Long Past Time for Christians to Stand Up

Something very sick, creepy, and evil has taken over the Republican party. It makes one’s flesh crawl. A GOP congressional candidate body slams a reporter, then gets elected. GOP lawmakers at the Texas state house call ICE on peaceful protesters, who just happen to have brown skin. One lawmaker threatens to “put a bullet” through his Democratic opponent’s head. A grisly hate crime is perpetrated in Portland and the present administration has to be vehemently coaxed to make a statement denouncing such acts. The violence, intolerance, racism, misogyny, and lack of respect for the poor and suffering are reaching fever pitch, empowering the sickest elements of our society, and one gets the impression from their silence that many of our elected officials actually find it refreshing. Many Christians helped vote these people into office; they are thus partly responsible. If what calls itself “the church” in this country does not stand up and denounce this brand of behavior, one can only assume it is because they approve.

In the U.S., white supremacy and fascist movements have a long history of Christian support. In the 1930s fascism grew apace here, largely with the help of Christians who believed in an America for whites only. It was only WWII (when Hitler and Mussolini became the enemy) that put a stop to their advancement. But they have never entirely disappeared, just gone underground, waiting for the right moment and the right person to empower their voices. Sadly, such support merely demonstrates the complete lack of Christianity in those who call themselves Christians.

Let’s face it, for a significant percentage of Christians (is it a majority? I don’t know. I hope not), things like democracy, free speech, human rights, and the free practice of  religion are sacrosanct when it comes to themselves. When it comes to others’ exercising those same rights, however, many Christians are not so enthusiastic. Nor, really when it comes down to it, are they that committed to democratic ideals. It seems they would much rather have an iron-willed, jack-booted dictator to kick them in the ass and promote “law and order,” (i.e., silence dissent, show minorities their place, and make other undesirables disappear), than to live in a free society where tolerance is required.

Let’s put it simply. Those who call themselves Christians, yet despise everything Jesus stands for (such as mercy, tolerance, kindness, peace, generosity, love for the poorest and weakest, including immigrants), are deeply mistaken. They actually have nothing in common with Jesus, except that they try to use his name to justify their putrid hate and ignorance. To be a follower of Jesus Christ, one must follow his teachings and walk in his ways. The apostle John makes that clear in his first epistle (1 Jn 1:5,6; 2;3,4; 3:16,17).

It is long past time for Christians to stand up and denounce what is being done in their name. If they will not separate themselves from this movement, then they must be prepared to share in its judgment. For “it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God” ( 1 Ptr 4:17).

 

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Long Past Time for Christians to Stand Up

  1. Tedd

    Agreed, but … what to do about it Steve … what does standing up look like, nearly six months in? I know what to do during campaigns (volunteer, give), and do it. There’s a parallel here … our Islamic friends by and large tend to decry the acts of the screwballs nominally in their midst, but don’t strain any major muscle groups in so doing. But what to do now, what to do, other than pray? We profess to believe in the power of prayer and surely we do. What more, what else, or do we pray and wait on Him?

  2. Great questions, Tedd. Thanks for your response. “Standing up” may take many forms, from urging our pastors to take a stand and speak out, to urging our friends, neighbors and relatives to do the same, speaking to our children about what is and what is not acceptable Christian behavior, writing letters to the editors of our local papers or to elected leaders, joining or organizing a peaceful protest. My wife and I have done all of these at some point. In fact, I became such a local crank with my letters to the editor, that they gave me a 4-page spread in their quarterly magazine (maybe just to shut me up?). We even left our church in protest, not wanting to be associated with Christo-fascism and we took our tithe with us. What has been the impact of all this? 1) Well, Trump is still in the WH, but I think that is something that requires sustained prayer– praying and not giving up– which is absolutely essential, and the most important thing we can do. What about forming a prayer group for this purpose? 2) We’ve become somewhat odious to some of our neighbors, but who cares? 3) Most importantly, though, we’ve tried to be an encouraging witness to other believers who may feel the same way, and to those unbelievers who think all Christians are fascist hypocrites. Our current pastor recently preached a sermon (naive, I think) about how Christians need to forget political differences and be united. That would be nice, but how can you be united with such apostasy? There’s an open wound that needs to be addressed first. These are not petty political differences. It’s about sin, a sickness that is trying to take over the church, and we cannot compromise with it.

    • I would add, however, that whatever we do must be done with civility and with love, not walking in the same spirit of intolerance and violence. That is also essential.

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