The point is not what we fear, but what a life ruled by fear can do to us.
Our dominant, white Christian culture has white-washed Jesus. Instead of expanding our understanding of those who are different from us, we have replaced them and their stories with a light brown-haired, blue-eyed lie.
Forty years ago, Hinson’s open letter challenged Southern Baptist Convention President Bailey Smith’s pronouncement that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.” Today, moderate Baptists know they don’t want to follow Smith and his tribe, but have we embraced a clear alternative?
In a sense, the whole world is God’s mixing bowl, and we are part of the ingredients to feed others.
Trump is correct that we are experiencing a frightening dis-ease in America. Insanity – moral disorder – imperils our people, our nation, our earth. What he doesn’t seem to recognize is that he is the source of much of the chaos, the claims of many evangelical leaders notwithstanding.
It’s a question we have asked countless times: have we reached a turning point? Do our faith communities, whose history began at the place of the skull and the killing fields of a Roman coliseum, have a will or a witness for our assault-weapon-proliferated, executionary times?
In confronting white nationalist terror and the Washington-based bigotry that has invited it into the mainstream, we must be both fierce in our struggle but also prayerful in our devotion. We must call this nation to repent for its sins and call it too to save itself from this “corrupt generation.”
I’m praying that God will comfort suffering victims and afflict their political and religious victimizers. That’s not a “God bless the USA” prayer. It’s a “Thy will be done” prayer.
People of faith, whatever the specific tradition, now confront a 21st-century global reality: Worship can get you killed, anywhere in the world.