- 1 John 4:19-21
Of all the talk about racism and white supremacy over the last few weeks, perhaps the most disappointing to me has been the comments from President Trump. Please be aware that this column is not a political commentary, but one that is concerned about the righteousness of a nation whose currency is emblazoned with "In God We Trust", and whose government buildings are often adorned with holy scripture.
The President seems to paint in very broad rhetorical strokes, leaving openings for wide interpretation to his words and the meanings behind them. Even after clearly denouncing the hate and violence shown in Charlottesville, the President went on to say of the protesters, that there were some "very fine people, on both sides." That kind of ambiguity is arguably a problem in itself, that the President has left the door open to accepting the views and beliefs of people who plainly support racism and white supremacy.
The author of First John reminds readers of a responsibility to love as the primary posture for Christians. And there are no windows left slightly open; if you say you love God but hate someone else, you are a liar. That is potent, and has the authority of scripture to convict. In Christ we find an example. In God we find forgiveness. And in the Body of Christ, we find hope. There is no room for racism, there is no place for white supremacy, there is no support for mistreating others in the Christ's Good News.
May the prayer of the faithful be of reconciliation and righteousness, and of seeking forgiveness from those who have been hurt. May the actions of God's people lead by example - to continually reject hatred and racism, to recognize divine value in all people, to welcome without suspicion and to share without fear. May President Trump, his executive branch, the Senators and Representatives all understand more clearly the deep calling to lead all 326 million Americans to equality and justice. Please, as ones who take our scriptural ancestry seriously, Be Excellent To Each Other.
Rev. Andy Beck