I watched the Vice documentary on Charlottesville yesterday (Warning: Disturbing content).
I wish I was more shocked.
I wish I was more saddened.
I wish I could say “I cannot understand how anyone could think that”.
I wish I could feel the emotions that People of Color experienced watching the same video.
But instead what I saw in the faces of the men marching with their torches, shouting their race-war chants, full of utter hatred was.... me.
I saw my reflection in their faces. A shimmer of the darkest parts of me for sure, but it was me. Your pastor, your friend, your brother.
To be clear right now, I believe racism in all its forms is wicked and evil, it is antithetical to who I am as a blood bought Christian who will spend eternity enjoying an unbroken relationship with a Jew, and celebrating Him with people from every tribe, nation, and skin color that has ever existed.
What I saw in the faces of the Alt-Right, Neo Nazi, KKK, White Supremacist’s was what I may have become, and what I may still become, but for the restraining grace of God.
I was disgusted by what I saw, but I suppose I should take it as an encouragement that my capability for sin can still sicken me.
I do not want this confession to be any form of false Pharisaical humility.
“I thank you Lord that I am not like other men” – Luke 18:11.
(But there may be some of that lurking in my heart.)
This is a lament.
After seeing that un-tethered I could very well be capable of living a White Supremacist ideology out, it is by God’s grace I cry out.
“God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”- Luke 18:13.
Mercy is what is needed.
Mercy for me, a man who knows that in my fallenness I want to believe I am better than other men because of my very skin, something I never chose, something I was born into.
Mercy for those who suffer the attacks and hatred of these men who are deeply twisted by their own sin, deceived by Satan, and so deluded by the rhetoric of their community.
Mercy for you, who as you read this I pray the Spirit might stir in you the humility to lament also, for your own capability to sin, and for sins effects upon fellow image bearers of God.
Mercy, to lessen the effect of sin on us all, and Grace to give us the power to speak truth in weakness.
In reliance upon the grace and mercy of our loving Father.