A number of worshipers are watching with alarm as their churches lose focus and drift into Christian nationalism.
Donald Trump’s presidency opened the door to extremism within many mainstream congregations, and some Christians have left their churches due to their discomfort with the increasingly political directions pastors have taken their sermons to promote Republican candidates and engage in partisan culture wars, reported Vice.
“It feels to me that the churches in this area are no longer true Christian churches,” said Noah Jones, a 33-year-old Southern Baptist in Jewett, Texas. “They’ve morphed into something that’s completely unrecognizable, and I don’t think a lot of people know that they’ve been radicalized.”
Jones, a former Trump supporter who intended to become a pastor himself, blames conservative media for the rightward lurch he saw in his church’s leadership.
“Something has happened to these people,” he said. “I think it’s Fox News. I think it’s social media, causing division among people, and they’re using Christianity as a means to divide people.”
Right-wing pastors have woven militaristic themes into their sermons to justify political violence, which has alarmed and driven out many worshipers — some during the middle of services, as Pastor Ron, of a Church in Madisonville Texas recently observed.
“I’ve read your emails,” he said in a recent sermon in which he acknowledged in a recent sermon. “I’ve watched people walk out of church as I’ve gone into the stuff.”
But one of the congregants said she’s had enough with his diatribes against abortion, antifa, Black Lives Matter, critical race theory, feminism, gun laws, abortion and protesters disrupting Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh’s dinner at a Washington, D.C., steakhouse, as well as claiming the Jan. 6 insurrection was a hoax.