I’m an Unfit Christian.
I support the right to choose life, adoption, and abortion (Read: The Bible Tells Us When a Fetus Becomes a Living Being). I support LGBTQIQ identities. I support decriminalization of sex work and marijuana. I am a happily abstinent woman who is an advocate for sex-positivity and am staunchly against abstinence only sex education. I support Sunday alcohol sales. I encourage people to question their faith and belief in God. I sound like a textbook political liberal, but I’m really just an Unfit Christian who wants you to see yourself in Christ again.
Like most Christians, my awareness of faith began at an incredibly young age. I was always aware of the existence of God, and the importance of His existence permeated every space of my life. I recall being in kindergarten writing a Christmas story assignment and while everyone else wrote about family, Santa, and gifts, I was writing about the story of Christ’s birth. I was 5.
I got saved (came into relationship with Christ) at age 9 after a sermon by now-Bishop Jackie McCullough at New Birth (yes that New Birth) and lived a typical “raised in the Black church life.” I was fairly pious, no sex, no drinking, no “major” sins, as we put it. Sure I had (and still have) a penchant for cursing, but by most accounts, I was a model teen Christian.
Somewhere along the way of college and an introduction to the world beyond the vestibule, my disillusionment with the church began.
How could God love me but call me to subjugation, oppression, and abuse because of my gender identity? How could God love me but hate my LGBTQIQ family? Why wasn’t the church addressing relevant issues of drug abuse, intra-familial sexual and domestic violence, police brutality, mass incarceration, disparate prison sentencing, and HIV/AIDS?
The most damning question of all? I had to ask myself why questioning what the church passed as normal was deemed as heretic and “outside of God’s will.” I found myself on the margins of a faith that had sustained my life for as long as I could remember. What was once familiar comfort became a foreigner right before my eyes.
You’ve heard the cliché, “it’s about relationship not religion,” but it’s often better stated than practiced by the typical Christian. You know the type, where basically your Christianity is only validated if you don’t sin differently than them. But coming into relationship with God, for me, meant I learned to examine the biblical text for myself. I talk to God more and allow discernment to trump statements by people. I began to read the scriptures in a new lens that reflected who I am: a Black woman with a heart for liberation and equality of the sexes. I had to separate God from the man-made sexism, homophobia, racism, and classism of the church. And I haven’t looked back.
So when you wonder why at The Unfit Christian “Faith is not one size fits all,” it’s actually very simple. It’s simply a shorter way to say that there is more than one way to approach a relationship with God. We honor the idea that not everyone interprets or approaches Christianity the same. No one should feel forced into a box of what makes a “good” or “perfect” Christian.
The Unfit Christian gives room for people who have never felt like they fit into the mold. I’ve given a platform for people to discuss their pains with faith (Being Saved Didn’t Save Me), their intersectional identities of faith (Race, Gender, Class), and even people who’ve left the faith (Losing It). There will be voices of LGBTQIQ + Christian experience. There will be more raw experiences. There will be more transparency from me walking out my faith. There will be continued criticisms of the Black church and fierce defense of its traditions.
Maybe you’ve never fit in the mold though you’ve desperately tried. Maybe you’re on the cusp of walking away from it all. Maybe you too have questions and no room to ask them. The Unfit Christian IS you and FOR you. Welcome home.