"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twistfacts to suit theories, instead oftheories to suit facts."
Yet, we do. It took me decades of living, before I started challenging the presumptions I grew up hearing as "truth" as to right, wrong, and normal and perverse. Really, it didn't start till my divorce from a cold, selfish, "christian" lady, BECAUSE I knew that a loving God would not want me to suffer and would not judge me for caring for myself...ONLY to find myself JUDGED by Evangelicals as a whole, as if I were the selfish, evil person for not allowing myself to be used.
After this, I began to challenge presumptions I had held, one by one, and found my eyes opened to SO MUCH wrong that I had grown up "knowing" as right, and so much RIGHT that I had previously not only been led to see as right but was explicitly told it was a sin to even CHALLENGE it. But, now, I see it as part of my life's mission to put this stuff out there for others to see. Today, I want to do so with Christianity.
Is it "Christian" to be Christian?
Trump and the GOP have made it really easy to challenge Evangelicals and Conservative Christian Right followers as hypocrites, because they literally spend most of there time finding fault with people in the world to judge them, even as they forcefully vote for and defend politicians that have multiple sexual affairs, covet money and things, take away aid from the poor, spread lies, and so many more violations of their own Ten Commandments...and call it Christian.
However, as someone with a degree in the Bible from one of their own conservative colleges, Liberty University, I have long seen problems with even the structural framework of Christianity from which evangelicals departed. It's not a recent thing, either, for "Christians" to be not like even the Christ in their "Scripture" but even THAT is something that needs to be challenged with logic.
Consider. Isn't it convenient that the Scripture that is not to be challenged favors men over women, when you consider that it was written EXCLUSIVELY by MEN, VOTED for as Scripture by MEN, and not only features men as saviors but explicitly says...
"I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control." - 1 Timothy 2:11-15
...written by a man...convenient. Hmm. This self serving nature of Scripture goes back not only the entire history of the Bible's texts but the societies that carried them out. It was convenient that Moses, as a former Egyptian Prince, declared HIMSELF to be the ONE person to speak for God (as Egyptian rulers did) and laid down Egyptian style laws and procedures including animal sacrifice, which was common in his prior kingdom. More convenient that he literally wrote down their history (carrying over Egyptian mythology as their own) and gave himself and his council the authority to pick new leaders to carry on the "truth"...lest people actually think for themselves.
When Jesus came, they wrote down the things he said and did, but even one of those Bible writers says it was only a fraction of what he said and did, and NONE of the books were written by Jesus and NONE were written till DECADES after the events took place. By that time, the "Gospels" that were written fit nicely into the already existing church structure, validating them, alone, as Jesus designated vessels of truth, long after Jesus were there to SAY whether that was, in fact, true. And, further, the leading person that spoke for God was DIRECTLY responsible for the betrayal of Jesus to death, and the main epistle writer was previously a Roman killer of Christians....but, hey, they could be trusted to speak the truth if it worked against them, right? Or, would they preach a message that says...the past is the past, so don't challenge me. Isn't that EXACTLY the summary of the Roman Road and FORGIVENESS?
But, let's skip down the road from the Church's founding. What has happened over the centuries of "Christian" ....RULE over man? Well, we had several wars, started and fought by the church, to KILL all who disagreed with them, converted people by sword, burned witches, sold tickets into heaven, and more. But, hey, they had nice little seasonal ceremonies, which....CONVENIENTLY... used the same procedures as pagan myths or those of other religions but with a saint that supposedly existed (only evidence being their own stories) that just happened to do the same events or say the same things as the other religions.
Further down the road, the church is EXPLICITY involved in justifying and distributing the selling of slaves, burning crosses to threaten those of other colors, keeping women from voting, and the NUMBER ONE ENEMY in "Christian" America to them is SOCIALISTS and the number one God given economic system is CAPITALISM. That is what I grew up "knowing" to be true. However, it gets complicated when you ask how a system that is all about caring for the poor can be EVIL, and how a system that is literally BUILT on GREED can be GOOD?
I have come to the point of rejecting not only Evangelicals but the Christian church as a whole, as not only NOT reflective of even the Christ they promote (who said the love of money is sin and said the whole law is summed up in love) but the whole of Christianity, which presents itself as the ONLY ticket to GOD by FORCE (not love), if you pay them money and doen't challenge anything they say...conveniently.
Now, I do believe in a loving God, and I hold as highest truth that God is love, because what parent wants evil for their child? ANY Creator would likewise want the same for theirs, no matter their skin color or difference of opinion. In fact, such a creator would see as highest goal the integration of ALL the varieties of the world that he made, and he would see as greatest SIN those that which those varieties destroyed. So, I don't fear for my soul at all from a God that would appreciate my defense of his creation, and I do not need to be "saved" but, instead, look forward to being present when the loving God of even their own writings passes sentence on them for what they did "to the least of these."