Happy Monday, my friends! Following on my theme of drawing inspiration from Christopher Sunami’s Hero for Christ, I’m turning to his third point with a slight modification: Act up for what you believe. Sunami reminds us that, “[Christians] buy into the myth that a real Christian hero is never political…you need to understand that every political choice involves a moral choice.” Particularly in the United States, two distinct camps of Christians have developed. First, there are Christian nationalists and Evangelicals who shout loudly or empower those who do. They weaponize their faith and assault those people who dare question or oppose their worldview. The second group are the polite, apathetic Christians whose silence in the face of moral crisis is deafening. And so, Christianity is viewed as either a religion of hate or a religion of apathy.
There must be Christians and people who follow Jesus who are willing to act up and take moral positions. The telling part is that when you follow Jesus and you act up for the LGBTQIA+ community or act against gun violence or agitate against racism, the Christian nationalists will tell you that you are perverting the gospel even while they worship a blond hair, blue-eyed Jesus carrying a gun. So too the apathetic Christians will tell you that you are making the gospels political. You can’t make the gospels political; the gospels are political. In fact, the progressive Christianity that I so readily claim, should seem as redundant to us as “ATM machine.” Christianity should be about being on the very fringes of the political spectrum. To be a Christian should be a declaration that we will protect and advocate with the least and the most marginalized of our siblings.
Some of you know that a mentor and friend from my college days passed away this week. He was someone who stood up for what he believed in. He was part of the first generation of Black students at our college, the first Black person to hold one of the three top student leadership roles on campus, and for nearly 40 years he served as our director of multicultural affairs. He was passionate about the success of BIPOC students and was an equally dedicated ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. As an ally to the Queer community, he modelled the role of allies who use their privilege to effect change, but who defer leadership to the members of the community. I strive to follow that example when working as an ally with other communities.
How do you act up for justice? Where do the gospels and scripture compel you to act?
Let us pray: Radical God, compel us to act up for justice in a world that is full of injustice. Convict our souls to fight against the message of oppression and the rhetoric of hate. Send your spirit to strengthen us when we falter and to challenge us when it seems like the fight is hopeless. Help us to see the moral imperatives in political questions. Help us to see you behind those moral imperatives. Amen.
Blessings on your week, my friends, let me know if there is anything I can do for you.