I was stunned. How could such a thing happen today? I honestly thought the human race had moved on and yet, the events in Charlottesville just serve to prove that far too often humanity does not learn the lessons of it’s past.
I want to be absolutely clear. Racism, in thought, word and deed is evil. I firmly believe that in Christ …
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3 vs. 28)
But, as I watched those horrifying sights coming from America, it was not with any sense of “at least it’s over there and not over here” because, I know, only too well that there is evil here too. We live in a broken and damaged society and we are living with the effects of (yes let’s name it again) SIN. It’s such a small word that carries with it so much.
So, what are we to do? Should we confront, or just hide away hoping that it will pass us by?
One figure from Church history I admire is the German Pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was speaking and teaching during the rise of the Nazi party in Germany and saw the full horrors of the terror they produced. Bonhoeffer was challenged by the question of how Christians should respond in the face of evil. One quote of his that challenges me is this;
Bonhoeffer was to stand by his words even to the point of his execution at the hands of the Nazi’s at Flossenbürg on 9th April 1945.
One of the things that really encouraged me, as I reflected on Charlottesville, is that a group of Church ministers gathered to protest and pray on the streets in the face of the racist gathering. The ministers were from across the denominations. They stood together recognizing that we are all one in Christ Jesus.
I believe that for too long, the Church has been silent in the face of evil. It’s time to start speaking out even if that makes us unpopular with “the powers that be”. I believe that a Christianity that is silent in the face of evil is a Christianity that is divorcing itself from Christ.
As I wrote this blog today, I wondered if I should really post it. I reasoned that, I may offend some; it is strongly worded for me. But, I also reasoned that, if I did not publish it, then surely, I was just remaining silent in the face of evil. I reflected that Jesus, in the face of evil, was neither silent nor inactive. He spoke out (some of His discussions with the Pharisees are very strong) He acted (money changers in the temple) and He was willing to pay the price on the cross. Jesus also said;
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9 vs. 23)
Let us not be silent in the face of evil but, take to heart the teaching and words of Jesus.