I have been watching with concern the confusion of the times in which we live. These are indeed perilous times, and everyone seems to have an opinion. Some have good intentions and sincerely believe they know the right way. Some seem to only sow anger, deception, and discord. The major opinion I have heard in this area comes from Christians who identify themselves as republicans. I would like to offer the following Christian perspective, especially to Americans who have strong emotional beliefs about our nation and its people. Keep in mind the Bible states we are all under sin (Romans 3:9), and there are none righteous (Romans 3:10). Certainly, the following opinion is not the only opinion, but it is the way I try to live my life. We, as Christians, are trying to live each day to the glory of God.
Please stop for a minute and honestly look at your hurt feelings regarding the events of the last 7 months in this country. Try not to be indignant or insulted, and do not continue to react emotionally. Christians should advocate one side in this country: that of Jesus Christ. Contrary to popular belief, He is not republican or democrat. Many conservative Christians are up in arms and think their views are being persecuted. Everyone is upset to some degree. One fact is certain: we 're not perfect. The right wing and the left, conservative and liberal, the educated and uneducated, the rich and poor are not perfect. Fortunately, the Holy God of creation is perfect, and so is His Word. We need to study the Bible for our response to the current world. Ezekiel 18:29 states that mankind's ways are "unequal." The cause of that iniquity stems from the reason why we all need a Savior. However, God will judge us with "equity" (Psalm 98:9). I believe that means all of us. Since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), those who are not under the salvation of Christ will go to Hell. Those who depend on the saving grace of Jesus and the redemption He gave His life for, will go to Heaven and be with Him.
If God is no respecter of persons, as indicated in both the Old Testament (2 Chronicles 19:7) and the New Testament (Romans 2:11), why are we prejudiced toward others who are not like us or do not have the same general history as we do? For example, white folks' ancestors determined the path of African Americans in this nation long ago. It was not an equitable path. Like it or not, racism against African Americans or any "minority" group happened back then and altered in an extreme way the generations that followed.
It still happens today, and I believe racism is against God's law. Black lives matter, as do all lives. However, I am not seeing many Christians be the shining examples of God's love, mercy, and grace this world so desperately needs right now. I have noticed some people in anger, defensiveness, division, and even demonstrating hate speech. I am not judging or condemning anyone, but I believe these behaviors are not what Christians should be projecting right now. Why do some use the Word of God to perpetuate the injustice of racism? I think we are guilty of racism to the extent we participate in cultural and political systems that are not equitable. I hope no one disputes the idea that white privilege in any area of life in this nation breaks God's law. Saying all people have equal rights wasn't even in our law for a long time, and I think how we live now gives lip service to God regarding loving our neighbors as ourselves. We live in a society, culture, and nation that white folks originally made discriminatory and oppressive for people of a different colored skin. Many say, "Well, a lot of people feel the same way I do about this, and it's always been that way." I would ask if they think God will accept this excuse when they are standing before Him? Aren't we as Christians held to a higher standard?
Some people even blame the victims. The way I see it, slavery resulted from white people's greed of money and need for cheap labor to build wealth. Some may say, "Well, there was slavery in the Bible." Wasn't the world back then sinful and carnal too? Didn't Jesus Christ teach us a better way? Mankind may treat people unequally, but Christians should strive to treat people like Christ did. Thank God for the blood of Jesus!
Looking at the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:23-37) in the context of our current national condition may help explain how we ought to behave in the face of discriminatory and racist attitudes and norms. The ancestors of African Americans were viciously attacked in their land by thieves who stole them and forced them into slavery in a foreign land. Are we now going to be like the priest and the Levite, passing by the injured ones on the side of the road? Our way of living continues to steal from minority groups every day economically, socially, religiously, educationally, and every other way. Do white American Christians refuse to accept responsibility for unequal treatment under our nation's laws? Yes, the world is secular. Shouldn't Christians be the shining lights of these dark times and try to strive toward God's values?
We should search for Godly wisdom here and right a wrong that was committed long ago and in one way or another has continued for 400 years. Are we going to love our neighbors and be good Samaritans or not? Our home may not be of this world, but aren't we here to expand God's Kingdom? Minority groups cannot fix the injustice in the United States, because the "system" is still against them and perpetuated by white folks' habits and fear of change. We should not be afraid of God's correction. Don't despise humility or being humbled (Luke 14:7-14). Let's fix our attitudes and our behavior together without being fearful, angry, or self-righteous. God gave us free will and the ability to choose what's right. We should help those who our ancestors persecuted and demonstrate the love of Jesus. Christians have done so much good in this world! We know there is only one hope. We have the answer... let's strive to proclaim it by loving our neighbors, even if they have a different experience than ours or happen to have different colored skin.
I Corinthians 1:18 states, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." I realize some folks reading this will disagree vehemently with my opinion. I hope we honestly evaluate our thoughts, emotions, beliefs and yes, prejudiced behavior, with humility. Isn't inner peace dependent on accepting salvation and living according to the higher standards set by Jesus? We do not need to fear the future. Many Christians agree with the idea of demonstrating to this world the love and joy of Christ.
I hope and pray the efforts for justice and equality do not go away. Please, do not hurt your testimony by feigning ignorance of legitimate demands for the basic ideals this country stands for: justice, equity, freedom, and acceptance. Don't look away and pass by on the other side of the road. It is not "us" versus "them" as Americans. It is not republicans against democrats as Christians. I believe Christians can belong to either political party, but that is not the issue here. We have Kingdom work to do. Nathan Rutstein once said, "Prejudice is an emotional commitment to ignorance." It sure is.
Thankfully, "love covereth all sins" (Proverbs 10:12). There is no going back again as a country. The culture of our country was never free and just for all. If we want the United States of America under God's protection and blessing, it must be for everyone. We must change and not give up. It's a long race.