When I saw a picture this morning of some of the pro-white protestors, a couple of things give me pause:
1) I am glad that they are not wearing masks. We actually get to see who it is that believes with their minds and hearts that white people are superior to others. Listening to some of the rhetoric that they were saying, its not surprising to see and hear that they really believe that whites should be honored and are superior, simply for being white. They are evolutionists, Darwinists, believing that they rank higher on the evolutionary scale than all of us non-whites. If it wasn’t so evil, it would be hysterically comical. But it’s not funny. It’s evil.
Albert Mohler succinctly wrote :
White supremacy ideology is evil. It’s ugly and should have no place in the church. But sadly, it has found a home in many churches. Even though white supremacists may not be wearing hoods anymore, their beliefs are still widely shared, as evidenced by the protest this weekend. I just cannot reconcile that people that hold to white supremacy ideology are indeed Christians. Nope. You can’t convince me otherwise. Throughout history, they hijacked the church, pimped out the pews and pastors who preached white supremacy from the pulpits led far too many astray by making others believe that white supremacy is an accurate picture of what God has for humanity. I see Satan and sin’s fingerprints all over this.
2) Being that this was in VA, knowing there is much cultural Christianity present in the southeast part of the country (aka – “Bible belt”), not to say there isn’t in other parts of the country, because there definitely is. I have just observed, since I used to live in VA and Louisiana for that matter, that there is such a major, often visible divide between blacks and whites in those areas. It becomes the stinky trash bag that needs to be taken out that no one can smell because they have lived in the house for so long. The smell of trash becomes almost odorless to the inhabitants of that house. The chronic tension that occurs between these two demographics stays in the air. Everyone breaths it in and it becomes the “norm”. And since the tension is allowed to exist, blacks and whites segregate into their respective churches every Sunday morning, never being forced to address the tension or that very un-biblical divide and stench. The only way that will change is if both parties are willing to hear and be heard. Not just white Christians hearing non-white Christians, but also for non-white Christians to hear from white Christians as well. Conversation is reciprocal. It’s not “white people sit down and listen” and it’s definitely not “this is how things have always been done”. It’s both being allowed to share concerns, hurts, fears, confusion and disappointments.
3) Without the help of the Holy Spirit, there are people who can’t, meaning unable to, differentiate between ideology and a piece of “stone” in the form of a man – on both sides of this issue (Isaiah 42:17). Keeping statues up does not protect history or heritage. Material that is gleaned from the earth and carved into a historical figure is meaningless. Attach meaning to that carving and it becomes an idol. Plain and simple. I can’t believe people are still placing value on a man-made carving and attaching value to it, which is a once ancient practice of idolatry (or current form of worship for many other religions, including Catholicism). If these pro-white protestors are supposed to be more “evolved and superior”, but they are still behaving in ancient idol worship ways, how does that make sense?
On the flip side, tearing down statues does not eradicate hate. Hate doesn’t live in history or in a rock shaped like a man. Hate lives in the heart of man.
Both sides of this issue believe that hate or heritage began at the founding of our nation. All of a sudden wanna-be history scholars are coming out of the woodwork, using some of the best and ugliest parts of American history to prove points that back up their own ideology and glorify figures who align with them.
Yes, it is good to look down our short American timeline for educational purposes, but when we compare it to the Biblical time line of the world, American history is like a milli-second snapshot. Our idea of hate is relegated to only what our own history depicts and typically involves our very American issue of racism and discrimination, both the explicit and implicit kind.
If we stop to look at how hate has decimated other nations, created generational diaspora, wiped out entire families and entire people groups, broken up families, persecuted and beheaded believers and left their blood spilling into the ocean, maybe we can see a bigger picture happening. A picture that goes beyond the constructs of implicit or explicit racism and discrimination. I’m almost embarrassed to think about having to explain implicit discrimination and racism to non-American refugees who have had to run from ISIS in order to survive.
In order to see the larger scope of hate, we not only need to broaden our very American lens, but we also need to go further back in history. Hate didn’t start with that first slave ship. Hate has been around since Genesis 3 and was evidenced in Genesis 4 when a man killed his own brother, which is a pretty significant form of hate. Cain, because of his sin, believed his offering was superior to Abel’s. God thought otherwise. Cain’s misguided evil superiority ideology motivated him to kill his brother in an act of hate. We are still killing our brothers, but because of the dispersing of the nations at Babel, our brothers and sisters just look different than us, speak a different language or adhere to a different culture. They are still brothers and sisters of humanity, nonetheless. And for those of us who are believers, they are also heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). The only thing that has truly “evolved” is how hate and evil manifests itself in the hands, minds and hearts of sinful man throughout our ancient and modern collective world timeline. Any tried and true history buff will know that.
What is happening in Charlottesville is not unique. It happens every day in the hearts of man, for serious and trivial reasons (Mathew5: 21-22) The only way to truly eradicate hate and evil is when people are able to heed God’s Spirit. That can only happen when people are given new hearts (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Without a new heart that is led by God’s Spirit, everything else we do to address hate and evil is like putting a Hello Kitty band-aid on an person who is bleeding out because of an amputated limb.
4) Protests do not change the hearts of men. Protests have the power to potentially change legislation, but hearts…not so much. As a matter of fact, the only thing that protests are guaranteed to change are the forms of the various types of ideology that is influenced by the ebb and flow of contemporary culture…or in other words…..thinking that motivates behavior that is dependent on where a protestor stands on any given issue. People’s ideology, when mixed with the often heated nature of protest gatherings, will immediately turn into idolatry. Our emotions, if unchecked, will run wild, become fixed, and become implanted with deep rooted ideological conviction, ON BOTH SIDES OF AN ISSUE. It’s never ending.
Hotly debated issues do not need angry protestors screaming at the wind while holding a sign with an “in your face” message in order to be addressed. They also don’t need to be screaming at each other, as what often happens at protests, in order to legitimately bring up issues that are on everyone’s hearts and minds.
What is needed is a Mediator. Someone who can stand in the middle of a debate and help the one on the other side understand what the other is saying. A mediator helps two opposing sides come together to help settle differences, resolve disagreements and disputes. Basically, a mediator is also a reconciliator.
Because of Adam’s disobedience God had a grand scale dispute. This dispute was a transgression so massive, so far reaching, its consequences became fixed, a fixed rebellion from a Holy God. There is nothing we could do to reconcile ourselves back to God on our own. Our sin gets in the way all the time. All of our good works and keeping of the law is tainted with sin. We can protest to God all we want by keeping our works before him, but they are like filthy rags to him (Isaiah 64:6).
1 Timothy 2:5 says there is only one mediator – the man Christ Jesus. If Christ has the power to mediate between us and a Holy God, reconcile us back to the Father, impute to us his righteousness, then we must also believe that that he has the power to mediate between us and our enemies, or those we consider our enemies due to our adherence’s to our various ideologies.
This may not be the answer that is popular or that many want to hear, but at the end of the day, my answer is always Jesus. We need more of Jesus….not less.
I don’t have the luxury to sit and think about this issue any more. It has taken up all of my Saturday, much to the disdain of my school assignments, my husband and my children, who are crying out for attention.