It’s August 15, 2017…and once again, people are up in arms. It was heightened in Charlottesville, VA this weekend, and seems to be gaining steam recently in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
I watched the latest Durham protest, the sacking of a bronze “Old Joe” Confederate statue, come crashing down by the force of a frenzied group of millennials who simply ‘had enough!’ of any white supremacy associations or nonsense. My comments here are short, and have little to do with the morality of these extremes group, fascists- KKK Alt-Right Nazi groups, or the view of those the oppose them. I think they are self-evident: ungodly.
Rather, as I sat and watched the video, having been in Durham before, having recently eaten at the Mall in Charlottesville, VA with my daughter, I thought: the inhabitants of those communities are generally level-headed educated Americans, reasonable people, with the same sensibilities of a next-door neighbor…right? One can scarcely go through Charlottesville, in 15 year period and witness unrest, much less a mild-protest. I watched the vitriol of a young woman senselessly kicking the toppled life-less “Ol’ Joe” statue in the fury of her protest. The reactions mushroomed. The crowd roaring, momentum building, blood curdling violence, amazing. I suppose I could actually share in their frustration, but only with a rather sad and fearful identification. Could I have participated in that, could I have felt that same frustration at that point in my life? Yes, I was that guy who on the grounds of principle could riot my personal ideology (even not knowing what it was), risking the consequences, or even a possible broken foot!
But, with spiritual eyes as a believer, I quickly imagined my Savior, the Lord of glory. He pushed buttons, tapped the heart, he undressed us, he cut through the stony sanctum of people’s natural ideologies. His preaching put everyone on skates. The listener, either turned to Him or turned against Him. We saw back in Jesus ministry what we witness now…don’t cross human lines! Mankind crucified their own Creator!! How atomic are we?! Men are calm, quiet, and peaceful until you touch something dear to them. The Durham riot is an education in human anthropology, that man still has an invisible “this-means-war” boundary to protect. Sometimes protests show the image of God on us, that we stand behind innate God-written codes of ethics like equality, and liberty for all. But mostly, they show men protesting God himself (Romans 8:7) and his Holy code of righteousness as revealed in Scripture. That man takes vengeance into his own hands (Romans 12:9). Therefore, mankind is a ticking bomb of emotions, a bag of sinful confusion selectively determining on the fly, what his morals are.
What I saw in Raleigh is a warning, and mankind is standing up in defense and emboldened rage against ISIS, terrorists, hate groups. “We will fight against this” its says. Then instantly I thought, “I understand this anger today, but what about when that turns against us (Christians), what about when they see me (the proponent of eternal life, and good) as the enemy? What if my righteousness is seen as unrighteousness? That same anger has precedent, and has fomented in history against Godly causes.” This passive to now aggressive anger and its potential is frightening, we believers may become the statue. All we have to do is cross the line. The history of Christian persecutions attest to this, and I predict it will repeat itself in America, as we challenge its ideology of ‘human’ rights. We may be seen as the haters. Let’s not kid ourselves, mankind hasn’t become refined or civilized. Rather, he is successfully re-engineering and defending his code, his world view, his own bible, his own gospel. It’s not the true saving gospel of Christianity, it’s the dangerous one of moral relativism, which is constantly being rewritten. Cross-it only if you dare!
So, what are we set up for NOW…when Christians speak on behalf of God’s word and holiness? When they say for instance, “thus says the Lord, homosexuality, same-sex marriage is a sinful abomination to God?” What will happen NOW…when Christians rightly articulate a peaceful protest next to abortion clinics, next to pornography centers? Or, if we street-preach at popular intersections and urge all men to turn to Jesus and away from their sin pattern? Folks, these are more frictious times and potentially violent days for people to speak out.
So, before your heart rallies to support anti-demonstrations, ask yourself if identifying with such a spirit of vitriol is a good thing? Are we fighting for the cause of man, or for the cause of Jesus Christ? The answers we give, must be salted. Remember what Jesus said in John 18:36? To fight the right fight as a Christian, is to labor to proclaim the Gospel as often and as clearly as we can to those who wrongly fight for a kingdom with a terminal end. Our fight ain’t here, but our gospel focus is!