We are up to the hilt advocates of peace, and we earnestly war against war. I wish that Christian men would insist more and more on the unrighteousness of war, believing that Christianity means no sword, no cannon, no bloodshed, and that, if a nation is driven to fight in its own defense, Christianity stands by to weep and to intervene as soon as possible, and not to join in the cruel shouts which celebrate an enemy’s slaughter. Let us always be on the side of right. Today, then, my brethren, I beg you to join with me in seeking renewal.
(From An All-Round Ministry, a college address in 1880)
I’m just posting this here for my neo-reformed friends who love Charles Spurgeon but also seem to be very often pro-war.
If you profess Jesus as Lord then you profess an Ancient Near Eastern Jew to be the King of Kings and Creator and Sustainer of the universe and Lord of your life. Because of the Christian belief in the incarnation He will also always be Jewish. The Father and Spirit might be without race but the Incarnate Word was Jewish and remains Jewish. He didn’t give up His race when He was raised from the dead for the resurrection was just that … a resurrection. It wasn’t some purely spiritual thing. It was bodily resurrection. Jesus ate and allowed people to touch Him. He was still incarnate as a dark-skinned man and when He ascended into the presence of the Father He did so in that same body. So it makes no sense what so ever for a Christian to ever be racist or support white-supremacy.
Yet I know it happens.
We’ve all seen it happen.
But I still have hope because I believe the good news here is that the church continues to grow in its understanding of what our faith means. At one time the majority of the church supported slavery, but slowly the teachings of Jesus so convicted disciples of Christ that slowly but surely the church turned away from slavery and helped society to do so too.
Martin Luther King paraphrased a sermon of the Reverend Theodore Parker with the following famous line. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” As King I believe that Jesus is reshaping the world away from its sinfulness and brokenness. One day He will finalize that redemption. Until that day we our lives should continually “bend toward justice”. Over the past century some parts of the church in the US have done better than other parts in understanding this. For example, that modern revolutionary Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers is a great example of racially bending toward justice.
And other parts of the church have been slower on the uptake here. My own denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, is an example of being slow in bending toward racial justice. Still the teachings of Jesus bend toward justice and that changes those who are honestly trying to follow Him. I am reminded of this when I often see prominent leaders within my denomination say things that I know will cost them with some people but continue to help us to “bend” as a denomination.
For example, Beth Moore
And Ed Stetzer
The arc is really long and I can’t see with my own eyes where it actually ends in justice. That horizon is simply too far away for my eyes to see. But I believe I know the dark-skinned One Who stands at the end of that arc and I believe slowly but surely He changes things in His church. I want to work towards the justice that I believe He bends the universe toward.
So let me state this as plainly as I can. If you profess Jesus as Lord and you hold racist views or vocally or non-vocally support white-supremacy then you are, at best, an idiot. At worst you are sinning and participating with the demonic. When I have done this I also have been an idiot. Thankfully I believe in a dark-skinned messiah Who forgives us our idiotic, at best, and sinful/demonic, at worst, ways, and our salvation rest in His faithfulness not ours. Still we are idiots when we hold or support racist views and actions.
Don’t be an idiot. Don’t be racist. Don’t support white-supremacy. Be like Mr. Rogers.