Our challenge is not to redirect the president’s use of emergency powers to something we would prefer he address. It is to contest the use of such powers given the threat to they pose to liberty.
To give attention to society’s most vulnerable requires us to become humble and shed power. For many Christians, this is too great a cost. And so, it is far easier to say this “earthly” kingdom is about structures, utility, and economy and God’s Kingdom (up there far away in heaven) is about love, kindness, and grace. Such dualism tempts Christians to ignore the challenging but required work of Jesus.
Do we truly arrive at our best verdicts when we permit the crowdsourcing of moral judgment based on limited information, sound bites, press conferences and anonymous allegations to prevail over civil discourse and informed deliberation?
The disruption and loss which generate fear can be necessary and even life-giving. Dealing with change and loss is a constant part of human experience. It’s never easy, but being overcome by fear, or simply resisting and complaining take a tremendous amount of energy which we could put into more creative pursuits.
In a just world, individuals and groups with a higher level of power and influence would be held to higher standards. In fact, it’s often just the opposite.
The year was 1864. The very fabric of the nation and the churches in America had been torn asunder by the Civil War. American Baptists were so passionate about the social justice issues that prompted the conflict, that representatives of the American Baptist Home Mission Society met with President Abraham Lincoln to share their loyalty to the North’s position.
What makes us so strong? The strength to press through suffering is in the spiritual DNA of the black church. It was stamped into the conscious of a people who refused to be silenced.
The fragment of the Berlin Wall that was torn down in 1989 is a reminder that building bridges of understanding is always better than building walls of separation and division. I think about the Berlin Wall as I watch our nation wrapped up over the question about a wall at the border that divides the United States and Mexico.
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