Yesterday I watched a video covering the Alt- right/ White supremacist march in Charlottesville this past weekend. The reporter and film crew were imbedded with the Alt- right marchers from Friday morning until Sunday evening. As the timeline of events unfolded I witnessed an escalation of hate, human pride, and evil right before my eyes.
I also saw fear. The Alt-right lives in fear of losing their civilization. This country “that they built,” or that “their forefathers built,” is being taken away from them by the immigrants, Muslims, Jews, Blacks. Although this group was trying to project strength, they truly were projecting great fear. Fear of losing their identity. Of losing what they believe makes them important.
I saw this same fear from those who protested the white supremacist too. There seems to be a fear on the other side that if things continue in this country as they have been, they too will lose their identity, or “their country” if you will.
There is no room in Christianity or in Christ’s church for any other supremacy than Christ’s supremacy. White supremacy is from the pit of Hell. It is a lie from Satan. White Supremacy is idolatry. It is placing the creation above the Creator (Romans 1).
As Christians we belong to the greatest multi-ethnic organization ever created: the church. Christ died for ALL. Christ loves everyone. God so loved the world that he gave his son. The Kingdom of God is not America, or western civilization, or any man made society.
We must call sin sin. We should be angry at the ideologies of the Alt-right. They are ungodly. They demean the image of Christ. They are opposed to his kingdom agenda. We must also strive for peace and grace. What I saw in Charlottesville was hate and anger growing into physical violence and even murder. What I saw was not what our Savior commands of us: to love our enemies.
We have mastered loving those who love us back. We have mastered loving those we agree with. We have mastered loving those who treat us well. We have failed at loving our enemies. And this is the greatest of love. Charlottesville showed us people standing up for the oppressed. It showed us people fighting against injustice. It showed us people hating evil. All good things.
But it did not show us people loving their enemies.
And that is what will be required if we will ever “move forward.”
As I watched that video yesterday, I literally cried. I shed tears as I saw that car ram into another car and into people. Souls. Image bearers. I was disgusted. I was angry. People cursing, punching, macing, screaming. I was sad.
But do I love them? Do I love the white supremacist? Do I love the terrorist? Do I love James Alex Fields?
But how? How can it even be possible?
I think first I have to look deep into my own heart and allow Christ’s love to root out my own supremacist thoughts. Not just “white supremacy” (although I’m sure they’re in there too), but any supremacy. Do I feel superior because I’m not a white supremacist? Do I feel superior because I’m more tolerant? Do I fear man? Do I fear the future? Do I fear the loss of my identity? Do I fear the loss of my civilization? My culture? My lifestyle? My personal kingdom that I’ve worked so hard to build for these 47 years?
God destroy this idolatry in our hearts.
I also need to embrace the same love that God has for all. I hate white supremacists because they hate people. Do you hear the irony in that statement? Does God love white supremacists? I believe that he does. He doesn’t love their idolatry. But he died for it. He doesn’t love their racism. But he died for it. He doesn’t love their hate. But he died for it.
Would I die for it? Would I give my life as a living sacrifice to love everyone, even those who hate? Would I try to understand them? Their fears? Their hopes (even the misplaced ones)? Would I pray for them?
All of this is only possible if we allow the love of God to overwhelm us. To root out our own fears and redirect our own hope. Perfect love casts out fear. God is that perfect love.
I don’t fear losing western white civilization because that is not my hope. It is not my home. It is no longer my heart or my identity. Christ and his kingdom are. I don’t fear the Jews taking over my society because a Jew has already taken over my life. I don’t fear the immigrants stealing my culture because Christ has called me to be missional in whatever culture I live.
I fear God. And God is love. God, teach us to love, even our enemies.