August 14, 2017
By Adrienne Jenkins Hunt
Like many people in America I watched the events that unfolded at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville last weekend. The general conscious is that this was a horrible display of bigotry. In light of all the events that were unfolding in real-time on my television, my mind went back to my first days in college. You are already nervous about leaving home and moving into a new environment. You wonder if you really have what it takes to be successful at this new place. The UVA Freshman class had to deal with those thoughts as well as process the sight of White Supremacists wielding torches marching across their campus. And even though many of us were tickled at the choice to use Tiki Torches the Friday night before the march, the visual message was received by many of us loud and clear.
As the events of the protest march unfolded, I surfed the internet for more information and stumbled upon an article by Jay Reeves of the Associated Press. It gave chilling details of how the goals of the League of the South is that ” the South will once again be in name and in actuality White Man’s Land. A place where we and our progeny can enjoy Christian liberty and the fruits of our own labor, unhindered by parasitical ‘out groups”. Out of everything in this quote the phrase “Christian Liberty” really jumped out at me. It made me once again realize that the body of Christ, those of us who profess to follow the Christian Bible, really need to do a heart check.
It has always amazed me how we can all read the same bible and profess to serve the same God and yet come up with such a variety of viewpoints about what the will of the Lord is. When our country was founded we used “the bible” to justify stealing the land from people who were already here and then said we discovered a new world. We then used the bible to justify stealing millions of people from their homeland and enslaving them to build this country. We then declared ourselves a Christian nation and wrote in our Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. If the Creator that our founding fathers spoke of was God; and unalienable rights are those that can’t be denied or taken away, it is hard to understand why in the name of God some of us are determined to deny rights that God endowed upon us all.
I think part of the problem is that instead of filtering our politics through the lens of the bible, we are filtering our bible through the lens of our politics. That way we can judge some sins harsher than others and ignore those scriptures that make us uncomfortable. It’s how we can show righteous indignation about issues like abortion yet overlook the fact that men fathered and then sold their children for profit. We abhor homosexuals yet overlook Matthew 22:39 which mandates that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Somehow we have forgotten that we are supposed to hate sin but love “sinners”. After all that’s how the world will know that we are disciples of Christ, by the love that we show to one another (John 13:35).
We are called to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. In other words, we are supposed to show and preserve the ways of righteousness. That’s hard to do when we champion some issues and ignore others. We lose our credibility when we say we love God whom we have never seen but are indifferent when we see our brothers and sisters are hated. Are they not created in the same image of God that created us? And lest we sit back in our righteous indignation and say “they are being judged by God” or “they brought this on themselves” let us never forget that judgement always begins in the household of faith. So if we are serious about healing our nation, we in the body of Christ need to seriously check our hearts because out of our hearts are flowing the issues of this life. And in this country we’ve got some serious issues.