But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. Matthew 15:18
In the last few months, I have written articles that in an era of smoke and mirror politics, we need more substance. I have called for better communication from all our leaders, especially President Trump. I have written on why the truth always matters and asked all followers of Christ to pray for our leaders. As pundits and politicians play identity politics and political games, we are missing a larger point. Many are quick to argue left vs. right or conservative vs. liberal when we should be arguing right vs. wrong.
We as a society are living in darkness. White nationalist and its fascist slogans should be condemned—full stop. No, but on the other hand. We live in a nation that openly allows the killing of innocent children. As Russell Moore recently wrote, “I’m reminded that we have to say things to one another that human beings shouldn’t have to say. Mothers shouldn’t kill their children. Fathers shouldn’t abandon their babies. No human life is worthless, regardless of skin color, age, disability, economic status. The very fact that these things must be proclaimed is a reminder of the horrors of this present darkness. Human life bears inherent dignity because human life reflects the life of God himself.”
While the games play out, real problems are not being solved. We dumb down truthfulness, spin irreverent babble, and lack clarity. Tribalism and cult followings run amok. We have a decline in virtue and race and economic issues are rampant. We should demand more from our leaders. As our nation continues to reflect on the tragedy in Charlottesville, something has become clear.
Our morality issues in America are a reflection of something deeper – sin.
Over the last five days, it is evident that many are searching for a sense of belonging. Some have turned to politics, others to worst institutions. Those on the right and the left are both in this boat. People are turning away from communities when they should really be getting to know their neighbors. They are trying to fill a void with idols that will not satisfy. Many seek fulfillment and answers on social media but get neither. We all were created for a deeper purpose, just not a false one. During the Civil Rights era, it was not a politician, but a preacher from Atlanta that led a nation out of its ugliness. When Dr. King started, it was an American President that was slow to meet with him. Decades after his death, in 2011, America’s first African-American President Barack Obama opened the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at West Potomac Park in D.C. next to the National Mall.
Senator John McCain once said, “it’s always darkest just before it goes totally black.” Senator McCain may be right. Things may get worst. As Winston Churchill once said, “you can always count on Americans to do the right thing after they’ve tried everything else.” Progress may be slow, but as we wait, may those of us who have the brightest light shine in the darkness. We as Christ followers must with grace show the true path. We are after all the “salt of the earth” and “light of the world.”
As J.D. Greear said this week, “the church is not a group of public policy pundits. We are a kingdom of priests that is called to pray for our society. Our gospel identity defines us, unites us, and sends us out into God’s mission. The world may see symptoms of the problem, but it knows nothing of the cure.”