Our journey together ended with a question: What is the connection between the small acts of neighborly love that most Christians don’t think twice about in our everyday lives—stopping by the road to help a stranded traveler, stocking the local food pantry, helping an elderly neighbor take out her trash—and the larger, necessary acts of love that look like public policy?
The conspiracy theory maintains the fear that fuels white supremacy. It grants power to those who have craved it all their lives. It maintains power for those who had always had it. It protects money. It creates divisions. It discourages investigation. It denies that all people were created in the Image of God. It gives people permission to believe in ungodly means to a possible God-endorsed end. Even though Jesus himself reminded his followers that demonic forces do not promote God’s goodness.
Wickedness is white supremacy. Wickedness is supporting systems that discard women deemed “unworthy” by the rest of the world. I told her that my speck of dirt on a mustard seed of spirituality either had to believe we had a different higher power, or that hers was one I would never want to worship.
Calls to use sensible public health measures to stop the spread of COVID are not persecution, they are simply measures to protect our society and those around us. If we cast any infringement on our religious life as persecution, we do a disservice to the Gospel, and to those around us.
Fully understanding how American democracy went all the way to the brink in 2020 will take years of study, and we must embark upon it in a spirit of honesty and courage. But in the days between the election and inauguration, scripture is inspiring me to look forward.
How Christianity went from a faith based on sacrificial giving to an institutional blessing of taking will certainly be a challenge for historians untangle. If there were ever a faith with the heft, logic, and compassion to oppose imperialism, colonialism, slavery, and exploitation of every kind, you’d think it would be Christianity.
How often does revival have to walk out of church in order to survive? How many awakened souls will have to leave the institution before the pain of staying the same is perceived as greater than the pain of change? Is there some way to expedite the process?
So today, let us celebrate. And tomorrow, let us organize. We are still in a battle for the soul of our nation, and for the soul of our faith. This election is not the finish line. It is the starting line. We now get to create the next chapter of American history together.