerating. It's really that odd.

Misquoting God

A theme I am noticing in what riles me up and makes me blog is that there are people who feel compelled to misquote God. And then those people end up as the poster children for Christianity somehow.

Man alive I wish that would stop. Let's please allow the voices of people like Sheila Wray Gregoire, Jeri Carr, and others like them.

We can and should disagree. However, coming from a place of respect, a deep understanding of the story arc of the Bible and God's intention, and understanding that we might be swayed by a confirmation bias — especially when reading a deep wisdom book such as the Bible — is crucial.

Obviously, when a pastor publicly spreads memes that degrade his flock and sees nothing wrong with this, that alone should be reason to pause and not listen to that person's teachings until they have repented and made effort to change their ways.

A pastor or any leader in a Christian church whose behaviour is anti-Christlike should be a red flag. Certainly, that person might be able to seek other employment until they understand the ethics behind attempting to lead Christians in an unChristian way.

Do not follow any person who unapologetically lives in a way that Christ would disapprove of.