Modern Day Christianity Is Gaslighting Us

by Caila Smith
Originally Published: 
Alexey Karamonav/Getty Images

I don’t know how to say this, because it feels wrong and it feels right all at the same time. But, I feel like modern day Christianity is gaslighting me; it is feeding me — feeding us — a bunch of lies.

Even writing this article, I’m experiencing a small, underlying sense of fear. As if by saying these words I am somehow typing my own submission and sending it off to the fiery gates of Hell.

But I’m here to say that those thoughts of mine are complete and absolute rubbish. They are just repeated echoes voiced from the religiously oppressed from years past — and they are one of the many lies I’m through deceiving myself with.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been struck with a nagging sense of fear about what will really happen to me after I die. Will I go to heaven? Will I go to hell? If I’m being bold, I feel like many (most?) people have had thoughts similar to mine, but not everyone is keen on voicing them aloud.

My mental load is burdened by these intrusive thoughts because I’ve been indoctrinated with the idea that “You believe the entirety of the Bible or you believe none of the Bible.”

But here is the real catch, I am allowed to think for myself. If my religion prohibited that, well, that would seriously be a red flag for cult-like behavior. And let me be incredibly clear, Christianity is anything but that.

For me, I believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And if we believe in the same one, then it’s incredibly hard to fathom that a supreme being (who loves us as his children) would send his child to Hell for simply questioning the truth.

But that’s what people are being scared into believing.

There are hundreds of religions out there, with every one of them believing their way is the right way. But if we get down to the nitty-gritty here, none of us really know.

I choose to be literal in knowing that, while the Bible is God-breathed, it is also man-written. For now, it’s only natural for me to take bits and pieces from the Bible that I do not understand and question, interpret and pray on them, rather than just skimming over them ignorantly. Or following them without questioning their validity.

And maybe, to some, that makes me an a la carte Christian. But you know what? I’m perfectly fine with that.

American Christians — I’m calling your bluff. You proclaim to live a life in which the sole purpose is love. So I’m dying to know, what is it inside of you that’s unraveled so much hate? And why are you so comfortable spewing it?

Why are we hating the sin, but loving the sinner? Because if we truly spent more time wondering what Jesus would do, we wouldn’t focus on how we feel about “the sin,” we would just love.

We wouldn’t judge the immigrants seeking entry into the U.S. We wouldn’t wonder what choices they must’ve made to land them in their current situation. If we were really Christ-like, we would open our doors. We would find them a place warm enough to sleep in this cold world.

Christians, why are we allowing the wall to grow larger while tables shrink smaller? Whatever happened to, “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor?”

We call ourselves Christian, because of our beliefs, but it’s time to practice what we preach. It’s time to rip off the religious blindfolds and let go of our invalid justifications. Why are we so worried about the Macy’s Day Parade same-sex kiss and reproductive options when we have humanitarian crises on our hands?

We have immigrant children dying on our land while detained by our U.S. government. It’s unjust, it’s cruel, and it’s utterly intolerable. Where is the fire? Why aren’t we flipping tables about the politicians and wealthy folks to who only look out for their own interests? After all, the Jesus we claim to follow flipped over tables. Jesus got angry.

If nothing else, where the hell is some of that compassion Jesus preached about?

Like anything else, the circumstances should not matter. Although it seems easily forgotten, we are not called to bare a love with striking conditions. We are called to be like Christ. The one who stood with open arms and no hinderance while saying, “Come to me.”

If we are really the land who claims, “In God We Trust,” then I am embarrassed and ridiculing some for such idle promises.

There is a religious barrier built by the judgmental Christians of this world. And I’d love nothing more than to see it come tumbling down.

Every brick labeled with a “sin” they won’t stand for and every brick excused with the inability to do the right thing, I want it crumpled into ash.

It’s time we start letting our higher power speak through our actions instead of our judgmental mouths. Christians, it’s time to stop gaslighting everyone and start putting Christ back into this thing we call Christianity.

This article was originally published on