Let Justice Roll On…

Over the past week or so a controversy has flared up in the US over how identity politics should be interacted with within the Church and how it relates to the Gospel. After reading the prominent statements from both sides my fear is that this controversy has more heat to it than actual fire, and less willingness from people on both sides to interact with the other side and actually make progress on this issue.

With Mosaic Baptist church being a broad church in politics and theology this controversy has the possibility of doing damage to this community. In engaging with a controversy like this (though I am aware that my own responses of late have not been like this) my concern would be for the Christian virtues of charity, compassion and love to rule our discourse. Each of us is, as the Apostle Paul calls us to, trying to work out our faith in fear and trembling (Phil 2:12) and this issue can be a sore point.

It is important to draw attention to the truth of the image of God that though marred in the fall, has been redeemed in Christ and so if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. (2 Cor 5:17) it is on the basis of this new creation that we then have the communion of the church no longer should there be the strife that comes from the fall, but the harmony that comes from being in Christ. In acknowledging that there have been horrendous things done in the past through the Church we neither nullify the possibility for this harmony to reign, nor should we seek to sow disharmony on the basis of those things. Christ through his call of the way of the Cross demands more from us, both from those that suffer and those that abound. To those that suffer we join him in his suffering that we too might attain the righteousness of Christ (Phil 3:8-9) to those that abound that we might offer the mercy of Christ, so that in turn when we might suffer receive relief from those that abound.

Anyone acquainted with my thoughts and writing on the matter of identity politics within Christianity would know that for me these discussions largely place one’s racial, ethnic, cultural, sexual identity above their identity in Christ, and that I believe that there is no room for this, whether you are in the perceived privileged majority, or within an oppressed minority, (what do I know though, I am a white “privileged” male🙃) we are all saved by those same wounds in hands and feet, our sins were all nailed to that tree, there is no racial, ethnic, cultural, or sexual differentiation in sin. And therefore there is no racial, ethnic, cultural, or sexual differentiation in salvation.

I firmly believe that the identitarian jostling that our culture is currently going through is inherently toxic and will sap the life out of those that participate in it, as an antidote to that I want to bring to mind what Paul said at the end of his letter to the Philippians. “Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil 4:8-9)