Desire for a Radical Chrisitanty

By: Autumn Elizabeth, Editor in Chief 

It is important to note that for the purposes of this article, the word “radical” is used in the sense of desire for drastic social, political, economic and cultural reform. It is also important to note the privilege that I, as a white christian writer, have in using that word. I encourage everyone to consider their own personal reaction to this article and its title if we had substituted Islam for Christianity. 

So let’s get this out of the way… I am a radical, anti-racist, sex-positive queer feminist. Oh and one more thing, I am a Christian.

As such I believe in the unconditional love of God, and in living a life dedicated to  the service of others. I believe in the power of prayer, and the power of the Bible.

I also believe we live in a racist society that privileges white skin over lack and brown skin. I believe that, as  Dossie Easton put it, “Sex is nice and pleasure is good for you”.I am pro-choice, pro-same-sex marriage, pro-gender neutral bathrooms.  I know that many people, indeed even some people reading this very article may think, may believe that my beliefs are incompatible with Christianity. Some may even think that my desires, my beliefs, cause me to be separated, or distanced, from the love of God.

I however, believe the opposite. There is a passage from the Bible that is often cited by my friends over at Faith Aloud, at times when people see their work, or a woman’s reproductive choices, as keeping them from God.

I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love –Romans 9:38-39 The Message Bible

I can turn to God’s love and know that I cannot be parted from the love of God, no matter what anyone else says. My beliefs, my desires, my thoughts, and even the opinions of other Christians, cannot separate me from my God.

Yet, for me I want more than to be able to claim that my beliefs aren’t separating me from God. I need, I yearn for, and I call for a view of Christianity that embraces these beliefs. In fact, I demand a Christianity that reflects the radical politics of that totally radical guy, Jesus, whose message was one of radical love, radical action, and radical welcome.

Riffing on Flavia Dzodan’s awesome article on intersectional feminism, I  would say that my Christianity will be radical or it will be bullshit. Let me say that again, my Christianity will be radical or it will be bullshit. I don’t think this means everyone’s Christianity needs to be as radical as mine, but I do desire to have a place in the world of Christianity. I need a powerful Christianity that challanges me to be a better adovocate for justice in this world, but I also know that my desires aren’t everyone’s desires. 

I desire worship services that reflect my beliefs, I desire churches that seek out and support marginalized people, I desire sermons that discuss how difficult and revolutionary love can be. But mostly, I desire a racial Christianity that worships this Jesus:o-JESUS-570

Yet, I am well aware that many people have no desire for the view of Christianity I am talking about here, and I think that is okay.  I am also called by the Bible to honor the fact that no one’s belief’s can keep them from being loved by God, and that I am called to love people whose views are different than mine. Indeed, love for each other, and everyone else is what defies us as Christians, or as the writer of John puts it:

 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.–John 13:35

We are all human, our desires are infinite, but we all deserve a place at the table, a chance to voice our desires without judgment, and above all, we all receive, whether we deserve it or not, the unconditional love of God.

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About Autumn Elizabeth

Autumn Elizabeth is a writer, scholar, and outlaw. She is the author of My Life as Herbst and the Editor In Chief at Searching Sophia's Pockets.

4 thoughts on “Desire for a Radical Chrisitanty

  1. Powerful stuff, Autumn Elizabeth:) …

    A thought occurred to me as I read the first several paragraphs. You are indeed openly identifying with a number of positions, beliefs, and ways of being human that are often characterized as anti-Christian.

    I wonder why we (everyone) does not have this level of emotion for other things which might be considered non-Christian or at least not in alignment with Christian values. I do not see major uproars when someone lies for their own benefit or to harm another, or misrepresents the truth for personal gain. No public demonstrations occur when someone in the public eye engaged in actions which do not feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, mininster to the prisoners, or a number of other sharing and caring ministries. Instead they vote their support for laws and people who attack such caring and sharing as “welfare” and those who need as “greedy”, often while gathering more than they need for themselves.

    I could go on, but you get the idea …

    I am reading several books about transformational change in a congregation right now and one common theme is that liberal Christians are not very good at identifying and sharing why being a Christian is a good thing (this in preparation to become better at doing “the e-word”). We try to live lives much like you describe and love everyone without giving in to judgmentalism and ignorant biases.

    We just don’t do a good job of spreading the work about why being a Christian as Jesus teaches us to be a Chrisitan is a better way to live.

    As always, appreciate your insightful and spirit-filled sharing …

    John

    • Just listening in- I love this comment! John, thanks for your insight. Politics aside, it is so important to get back to the basics of loving people, which Jesus set such an amazing and revolutionary example of for us. Awesome thoughts.

    • Great thoughts John! Thanks for your wisdom! I think it is especially fascinating to think about the “e-word” aka evangelism in the way you put it. For me, Christianity, and Jesus have been the bedrock upon which I build my life’s work. My community of faith has, and continues to support and uplift me even from great distances. Perhaps a post about the “E-word” is in order!

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