FOR CHRISTIANS ONLY: In light of the recent controversy involving Lecrea "pulling away from White evangelicalism" and John Piper's response (found here) I wanted to share some insights that I hope might be of some value to the discussion. First let me begin by saying I truly respect both men and have been inspired by their ministries over the years. However, I think they both have it wrong this time.
FACT: Racism will never go away.
FACT: Oppression will always be with us.
FACT: Inequality will always reign in this world.
Why? Because we are fallen creatures. It is in our very nature to elevate ourselves above others. Lucifer's rebellion was founded in this and it has continued till this day in the hearts of fallen men. I live in Africa, most of the people I see every day are black. You would think that Racism wouldn't be a thing here. Unfortunately, they have a thing here called tribalism. Their hatred is based on tribe and/or what shade of black you are. We will always find a way to put down our fellow man. It is a sad truth that defines our world.
In the West it looks different. One race puts down another race, the Political left denigrates the political right, then that is reciprocated in kind. Christians hate the World and the World hates Christians and on and on it goes. MLK fights to end segregation and today it is considered social justice to destroy MLK's dream and bring segregation back. Has the world gone mad? No, it has always been mad. We lost our way in the garden. We can not find our way again without Jesus. But when we give ourselves fully to Jesus he strips all that hatred from us. He makes us New Creations. The rules change. In His kingdom there is not Jew or Greek, No slave or free, No male or female, No black or white, No Democrat or Republican, No wealthy or poor. There is only JESUS and his people, all of them different but all having the same thing in common. Before they were horrible men filled with rage, hatred, bigotry, lust and all kinds of uncleanliness. But in Jesus they are rescued from those sins. They have returned to the garden, to the way things were meant to be.
To the Christian Social Justice Warrior: You must come to grips with the fact that it is impossible to change fallen nature through Social Justice efforts. In fact, in light of the true state of the world, it is an unworthy cause. Imagine your drive way is paved with glass, nails & thorns. Everyday you have issues with flat tires. You don't focus on the injustice done to the tires, but the problem that your driveway is filled with sharp objects. In the same way, we can never in our own efforts change the hearts of men. BUT we can introduce them to the one who changes mens hearts and motivations. We can give them a new path not paved with nails. So, if you truly want to have an effect on the Social injustices you see in the world. Try these things, first:
1. Live your live 100% sold out to Jesus. Obeying his commands and surrendering your prejudices and hatred to him.
2. Love your neighbor. this comes as a natural overflow of living for Jesus.
3. Love your enemies, Pray for those who persecute you. This is a command from Jesus himself. This is how he commanded his people deal with their oppressors. Think on that.
4. Share Jesus with someone today. He is the only one who can truly change peoples hearts. As more and more people come into the kingdom of light, the darkness that surrounds us will dissipate. not because of our efforts but because of His goodness.
If after doing this you STILL want to get out there and change the world. Consider this. The whole world is sold into slavery. They are abused and mistreated. Held captive and lied to. They are hated and despised by all those around them and they even hate themselves. But there is a small group of people who have been set free. They have been released from their slavery and tasked with releasing the rest of the captives. Leading them into freedom. This is the true state of the world today. The other issues are temporal, they will all pass away. But this reality is eternal. The world is enslaved to sin. Jesus set you free! Then he commanded you to tell them that can also be free in Jesus. This is our worthy cause. a worthwhile endeavor. Our Holy calling. Go to the nations, make Disciples of all peoples. May HIS Kingdom Come on earth as it is in Heaven.
UPDATE: There has been a lot of response to this post. However, I think maybe I have not been 100% clear on a couple of things. A friend asked a very good questions I wanted to share her question and my response in order to clarify my position a bit.
Shelley: Are you saying that we as believers shouldn’t do what we can to advocate and stand up for our brothers and sisters when they are treated with contempt?
me: No, I am saying that the reason people oppress, the reason people hate is because they are still enslaved by their flesh and sin. Even if we change their outward behavior for a time, if their hearts are not changed they will just find another way to hate and divide. But if we seek Jesus-centered solutions the change we seek is now possible and permanent. Something seems wrong to me when Gods people follow the worlds example of how to fight injustice, we have lost our way. We should always seek a deeper transformation (in our own lives first) that can only be found when people are transformed by the Gospel. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.
and one more:
me: Let me clarify a bit if I may, I am not advocating a do nothing attitude or stance. Nor am I saying that we should put our heads in the sand. I am just advocating a Christ-Centric response, rather than responding in the same way the world responds to oppression. MLK was successful for this very reason, he had a Christ-centric philosophy and strategy. The Roman Empire was VERY oppressive in Jesus time, yet his answer didn't make much sense to the disciples who thought he should run the Romans out and establish his kingdom. He did not. He taught them to love, and preach the Gospel that Jesus sets us free. And eventually the Roman Empire was overcome with these crazy Christians who were willing to give their lives for what they believed in. So, we are incapable of attaining Social Justice without Spiritual Transformation.