“Faith compels me…”

On a related note, one of the more disheartening responses to these race-related events has been that of self-purported Christians. Some have posted crap along the lines of “calm down” or “focus on the Gospel” (to which I suggest they read this). More people, however, have said nothing, choosing not to take sides. And by their silence, they have actually chosen to take a side. As a person of faith, it confounds me when Christians think Jesus would have stood on the sidelines. Throughout his entire life, he did anything but that. The guy was neither feckless nor neutral. He did not wait feebly, going to and from the temple, praying quietly for the world from the comfort of his home, until a spaceship took him back to heaven. It confounds me—confoundsme—what some Christians think this faith is all about.

My stance on the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner is not merely a result of working in journalism (oh, that “liberal media”), living in an urban area, and having loved ones of different races and backgrounds. Faith compels me in a way that not even my most progressive sensibilities can. But it is also that which reminds me to extend forgiveness to those who don’t get it. And sometimes I think that’s the hardest part for me.

Our friend Esther is her typical insightful self in this piece about Ferguson and Eric Garner. I’m especially glad for the way she identifies faith in Jesus as her rationale for pursuing justice, even as she wonders at how many Christians miss the connection.

Author: David Swanson

Pastor of New Community Covenant Church in Bronzeville. Collecting signs of life.

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