To My Evangelical Tradition: A Note in Parting, With Hopes of Return

I.
I have loved you and
dwelt within your walls. I
have sung praises
in your tongue and read
your recommendations.

We have gone and
witnessed, spent Summers
saving spent sinners,
convincing them into despair
and sorrow, but offering them
salvation through our
conceptual Christ.

I have come to your conferences, and I
have memorized your music. I have learned
your cant and taken your words seriously.
I have lost my youth to your urban ascetic,
rejected The Lost on their terms, that they
may meet me on our own.

II.
But I reject you, now,
and hold no grudge.
You are the sick.
You are the broken.
You are the lost.
You are in need of healing.

I don’t love your conditioned Jesus, and have
faced the consequences. The alienation
from His people
(they are not yours),
the rejection from
roles, the demands
to keep silent.

I reject you, who drown my
loved ones in your phony baptismal
of praxis and convention,
the blind submerging
the blind, your holy
ceremony of self-mutilation.

You, who dwell on bookshelves
marked “inspirational” and
“self-improvement,” who serve
my psyche in its Herculean
pursuit of the
sustained Godhead.

Who condition me to hate
my mind, offering a miasma
of fluff as my rock
and foundation.
 
III.
I pray that you may now be
as your proclaimed Christ.

That you may die
his vicious death.
Be buried.
Be silent.

That when I return to your tomb
I may find you
                      gone,
                                    transformed,
            risen,
                                                    restored.

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7 responses to “To My Evangelical Tradition: A Note in Parting, With Hopes of Return

  1. I’m not an evangelical, but I’m a Christian. I’m wondering the specifics behind the poem, the whys.

    • That’s a big question. In sum, I think evangelicalism is too cut and dry. I think it’s opposed to the mind. I think that it has become too much of a culture, and that if people were able to escape the euphoric attitude that being a part of that culture can instigate, there would be a much greater level of scrutiny at the tradition itself.

      I’ve grown up as an evangelical and have a lot to say about it. I’ll try to respond more fully in another post within the next little bit.

  2. Fantastic! Great imagery, and clear, but interesting, message.
    What about changing refreshed at the end to restored? Refreshed just seems to break the meter of the poem a little bit. I would maybe just keep an eye on the language to make sure it doesn’t break character with the poem too much.

  3. What is it you desire my friend, for the evangelicals you have left? Just wondering 🙂

    • That’s a good question. I desire that my evangelical friends allow some of the serious spiritual questions, the ones that I believe evangelicalism tries to reject and/or stifle, to really sink into their mind. I want evangelicals to take Christ seriously enough that they’re willing to sacrifice their psychological safety nets for him.

      If an evangelical really wrestled with their respective questions and came out an evangelical, that’s great! But I haven’t experienced that. (I recognize that rejecting a movement wholesale is narrow-minded itself, but I, personally, have found that the movement has done more harm than help to the spiritual well being of its followers.)

  4. Reblogged this on The Reform-Asian and commented:
    Beautiful.

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