White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church?

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.
Szdfan
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White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church?

Postby Szdfan » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:26 pm

One of the things that has bothered me is seeing individual with "ethnic Mennonite" last names overtly espouse on social media white supremacist viewpoints. The poison and cancer of racism is not just outside the Christian Church, it's also inside the church as well. What do we do with fellow Christians who are white supremacists or at least agree with them?

Russell Moore in the Washington Post:

Jesus spoke gently with those on the outside of the people of God, even those deep in sin, but of those who claimed the name of God, he was sharp and direct. Jesus called the religious leaders “hypocrites,” “blind guides” and “whitewashed tombs … full of the bones of the dead.” That’s far from the kind, subdued way by which he spoke to the woman at the well, or the tax collectors and prostitutes. Likewise, we see perhaps the most angry picture of Jesus in his earthly ministry at the Temple when he took up a whip of cords and drove the sellers out of the holy place.


In some way, those who clamored for space in the temple courts were blocking the way of those God had welcomed into his house of prayer. Jesus reclaimed the space for the God who desires all tongues and tribes and nations to worship him through Jesus Christ.


This is important for us right now because many of those advocating for white supremacy claim to do so in the name of Jesus Christ. Some of them speak of “Christendom” — by which they mean white European cultural domination — and not of Christianity. But many others are members of churches bearing the name of Jesus Christ. Nothing could be further from the gospel.


“Blood and soil” ethnic nationalism is not just a deviant social movement. It is the same old idolatry of the flesh, the human being seeking to deify his own flesh and blood as God. The Scripture defines this attempt at human self-exaltation with a number: 666. White supremacy does not merely attack our society (though it does) and the ideals of our nation (though it does); white supremacy attacks the image of Jesus Christ himself. White supremacy exalts the creature over the Creator, and the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against it.

This sort of ethnic nationalism and racial superiority ought to matter to every Christian, regardless of national, ethnic or racial background. After all, we are not our own but are part of a church — a church made up of all nations, all ethnicities, united not by blood and soil but by the shed blood and broken body of Jesus Christ.

The church should call white supremacy what it is: terrorism, but more than terrorism. White supremacy is Satanism. Even worse, white supremacy is a devil-worship that often pretends that it is speaking for God.
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Robert
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Re: White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church?

Postby Robert » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:34 pm

Szdfan wrote:One of the things that has bothered me is seeing individual with "ethnic Mennonite" last names overtly espouse on social media white supremacist viewpoints.


Got any examples? I have seen none of this.
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Szdfan
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Re: White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church?

Postby Szdfan » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:39 pm

Robert wrote:
Szdfan wrote:One of the things that has bothered me is seeing individual with "ethnic Mennonite" last names overtly espouse on social media white supremacist viewpoints.


Got any examples? I have seen none of this.

I have, but I don't feel comfortable posting somebody else's FB comments here. I'm not friends with this person, but we have a mutual friend.
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RZehr
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Re: White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church?

Postby RZehr » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:34 pm

Szdfan wrote:One of the things that has bothered me is seeing individual with "ethnic Mennonite" last names overtly espouse on social media white supremacist viewpoints. The poison and cancer of racism is not just outside the Christian Church, it's also inside the church as well.


I don't really care as much about their last name, as much as I do about what they profess to believe; who (or what church or church group) they are claiming to be affiliated with. I don't feel as bothered by someone agreeing Nazi viewpoints with a Yoder or Schrock name, as long as the rest of their life matches that viewpoint.
I do feel bothered a lot if it was someone that belongs to a church that I respect, even thought their last name might be Castro, or Hernandez.



Szdfan wrote:What do we do with fellow Christians who are white supremacists or at least agree with them?


The same as we do with fellow Christians* who are gay or at least agree with them.

Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
Matthew 12:46-50


*professing Christians. Bunny trail potential.
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mike
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Re: White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church?

Postby mike » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:49 pm

I feel similarly to what RZehr said. As far as Charlottesville, I have a hard time thinking of anybody who was carrying an instrument of violence as being my brother in Christ.

If I actually had a friend who called himself a Christian and who identified with white supremacy, I would have a hard time stomaching such views. If I have a Christian friend on social media who posts excessively on politics from a viewpoint that is antithetical to following Jesus, I typically unfollow them or in extreme cases unfriend them.

Discussing things like the Charlottesville situation from a Christian perspective is like, as a friend of mine wrote today, trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.
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mike
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Re: White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church?

