Social justice in the church can be exhausting
To most people, I’m pretty transparent on the internet about what I’m feeling about certain events either in my life or in the world. I know full well that once something on the internet is posted, it’s not private — even if your profile is private. This post is one of the things, I definitely do not want to be private.
I struggle with being a Christian in the United States and not because I think I’m being oppressed for it. It’s mostly due to the feedback I get when I’m open and discuss about the things I support or don’t support. My faith in God and my purpose to follow Jesus will never change, and people will never drive me away from it. However, I struggle with feeling alone or in the minority when it comes to important issues in the world or just in my country alone. It’s discouraging and exhausting, and sometimes I feel like people think I’m not obeying God because I don’t fit a certain criteria in politics or because I don’t value my nationalism as much as I value social justice for the marginalized. And I know there ARE some Christians out there who are mostly on the same page as I am, but it’s so very few that it almost feels like none.
It’s discouraging. Why? Because I can attend church and be surrounded by Christians who don’t support mental health care. I’m surrounded by Christians who don’t think black lives matter (too). I’m surrounded by Christians who won’t stop using language that can demonize and dehumanize those who are marginalized. I’m surrounded by Christians who won’t admit (or just don’t think) that there’s systematic and institutionalized racism and oppression in our country because slavery and segregation is over. I’m even surrounded by Christians who claim to be pro-life but is anti-refugee. I’m surrounded by Christians who want people to protest peacefully, but when people DO protest peacefully — we are told to shut up or stop whining (honestly, which one is it?). And because I support all of these, I’m considered someone who’s too liberal, won’t stick to the Gospel, or just simply misled.
There are Christians who think I lack faith in Jesus because I support mental health care. Or that I hate police because I think black lives matter. Or that I’m too politically correct when I think we need to stop using language that can be disrespectful to certain communities. Or that I’m furthering the racial tension or divide in the church because I want to discuss racism in the United States. I’m fully aware that everything that happens in this country is according to God’s will, but it’s such a cop out to say that and ignore or be naive about what other communities are going through.
We know God and love cannot be separated because God is love. But I personally think that the church forgets that God and justice also cannot be separated, because God is just. The Gospel is such good news, and I will never diminish the importance of salvation. However, I don’t like to limit the Gospel to salvation because it’s such a disservice to who Jesus Christ is. Of all the countless nights that I’ve read, studied, lived, and breathed God’s word, I’ve learned that being a disciple means not only spreading the good news but also being active in our world.
Sure, my blogs are completely repetitive because every other post is essentially saying the same thing over and over again. I just don’t think I can stress enough how important this is, which is why I’ll always write about it and fight for it. It’s interesting when many Christians (I mostly hear it from white Americans) talk about how the United States was founded on Christian principles and will always be a Christian nation. And I don’t believe it, because it never was due to our history. You cannot deny that the United States was first and foremost, founded on a genocide. We had founding fathers that talked about equality for all while owning slaves, we had segregation, internment camps, and the list goes on. And it’s not just our history, but even our current events. And given what’s been going on just in the last couple of weeks, we’re not progressing as a nation nor are we progressing as a church.
I mean, are we really your neighbors or the just the casualties of your nationalism?