Leaving my church.
So, after three years, I’m leaving my evangelical church. It’s a painful decision that my wife and I made with tons of grief. We knew many wonderful people who did good things, but I can’t support some of the things I’ve seen and heard any longer. I am lost, sad, and tired.
I grew up an atheist and became a Christian “late” in life. I went to the evangelical church an outsider, both spiritually and racially. I was excited by grace, by community. But reading the Bible and seeing the church were worlds apart. Two years ago, the dissonance became unbearable.
I’m not done with the evangelical church (yet). But I have no idea where to go. My wife and I haven’t gone to church in a few months. I don’t know of any church nearby who both loves Jesus and is socially generous, who sees me fully, both a child of Christ and a son to immigrants.
One of the reasons I left is that I am pained by the way the evangelical church has blindly compromised on political, social, and racial justice. Your vote is your vote: but to completely follow party lines without asking questions and holding accountability is painful to watch.
I felt complicit in my silence. There were random moments in the pulpit and in small groups where issues and people were blasted, a kind of coded insider’s language that “we evangelicals are a dying breed and true wisdom perishes with us.” It was gross.
The last straw for me was the evangelical take on the child immigrant crisis. The silence, the apathy, the lack of compassion, the downright cruelty … I’m from a family of immigrants. My country has been torn apart for generations. My stomach was sick on Sundays.
I know for some, this is all obvious and I wish I had spoken up sooner. I felt like I wasted three years with evangelicals. But I did try and I did love them. I’m in a lot of pain about all of it: the church, our nation, my people. I am in limbo. If you have wisdom, please help… — J.S. Park (Facebook).
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