This disruption is rocking people’s faith. Many are leaving the church as the American Church is largely flailing and failing to step up to this moment — either by our silence, our complicity to white supremacy, our nationality posing as Christianity, or by our politics that seem to be the antithesis of Christ-likeness. I get it. This is madness!
But I urge you, don’t give up on Jesus. Because Jesus’ self-giving love is the antidote for the present-day ills in our society. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, even Gandhi practiced this powerful way of love, meeting injustice and violence with soul force. They believed that you cannot fight hate with hate — only with love. This ideology came from Jesus himself.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing right,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 5:3–10
This is why I implore you — don’t leave faith.
Because faith, hope, and love are what the world needs more of right now, not less!
And don’t give up on Jesus either.
Because Jesus has shown us the way, defeating the darkest evil with love, forgiveness, humility, and sacrifice.
And please don’t walk away from the church altogether.
There are many followers of Jesus on the ground, living the way of love and peace in very ordinary and yet extraordinary ways. We’re here. You just got to find us. Love cannot exist without community. And we’re going to need each other to work together to create a better world.
For this is not the first time the human race has faced challenges. And as followers of Jesus, we understand that a whole new world is being birthed. In spite of all the suffering and the tumult of these times, our triune God who has set the world in motion is at the center of the universe pulling everything and everyone into Love.
Love is the most powerful force in the cosmos.
This is why now, more than ever, we need to ground ourselves in the love of God. Love is everything.
If this crazy world and compromised church have got you spinning, choose Love.
Love is the lens through which all of the gospel is to be interpreted. Jesus said it himself in his greatest commandment to love God with all of your being and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37–40) All of the scripture can be summed up in this.
Love liberates the oppressed, heals the brokenhearted, bestows mercy to the undeserving, welcomes the outcast, embraces the untouchables, reverses power structures, and lifts up the poor. Love is why we signed up to follow Jesus in the first place. And Jesus’ revolutionary love is still as compelling as ever. So how are we to be faithful to love in such a time as this?
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” — Micah 6:8
As the deep roots of racism and white supremacy have been exposed in this hour, the church must not be silent. When our own president refuses, we must unequivocally condemn white supremacy. It is demonic. And as the church, we must repent from our complicity to whiteness, defined here as a “death-dealing, anti-life, anti-God system of dehumanization (Deuteronomy 12:3).” Donelle Wyche [Read Full Article: In Search of White Partners: What BIPOC Need]
“Christ calls us to repentance…for allowing whiteness to exist, to flourish, to victimize, to terrorize, and to oppress. We need to repent of the ways we have remained silent as whiteness has destroyed God’s creation, God’s image-bearers, and God’s vision for humanity.”
It is not enough to merely acknowledge this present evil. The way of love commands that we do justice and act justly.
When there is so much animosity and fear towards the “other” — resulting in hate crimes, children in cages, and horror and violence of all kinds, the Biblical call to love the stranger and the alien is paramount. In this era when so many deny climate change and actively ignore issues of environmental injustice, our faith requires us to care for the earth and advocate for God’s love toward all of creation. When the rich continue to get richer off the backs of the poor in the face of rising poverty, displacement, and unemployment, the upending-powerful love of Jesus calls us to create new communities and economies where all can flourish. Love does not consume; it creates. Love gives up power for the greater good.
Self-giving love conquers evil. Jesus showed us the way.
LOVE KINDNESS & WALK HUMBLY
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (I Corinthians 13:4–8).
As we find ourselves in the midst of the mania of a heated and polarized political election, love is essential. For it is important to stay faithful to love midst the rising tensions. Eugene Cho, who wrote Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian’s Guide To Engaging Politics encourages us.
“Stay engaged. Remain hopeful. Love anyway. Walk with integrity. Fight for the vulnerable, and bear witness to the love, mercy, and grace of Christ. For it’s not only WHAT we believe, but HOW we engage.”
The end never justifies the means, lest we become the very thing we hate. This is why Jesus called us to the radical act of enemy love. Love is supreme. For we do not put our hope in political parties or empires, but we put our hope in the loving and peaceable kin-dom of God. And we follow Christ’s example to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly.
It is time for followers of Jesus to reclaim this revolutionary way of Love, to reimagine a new kind of Christ-follower, and to come together to work toward a new world.
by Jessica Ketola