I never allowed students in my college classrooms to use the word, “all,” to describe a group of people. There isn’t a group in the world in which everyone thinks exactly alike, and that is true about Christians, as well.
I am disheartened when I read a Christian post that states that because I am a moderate on many issues and may disagree with another Christian’s belief on abortion or homosexuality or race issues or politicians, then I am not a true follower of Christ. For me, Christianity isn’t a one-size-fits-all religion. It is inclusive, as in “whosoever will let them come” (Mark 8:34)
I had to learn this lesson about saying “all” myself, because I was raised in a segregated neighborhood in the South. One day, a white insurance man came to our door to collect from my mother on a policy. Mama didn’t have the money, so she told me to tell the man that she wasn’t home. When I relayed the message, he started in on all blacks being liars, or something to that effect.
And before I could say Jim Beam, my mother came roaring out the back of the three-room apartment we lived in and gave him a piece of her mind for calling me a liar and told him to never come back. I was terrified because I thought that my mother would go to jail for insulting a white man, and I had seen the faces of black men after they had been arrested and I didn’t want the police to beat up my mother. This was the 1960s. I also came away from that incident with the belief that all white people hated blacks.
It was in majoring in Sociology in college that I learned about the power of stereotypes to lump all people in groups together, to deny individuality in thinking and behavior, and to render everyone in a group painted by the same brush. Yet, I knew that not all blacks were alike, or all women alike, or all men alike, or all of any group, and that certainly includes Christians.
Christians come with different preferences in worship styles, musical tastes, and political beliefs, which is why there are different types of churches to cater to the various strains of Christians. To think that I must agree with another human being’s beliefs on social issues to qualify to be called a child of God is ludicrous and ungodly, reminiscent of the Jewish Christians that wanted the new Gentile Christians to be circumcised and follow the law if they wanted to be considered as people of God.
I don’t support President Trump, because I don’t like his rhetoric on race and the poor. For me, his pro-life stance is negated in his willingness to allow so many people to needlessly die of the Coronavirus so that he can pretend to have mastered the virus. But, I would march for any Christian’s right to believe in him. I would ask for the same consideration from my brothers and sisters in Christ.
While I may not understand the evangelical Christians who support the current President of the United States, I do not question their faith in God or think that it’s time to turn in their faith cards. Instead, I realize that Christians can be conservatives, liberals, and moderates, with different outlooks in life, but no group is superior to the others or more godly.
We simply aren’t all the same, and that is probably good. You could say that I am part of the “other” Christians.