According to Pew Research, there are approximately 246 million Christians in the United States. While many people subscribe to the Christian faith, it doesn’t take long to recognize the extraordinary diversity within the community. Some even joke that “Sunday is the most divided day of the week.”
Even more apparent in today’s billowing political climate, the Christian community has never appeared more split. It’s why when Youtube channel Jubilee decided to create content to vet this very idea was so compelling to see played out.
Jubilee’s mission is to create content that sparks conversation and challenges conventional thinking. If you’ll scroll through their channel you’ll find videos that dive into intense subjects from abortion, the death penalty, sexual morality and political ideology. Although their videos often host people sitting on opposite sides of an argument like “Atheists vs Pastors,” their series Spectrum invites people who all claim the same ‘identifier” to discuss a variety of topics. The goal is to showcase how diverse people of the same ideology truly are under the surface.
In the video, an anonymous member of the production team calls out various statements. The 6 individuals are to react to the statement by standing on the line that correlates to their position—ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree.
Their episode titled Do All Christians Think the Same is no exception.
The video opens with an easy starting statement, “I like Christian music.” Many chuckle, familiar with Christian music’s reputation. Half of the group land on “Agree,” two land on “Somewhat Agree” and one on “Somewhat Disagree.” They all express a similar sentiment well summarized by Nicole “some Christin music is good, and some is lame—but kind of like any subject.”
The video quickly wades into deeper waters with the statement “I have doubted my beliefs.” 60% of the group lands on some level of agreeance where 20% disagree and have not struggled with their foundational belief in God.
T’rayus, who feels strongly about his doubt experience opens up about his identity as a gay man and challenges with the church that he still experiences today. He asserts: “It’s difficult to not question your faith because you’re told that gay people can’t be Christians or Christians can only follow certain rules.”
Interestingly, Jasmine who also identifies as queer falls on the opposite end of the spectrum having never struggled with doubt. She accounts that despite the harsh reactions and rejection from Christian people she never felt that from God.
Jasmine says: “People were just like, THIS is what is it. And you can’t be like this…but the reason I’m in this line is because I never felt that from God, I still felt like He loves me.”
The social experiment dives right into tough territory with the statement “I Support the LGBT community.” It’s here we first see the most even spread across all positions from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree.”
Kytia, who positions herself on “Strongly Disagree’’ notes that her definition of support is the reason she is in disagreement. She comments: “When we mention support it means to accept. I don’t accept the lifestyles within the community. But do I love them and want the best for them? I absolutely do. Do I think that we should be mean to them? Do I think that we should shun them from church? No, because that is awful… no one should go to a church and feel like you need to run away.”
Her statement brings a response from Jasmine who is in full support and a member of the LGBT community. She describes how this declaration of love without acceptance from Christians is what she considers most hurtful. “No one actually shunned me, it was more like this—’I love you, but God kind of wants to send you to hell.’ ”
Another voice chimes in from Jason who disagrees and notes his concern is people in the LGBT community aren’t making efforts to be aligned with what God says. T’rayus, who identifies as gay retorts that this attempt to cherry pick scripture about homosexuality is discriminatory.
Nicole, who falls between acceptance and neutrality (“Somewhat Agree”) notes she defines support differently: “I think you can completely support somebody’s right to love and feel loved without supporting homosexual activity.” She goes on to say, “We all sin and we do in different ways, and none of those sins should be celebrated and condoned—all of us should be working not to change who we are but to become more like Christ”
Kytia closes with “at the basis of anything, I want you to be who God created you to be.”
The room hot with emotion cools down with the statement, “God loves everyone equally.” Almost all land on “Agree” with the exception of one surprising dissenter, Jason who stands at “Disagree.” He comments: “It sounds great to say God loves everybody. God does love everybody but I don’t believe equally. He loves his own children more than the others in the world. He would not send someone he loved truly to hell.”
Tyler, who stands on “Strongly Agree” retorts, “He is love—that’s what His embodiment is so I think it’s impossible for Him to not show love towards His children, I don’t think it’s varying degrees…I think everyone is loved equally”.
The video rounds out with a question on dating/marrying someone who isn’t a Christian where we see a literal 50/50 split between strongly agree and strongly disagree. Then lastly the topic of waiting until marriage to have sex where we see another even distribution across the board.
The video ends with hugs amongst the group at the close of the session, feeling illuminated and clearly compelled by this experience. This social experiment easily illustrates just how unique Christians are today. Hopefully, it inspires us to dig deeper to understand who we are in our faith and to avoid assumptions and engage in conversation with those who don’t think the way we do.
You can watch the full video HERE.