Postby mike » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:53 pm

In terms of the OP I am angered but not surprised at white supremacy. I am not motivated to jump on the hate white supremacists bandwagon either, because I think there is evil and hatred on that platform also. Groups that promote other races or that claim to be anti-racist protesters have also been prone to violence. I think the church of Jesus should stay out of the whole mess, and proclaim and model the good news of the kingdom of God.
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Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily. -Heb. 13:3

Bootstrap
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Re: White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church?

Postby Bootstrap » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:01 pm

I like what Mike and RZehr wrote, but I disagree with this one thing:

mike wrote:Discussing things like the Charlottesville situation from a Christian perspective is like, as a friend of mine wrote today, trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.


If we claim to be the people who understand what is clean, we should be able to clearly say that a turd is not. I don't see why that should be so difficult. And when we see the KKK and neo-Nazis, it really is a little strange to act like everyone involved is the same as the KKK and neo-Nazis.

mike wrote:I am not motivated to jump on the hate white supremacists bandwagon either, because I think there is evil and hatred on that platform also. Groups that promote other races or that claim to be anti-racist protesters have also been prone to violence.


Hatred is always the wrong response for Christians. But you talk as though the only choices are to be a white supremacist or to hate white supremacists - or never mention Charlottesville at all. Obviously, there are a lot more choices.

We do need to speak out against all violence, period. But that doesn't mean we can't speak out against any violence at all.
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Szdfan
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Re: White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church?

Postby Szdfan » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:02 pm

RZehr wrote:I don't really care as much about their last name, as much as I do about what they profess to believe; who (or what church or church group) they are claiming to be affiliated with. I don't feel as bothered by someone agreeing Nazi viewpoints with a Yoder or Schrock name, as long as the rest of their life matches that viewpoint.
I do feel bothered a lot if it was someone that belongs to a church that I respect, even thought their last name might be Castro, or Hernandez.

I don't really care either, other than the fact that it brought it home to me about WS's nearness to me.
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mike
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Re: White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church?

Postby mike » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:27 pm

Bootstrap wrote:I like what Mike and RZehr wrote, but I disagree with this one thing:

mike wrote:Discussing things like the Charlottesville situation from a Christian perspective is like, as a friend of mine wrote today, trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.


If we claim to be the people who understand what is clean, we should be able to clearly say that a turd is not. I don't see why that should be so difficult. And when we see the KKK and neo-Nazis, it really is a little strange to act like everyone involved is the same as the KKK and neo-Nazis.

mike wrote:I am not motivated to jump on the hate white supremacists bandwagon either, because I think there is evil and hatred on that platform also. Groups that promote other races or that claim to be anti-racist protesters have also been prone to violence.


Hatred is always the wrong response for Christians. But you talk as though the only choices are to be a white supremacist or to hate white supremacists - or never mention Charlottesville at all. Obviously, there are a lot more choices.

We do need to speak out against all violence, period. But that doesn't mean we can't speak out against any violence at all.


I know that white supremacists embrace an evil ideology, and we know that they had violent and some even murderous intent at Charlottesville. I have heard that the protesters were the groups Antifa and Black Lives Matter. If I look for photos of all these groups online, it is easy to think of them as being in the same category.

Antifa

Black Lives Matter

White Supremacists

Image

Image

If you see the current mission of the church as calling out the evil of white supremacy, do you also see it as calling out the evil of the violence committed by all sorts of other groups, such as BLM and Antifa?
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Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily. -Heb. 13:3

Bootstrap
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Re: White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church?

Postby Bootstrap » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:48 pm

mike wrote:I know that white supremacists embrace an evil ideology, and we know that they had violent and some even murderous intent at Charlottesville.


That's a good start.

mike wrote:I have heard that the protesters were the groups Antifa and Black Lives Matter. If I look for photos of all these groups online, it is easy to think of them as being in the same category.


Peaceful protesters were certainly not equivalent to any of those who committed violence on either side.

Let me be clear: it is wrong to club people or throw bottles. Trump was correct in saying that there were people on both sides who used clubs and threw bottles. There were some people from Antifa and Black Lives Matter among the protesters, but I really don't get the impression that most of the protesters came from these groups. From the accounts I have seen, the vast majority of protesters were peaceful.

And in Charlottesville, I don't think the violence that Antifa and Black Lives Matter committed was at the same level as the white supremacists. Only one side brought in armed militias in uniform. Only one side killed one person and injured 19. And one side organized this in the first place, with fairly open appeals to bring weapons and inspire terror. So let's not shrug off any of the violence, but let's not play the false equivalence game either. Armed militias roaming the street and someone who killed a woman and injured 19 are a much more serious level of violence. The rule of law is important. We need to be safe. All forms of violence need to be controlled. Some are more serious than others.

More importantly, let's not disrespect the majority of protesters, who were peaceful, because a few were not.
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