It's been brewing since something jumped out at me from my Facebook newsfeed a few days back:
True Christians will denounce the sin of racism!
Now, to be honest, I don't remember who posted it, other than I recollect being surprised at it because this wasn't posted by someone who normally discusses how a Christian life is properly lived out before God.
And, you know, what I have been hearing, for the past year or so, mostly from the non-active-Christian portion of my newsfeed either by posted links, memes or statuses, is that Christians have no business denouncing sin.
So I was somewhat surprised that now, all of a sudden, Christians are expected to denounce sin.
Or at least the politically correct sin to denounce. That one is okay. Denounce away.
Of course racism is a sin. Christianity, above all religions, is, at its core, racially and ethnically inclusive.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,...there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3: 26, 28)
But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (James 2:9 -10)
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit -- just as you were called to one hope when you were called -- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph. 4:3-6)
Hatred is a sin. Wait. I didn't say that right. Hating people is a sin...there are some things that are properly hated. There are things God hates.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:19-21)
So, are we not to denounce the other things that God hates? The other sins that we commit? Those things in that Galatians list that will keep people from inheriting the kingdom of God?
No? Just racism? Doesn't that sound just a little bit, oh, I don't know...inconsistent?
Has anyone noticed that meanings of the words have been twisted around and turned upside down and inside out and now nobody knows what they mean?
I thought 'Hate' meant that you actively wish something destroyed, undone, obliterated...but apparently it now means that you disagree with someone.
I thought 'Love' meant that you hope and work for another's long-term good, even if they don't always agree with you. But apparently now that means you will support and accept anything that the other person wants to do, so long as it makes them happy at that moment. And, of course, if you don't...or if you disagree with them...then it's 'hate'.
Whose idea was it to mess with the meanings of words???
Some folks seem to have forgotten that freedom of speech does not include an obligation for anyone to listen. Just because someone is spouting ugliness doesn't mean you have to get in there and throw it back at them. Sometimes the best way to get such attention-demanding obnoxiousness to go away is simply to yawn and turn your back and refuse to be the audience. Sharing an outrageous post with an indignant comment really only gives it more exposure. I mean, look at the last whatever you shared on FB...what is more prominent, the thing you shared or your comment about it? See what I mean?
One of my favorite reads is CS Lewis's Space Trilogy...and the final book, That Hideous Strength is nearly prophetic. Especially in the bit about how the press was manipulated. The same organization was behind the news in both the liberal and the conservative press in order to jerk the chains of both.
News bites from either side of OUR political spectrum seem to be following that pattern now; one prints only what the other omits and neither presents an accurate picture of what actually happened.
Anything can be edited to say, well, anything. Both political camps are crackerjack editors.
How does one be a true light in such craziness? When even folks who claim to follow Christ can't stomach to hear what He said?
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.(Rev. 3:1b - 3a)
We best denounce racism by working for the kingdom alongside our brothers and sisters of all races and skin tones, and there are those who have been doing that for years. One body, one Spirit, one Lord.
I don't know if that will appease the person who put up that post or not. But it really doesn't matter either way.