Things I Reject in Traditional Christianity (New Poem by Polly Castor)

Things I Reject in Traditional Christianity (New Poem by Polly Castor)
Things I reject in traditional Christianity, poem about Christianity, frustration with Christianity, need for 20th century Christian reformation

Cruciform #6 (acrylic) by Polly Castor

Things I Reject in Traditional Christianity

I consider myself a Christian,
but I don’t like the fact
that to most people
that is either a club
you are in or you are not.
I have a more universal sense
based on rational metaphysics
rather than fundamentalism
or legalism.

I shudder at the thought
of all the atrocities done
in the name of Christianity
including the Crusades,
an awful missionary culture that
operated more like colonization,
the convenient excusing
of the abomination of slavery,
and acting like Jesus was
a white male
so therefore they are supreme
and should be consistently
pandered to as such.

I cringe at the doctrine that
innocent babies are defined as
fallen sinners needing saving,
like they are already wrong
before they even start,
like God didn’t create us very good
all in our original perfection
to glorify, expand, and experience
perpetual, everpresent goodness.
Like a God who is
infinite, benevolent Love
would send some of us to hell
like Santa Claus judging
whether we’ve been naughty or nice,
or like the best party ever
is going to be held,
but maybe you won’t get invited
unless you jump through certain hoops.

Jesus was much more than
a great historical figure
(how absolutely huge it is
that he proved Life to be eternal
through his resurrection!)
but to me, Jesus is not God.
The Son is not the same as the Father,
while a perfect reflection.
He said “I and my Father are one,”
meaning that he was unified with
and inseparable from God,
as are we, but he also said,
“My Father is greater than me,”
and “I go to my Father,”
which doesn’t make sense
if they are the same.

I regret the Council of Nicea
where Constantine threatened people
to vote that Jesus was God
or he’d kill them, skewing the ballot
when the honest question was debated,
all of course to serve himself,
and to keep people subjugated,
for if Jesus was thought of as God
then we can’t be expected
to do what he did,
or own our own power,
and would remain relegated
to just being miserable sinners
looking up longing at the
unattainable on the pedestal,
while being patronized,
endlessly and condescendingly,
by those in control.

I repudiate
the sloppy terminology
that the Christ is just Jesus’
last name or title.
Jesus was a very special human
that trod the globe,
whereas the Christ
is the divine, ever-present
force of all of God’s
wonderful qualities and attributes
being brought to bear
in individual and collective lives.
Jesus manifested that most completely
and we would be behoved
to follow his example,
but Jesus the Exemplar
came to show us that
we can mirror forth God too.
The Christ is always speaking
to every human consciousness
regardless of religious affiliation,
faith, or lack of belief.
I wish we had a more
universal term for it
that was more inclusive,
making it clear that
Christians are NOT the gatekeepers
for reflecting Godlikeness.
“Christ is the way”
sounds like it is about sect,
or religion, or a narrow path,
when it is actually about
an open and ever-available
expression of God’s goodness,
in myriad, unique ways,
bringing us together under
one infinite God, good,
–which, thank you, is not Jesus–
but broader things
we can all agree on,
like Life, Truth, and Love,
so the world can come together
and we can all experience heaven,
not afar off and after we die,
and definitely not in the sky,
but here and now, within us,
on earth and at hand,
like Jesus insisted upon.

Let us not throw the baby
of the widest world salvation out
with all this extremely
dirty bath water,
whose whole incredible stench
is becoming unacceptably overwhelming.
Would Jesus sanction
all these things that I reject?
I emphatically don’t think so.
More likely, I think, he would weep,
head in his hands, sobbing.

Let us honor the one true God
by exercising our own
non-religious Christliness,
through generously inclusive kindness
healing compassion, stewardship,
genuine reconciliation, gratitude,
and the golden rule practiced well.
This is the all of it.

by Polly Castor

Cruciform #4 (acrylic) by Polly Castor

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. John gregory 4 years ago

    Amen sister! Stoped handling snakes a while back.

  2. Diane W 4 years ago

    that is QUITE A LONG poem Polly! I love it though…and I also asked someone one day how anyone could think Jesus was God because while he was here as a human for 33 years, Ummmmmm… WHO was looking after and running the rest of the infinite universe ??? Also when Jesus spoke to God he referred to Him as you talk to yourself and call yourself “father? or Daddy?” And when asked to tell the disciples how to pray, he said “OUR Father….” not MY Father or your father” ..It is all so obvious that Jesus was NOT God and he even said so himself…”Why do you call me good? Call no man good but your Father which is in heaven” . So anyway, after explaining only the point about the Lords Prayer, a basic, obvious point, my 33 year old friend said “You dont think you’re overthinking this a bit? do you Di?” OVER ??? thinking? More like I didn’t need to think about that at all…but YOU really have thought this through I see! Not overthought it though.

  3. Joseph D Herring 4 years ago

    I think that the fulness of Christian reflection is achieved with the Trinity. God is not a unit, but a unity. God is pure holy being,not a particular being,nor even the Supreme Being.Pure holy being is primordial, expressive, unitive. Primordial suggests we will never fathom the infinite resources of holy being. Our cat will never learn trigonometry. Expressive suggests self-revealing. ” The heavens are telling the glory of God.” God chooses Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus to express Godself. The part of the creation we know best is broken. The repair of a broken world, though never complete, suggests unitive being.

  4. Barbara H. 4 years ago

    Thank you so much for this wonderful insight! You put into words what I have been grappling with for a long time. This is just what I needed today.
    Also, since this is my first ever comment, I’d like you to know I’ve been following you for about 2 years now, and look forward to your messages each day, like a delightful gift to unwrap. I love that you live such an active life and have so many interests and share your insights with me. Like a conversation with a dear friend. I love being able to support your blog each month with a small but deeply grateful contribution. “Support what brings you joy!”
    I also enjoy your husband’s podcasts. Thanks to both of you for being such a blessing to others!

    • Author
      Polly Castor 4 years ago

      Thank you! Glad for you to comment and appreciate your support!

  5. Maria 4 years ago

    Beautifully written, Polly … captures my sentiments exactly.❤️

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