'Blue Christian' Pastor Condemns 'Sinful Silence' from Evangelical Churches on White Supremacy
North Carolina veteran pastor John Pavlovitz has been calling out Trump and the policies of the controlling Conservative party, since before the 2016 presidential election. But he doesn’t stop there. He also calls out/condemns his peers and fellow Christians who remain silent during the creation of a pseudo Christian religion devoid of “compassion, love, and commitment to the poor and disenfranchised.” He calls this new religion “a bitter tribe of angry, white nationalists who have no need for the open-hearted Jesus of the Gospels, when it can live off the closed borders of America First.“
Pavlovitz says the American Church is becoming a “safe haven” for those who “have contempt for the very people Jesus spent his life caring and advocating for; the poor, the invisible, the outsiders, the marginalized.” The no-bullshit preacher says the church is ”no longer sanctuary for disparate souls looking for refuge—but a hospitable greenhouse for white supremacy and isolationism.”
“Right now the message of Jesus is being hijacked by extremist Evangelicals—and too many progressive Christian leaders are tacitly complicit in the crime; inwardly horrified but increasingly silent bystanders.”
Pavlovitz says this is causing many “Blue Christians” who are actually trying to follow the words of Jesus, to leave the church due to the absence of a loud and clear voice of persistanrt opposition.
“They’re watching ministers avoiding the turbulence of speaking with clarity into the injustices of the moment, choosing to hide behind vague and unassuming words they hope will be enough.”
But the words aren’t enough, says Pavlovitz, who believes the reasons for the silence is mostly due to the fear of an invevitable pushback from the Conservative congregation members for speaking out against Trump and Conservative policies. And so they sit in their insulated and “unseen privilege.” The results are terrifying, says Pavlovitz.
“Christianity is becoming more and more characterized by fear and bigotry and anger—and it is driving away those who want no part of such things. Millions of people of deep faith, are choosing to join political and civic organizations in order to do the bold, resistance work that they wish their churches were doing—and as a result, they are hastening the radicalizing of the Church being formed elsewhere.”
Pavlovitz mentions a conversation with an Alabama Presbyterian minister who told Pavlovitz, “I so appreciate you saying what you’re saying. I wish I could say it.” When Pavlovitz asked him why he couldn’t, the minister responded with a wordless face of terrror—something Pavlovitz says he’s sees a lot.
Pavlovitz demands courage from protestant and progressive pastors, ministers—and the people in their communities and lists things they should do, they must do, “right now.”
They need to free themselves from decorum and niceness, and most of all from the fear of conflict that comes when you name and directly confront injustice.
- They need to read the Sermon on the Mount again, and to realize that they are charged with stewarding these words and this work, at this place and time in the history of the planet.
- They need to call out evil as evil, wrong as wrong, hatred as hatred.
- They need to welcome the trouble that being prophetic voices brings—because that is the holy ground on which Jesus stood while here.
Pavlovitz calls out the crux of the Christian problem in two short sentences. He says “Hateful people are loudly claiming they speak for Jesus as they cause injury. We need people who will counter as loudly with his actual words.”
Or perhaps even louder.
In concluding his piece (found in full on his site and worth reading), Pavlovitz calls the silence of Christians in a time when Christianity seems far from the teachings of Jesus, not only cowardly and dangerous—it’s “sinful.”
Many of us are grateful to the Christians and Christian leaders like John Pavlovitz who choose to side with the words of Jesus, rather than the fabricated and dangerous dangerous propaganda of pseudo-Christians like Donald Trump. You can read more about Pavlovitz via his website JohnPavlovitz.com, as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@JohnPavlovitz).