Good day all,
I’ve thought long and hard about how to discuss this topic, and how to address an excellent blog post that I ran into a few weeks ago, and the best solution that I can come up with is simply to add my support to what Dr. Coyle has written by reposting it:
I hope you’ll take a moment to look through it.
I’d happily just repost the full text here, with appropriate attribution, and leave it at that, but I suspect there is some sort of blog ethic against that.
The author makes many valuable points. And she indicates a path out of fear about the current state of our world, out of striving anxiously about our rights. A path that is correct, that is based in eternal promises.
The most significant point, to me, is that other people having civil rights and liberties is not the same as mine being threatened or taken away.
I feel sometimes that we are so very far from understanding what it means to be oppressed that we’ve come to view any risk of discomfort as an assault.
It’s no longer enough that I have the right to believe as I believe and practice my beliefs so long as they don’t harm you. Now just knowing that you have the same rights I have, though you don’t believe the way I do, is an assault on my civil liberty.
That is a dangerous place to get to.
The concept that church and state should be separate except when it’s MY church, is all fine and good when MY group happens to be the majority. But I can’t be sure that will always be the case.
At the risk of being melodramatic, it’s a bit like the Niemoller statement –
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
I don’t want to get to that place.
But even if that were not risk, I agree with Dr. Coyle that I have a responsibility as a Christian to not put others in that place either.
And for more than one reason.
I AM obligated as a Christian to treat others as I’d want to be treated, yes.
I’m also obligated to display the image of Christ.
But perhaps the most important reason comes in Dr. Coyle’s note:
I must say to my fellow Christians that lots of people are tired of hearing us whine and blame and squabble and demand our own way. People will be much more inclined to listen to us when they can actually see us:
partnering across divides to feed the hungry;
advocating for a hopeful future for all children;
demanding justice for the oppressed;
challenging the abuse of our planet;
working to include the marginalized;
and maybe even baking cakes for our neighbors’ weddings.
Maybe even “bake for them two.”
Call me crazy, but I just can’t shake the suspicion that living as Christ commands us to is meant to be the key to our success as his image bearers.