I’m tired of evil. That sounds a little silly, I’m sure. But here’s what I mean. I’m tired of seeing news stories about events like what happened in Charlottesville. I’m tired of violence and death. Of people being dehumanized again and again. I’m tired of people excusing it.
It’s mind-boggling to me that anyone could, especially if they’re a Christian.
Regardless of what we believe about politics, secondary theological issues, and everything else we wind up butting heads over, we should agree on this. We should be able to agree that every human is one made in the image of God, and racism is fundamentally opposed to the gospel. We don’t get to pretend this is something we can agree to disagree on. We should be able to condemn these things wholeheartedly as I have seen so many this weekend, including James Merritt, who said,
Anyone who marches for #racism marches against the grace of God and the goodness of God.
— James Merritt (@drjamesmerritt) August 12, 2017
We should be able to do this, not just in theory, but in practice. After all, Revelation 7:9 says “there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”
Every tribe. Every nation. Every people group. Every language.
People from every ethnicity and background will be there, worshiping the Lord alongside one another.
So what does that first step look like, practically? It’s not tweets expressing our outrage,1 or an announcement from the pastor during the morning’s worship gathering (although this isn’t unnecessary). I think that practical action needs to begin with a conversation about culture. Specifically, what is the culture we’re creating in our churches, and our homes as Christians?
What is the foundation we’re building upon? Where have we let pain linger or given room for ungodliness to fester? How is the gospel we say we believe expressing itself in our love for one another, and then for our community? How are we walking “in the light as he himself is in the light” (1 John 1:7)?
Before we address this, I’m not sure there’s much we can do that won’t appear disingenuous. The answers will be difficult. They will be unexpected, including some asking if this is really a problem at all. But if we believe our churches, and our homes, need a culture shaped by the gospel, it is a first step worth taking.
The gospel presents a powerful answer to every sin, including racism. The defamation of human dignity cannot stand against it, and by God’s grace, it will not stand among God’s people.
- Which, at worst, appears as virtue signaling, whether we intend it to be or not. ↵