Category Archives: Justice

Tuesday/Newsday: MLK50

MLK50 is over and not without its controversy.  Many well-known pastors, theologians, and Christian leaders spoke at the conference, while many other well-known pastors, theologians, and Christian leaders spoke disparagingly against it, if not condemned it.  Some from each side, I believe, will be at the T4G conference.

I have to be honest; I’m not sure what all the hype is about, and perhaps I shouldn’t be writing this article.  I did not attend the conference and  I only saw one short excerpt of Russel Moore’s sermon.  But I did see things exploding on Twitter from every side.  I must say, I was a bit confused at first what was being tweeted, retweeted, quote-tweeted, etc., trying to figure out why everyone was up in Twitter-arms.

All I can say is that I have a lot of respect for many of those at the MLK50 conference, and I have a lot of respect for those that didn’t go or speak.  But those who took to Twitter to bash the other side did a great disservice to the Kingdom.  I can understand those who were simply informing about their concerns and why they did not and even could not attend, and vice versa.  However, those who went on personal attacks did not act in brotherly love.

I do not believe (though I could be wrong), that any of the speakers that I’m familiar with would argue that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s theology was conservative or orthodox.  He was a liberal Baptist preacher, but just because he was liberal does not mean that everything that he said or believed was wrong.  Where there is agreement, let us admit it.  I fear that our society’s thin-skin and black-and-white divisiveness has worn off on the American church.  It seems that believers are simply itching for a fight, walking around with a chip on our shoulders.  Whatever happened to Meldenius’ “In essentials: unity, in non-essentials: liberty, in all things: charity?”  As far as I know, no one espoused false doctrine at this conference.  I would have thought that would have been all over my feed.  It was simply the occasion and the topic that seemed to be at issue.  No liberty and no charity were paid by many on both sides.  Some were both gracious and understanding (I don’t want to lump everyone into one category).

For those who weren’t though, so often verses that tell us that we are the light of the world get ignored.  Verses that ask who we are to stand in judgment of our brother and despise our brother are blindly passed over.  Verses that tell us that our love should bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things are simply forgotten.  The very thought that the world will know that we are Jesus’ disciples if we love one another is all but gone.

I know, I know.  It’s about the gospel.  Exactly!  It is about the gospel.  As far as I can tell the speakers at the conference are not saying otherwise.  No one has called for a “social gospel.”  They affirmed the true gospel.  They are simply calling for gospel application within society.  If the gospel has change our inner-lives, it must and it will change our outer-lives.  From my understanding, and I could be wrong, the conference was meant to be a wake-up call upon the church to move out of applying the gospel to certain pet projects, and move into a roll to help those who suffer from injustice.

Please enlighten me on where I am wrong.  I am sure I have something confused that needs to be understood more.  I invite you to comment, but please do so without the vitriol that I have seen so often in Twitdebates.

They Just Don’t Hold Water

I have heard many arguments on why AR-15s or the like should not be banned, but I am not convinced that these arguments hold water.  I am willing to be convinced that they do, but for now I’m not seeing it.

  1. Only the law-abiding citizens will obey the law.  The criminals will not.  That’s true.  That’s what makes them criminals.  They commit crimes.  They break laws.  We could say that about any law.  We ought not outlaw theft because only the law-abiding citizens would not steal.  We ought not outlaw murder because only the law-abiding citizens would obey.  We shouldn’t have speed limits because only law-abiding citizens would go the 55 mph required.  I’m not sure if law-making should be based on who will and who will not obey the law.
  2. We have the right to defend ourselves.  Yes.  You and I absolutely have that right.  Again, I normally have a 9mm that I legally conceal carry on me.  I do not go around with an AR-15 however. I’ve never met anyone who does.  They are a bit difficult to conceal.  However, people may have them in their homes.  Again, it is their right.  However (and this may just be me), if someone breaks into my home, I would not be reaching for my AR-15, as it is not the easiest to grab, aim, and shoot.  There are too many of my family members around.  I would go for my 9mm.  I’m not sure how many times I would need an AR-15 for self-defense.  I know. I know.  But that one time I do need it, I will wish I had it.
  3. We are allowed to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government.  I admit, that was the original intent when the amendment was written.  That was written, however, before the tank, submarine, aerial warfare, drones, ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons, and such weapons as these, which none of us can own (except non-lethal drones), and which none of us would really be able to defend against in the first place.
  4. People who want to kill will find a way to do it.  I’ve seen these memes out there with a lighter saying, “Ban semi-automatic matches.”  Or there’s the argument that we would need to ban trucks since they are used to run into crowds.  Like the first argument, we cannot make laws based on people’s abilities to skirt around those laws.  Otherwise, we will have no laws.  To make light of the predicament that we are in, doesn’t help matters; it only muddies the water.  We cannot stop all crimes (or all murders) from happening; that is true.  We can however seek to curb the number of these in logical ways.
  5. This isn’t a gun matter; it’s a heart matter.  That is true, but that’s true about everything.  It isn’t a prostitution matter; it’s a heart matter. It isn’t a heroine matter; it’s a heart matter.  It isn’t a stealing matter; it’s a heart matter.  Those are all true to a degree.  However, most people are not against the laws against any of those issues.  The Ten Commandments were based on curbing the heart-issues becoming hand-issues.  They were made to keep what was in the heart away from being acted upon.  That’s how all laws work.  Just because it is a heart matter does not mean that it is not a gun matter.  It’s both.  We cannot cure the heart (only Jesus Christ can do that), but we can curb the act.