If a man/woman walked into your church wearing a Nazi hat... Or a Confederate flag shirt... Would they be welcome? Or a better question: would they FEEL welcome?
When I was young and before I knew Jesus I went to a KKK rally in Indiana. My mom took me and younger sister. They had a pro-Kkk side and an anti-kkk side. Being Hispanic, I was obviously on the anti side. The reason my mom took us? To see. To see a different set of beliefs and to see where anger can take you if you let it. I remember being sad for those people. They didn’t know me, or my little sweet sister or my hard working mom. There were only about 40 people there total. And the Klu Klux Klan members claimed to know Jesus. I wondered what this Jesus guy was like. But my side, the anti side, claimed to know Jesus also. The anti side was just as scary. Maybe scarier, because there were more of “us” and they were yelling profanities… both sides: so angry: so filled with pain: so hostile : so hateful. Why wasn’t this Jesus guy intervening?
That was the last time I heard of the KKK out side of jokes. The KKK was dwindling because no one paid attention to them. Racism, though, has never gone away entirely. Being racist doesn’t only affect white people and maybe that’s why now it seems bigger than it’s ever been. Hate brings out hate. As Pastors and Christians… we KNOW this. When you follow Jesus you can see the depravity in the world and also know what Jesus called you to do about it. And I assure you, it isn’t calling out someone’s sin on Facebook.
So now, I know Jesus, and a lot of Christians out there are weighing in on the events at Charlottesville. A lot of Christians turning their backs on the people that need us the most right now to be a Christian. And all your self-righteousness of 'disavowing' racism or praying for death of the man that killed the innocent woman or saying Jesus hates racists or saying racists should be met with violence. I have even seen Christians calling others salvation into question. I have seen Christians post about how racists can not know Jesus. This is dark path people. Elevating ourselves to the judge of hearts is NOT our calling.
I am not condoning violence or racism. What I am saying is disavowing something on Facebook is silly. It is easy to disavow racism. You know what’s hard? Going up to a white guy with a Nazi hat and saying “hello, tell me your story.” Or going up to a black guy wearing a black lives matter shirt and saying “hello, tell me your story.”
When you read the gospels you see what hate can do. It is not pretty. Hate is what nailed Jesus to a cross, and to go back to the beginning why satan tempted man ...pure hatred. It’s why Jesus died… for us. To prove love conquers evil and so we can overcome hate with love. Not protest but gather with joy. Battle chaos with peace. Fight ignorance with patience. Destroy the works of the enemy with kindness, goodness, self-control, and gentleness.
It is our job as the church to not disavow or preach on Facebook what YOU hate. 99% of people do not agree with racism but honestly, if any of these people stepped foot inside your church or was looking for a church, would your post make them know you welcome all?
My point in posting is because we are called to be the salt in a tasteless world. The light in the darkness. With a lot of my fellow Christians posting about their hatred for the racists protesting… I began to think. Is this what God called us to do? And then I heard the question, “if a racist entered My church, would you welcome them.”
I saw on the news tonight that one of the white supremacists lives in Las Vegas.. I began to think…. I could run into him. He could see a Relentless ad. Step into our church. I hope he feels he’s invited. I watched a documentary where I saw Jeffery Dahmer get saved… and then he was murdered a week later. This made me realize something…. There may be people in heaven we do not agree with. It’s not my place to judge the condition of Jeffery Dahmer or any heart… but God sent us here with a commission. Make disciples and introduce the lost to the one who changes hearts. I know what “lost” looks like, look at what’s happening in Charlottesville. It’s those people who are hurting and broken. They need Christians to do what we do best. Invite them in. And introduce them to the one who can do anything. And above all, love. Love is most evident when you disagree. That’s what made Jesus statement so powerful and that is what will make a powerful statement today.