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Charlottesville, Neo-Nazis, and Violence

By now all of us have heard the tragic news of what took place over the weekend in Charlottesville. Unfortunately, this event will no doubt fuel racial hatred that will continue to spill over in the days and weeks to come. The fact that the president belatedly called out the neo-Nazis and white supremacists has sparked further anger and heated debate.

Let there be no mistake. Neo-Nazis are an evil fringe movement that extols the atrocities of Adolf Hitler; they would take delight if Jews were again sent to the gas chambers, and they see the white race as Hitler saw the Aryans of his day. The notion of “white supremacy” is not just contrary to American values, but more importantly, it is contrary to the explicit teaching of Scripture that all people are created in the image of God and are equally in need of redemption. Yes, this group is galvanized by self-righteousness and enflamed by hatred.

Sadly, violence seems to be increasing among various extremist groups. There are also other groups who foment violence, seek to target those whose views they dislike, and use racism as an excuse for their own form of supremacy. We’ve even seen anarchists calling for the assassination of police officers.

This is the time for the church to be the church. We seek racial unity, not supremacy; we seek love, and not hatred. We see others as we see ourselves, as sinners who defend the oppressed, and we seek to be the Good Samaritan who binds up the wounds of those who are bleeding along the road to their Jericho.

Only the gospel of redemption can do what rhetoric can’t: namely, to restore respect for all peoples. As a church we plead for mutual understanding and we demonstrate by our own actions that we represent a Savior who invites all without distinction to come to Him for forgiveness and acceptance.

God help us!

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