As a general rule, I try my best to not speak into political issues. The reason for this is that I recognize the moment that I do, I instantly bring division into a group of people. Nevertheless, I do think it is wise (and keeping with church history) to offer gentle critiques of government and governmental leaders. I want to emphasize the word “gentle” – this is not to win an argument or to prove a point but instead to help readers understand how to view social issues through the lens of Scripture.
The President recently made this tweet:
Even a few months ago, I would not have known why this sentiment is so troubling – that is the reason I want to share a different perspective. A few months ago, I reached out to a good friend of mine who is an African-American who lives in Minneapolis and asked him for book recommendations that I can read to better understand what African-Americans and other minorities have to deal with on a regular basis so that I have a fuller understanding of what is going on.
One of the books he recommend was The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. The book describes the historic injustices that have been committed against minority groups using the exact type of policy the President promises to uphold. I encourage you to purchase and read this book for a fuller understanding that I am not able to convey in a blog post.
Second, the other thing I want to encourage my readers to do is to reflect on James 2:1-7 and consider how the principles in this passage apply to fair housing – including low income housing in middle-class neighborhoods. Of course, the context of the passage in James has to do with a church setting but I believe the principles are universal for holding a Christian worldview. Here is that passage:
My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?
For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?
Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?
What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? I fully recognize I may be missing something so, if I am, please let me know by leaving a comment as I would love to hear from you!