“People of Grace”
Maryan and I left LA right after the service on June 26th for our trip to Midwest, and we will return to LA late Monday night. On Friday morning, July 15th, we will be heading westward to visit colleges in Washington, Oregon, and northern California. We will be driving for more than 3500 miles visiting 20 colleges in just four long days.
Since the murder of George Floyd, I have been serving on the Anti-Racism Task Force of the Presbytery of the Pacific as a part of the Church’s response to becoming an anti-racist religious institution. The Church has been guilty of horrendous atrocities, including creating boarding schools that denied the native children family, social connections, and cultural appreciation, all in the name of “Christianizing the pagans.” The focus of these schools was “cleansing” children of their native clothing, language, and cultural traditions. The early mission efforts were based on the idea that “Christian culture” was what made someone Christian, not their faith.
The conservative NOT-christians (uncapitalized intentionally) are making the same mistakes again. They have argued that abortion is a moral issue, but there lies the problem. If it is a moral issue and the Church is responsible for teaching God’s ways – morality – then is it not the fault of the Church for people seeking an abortion? Is it not that they have failed to proclaim the Good News of Jesus so people will want to follow their ways? People seeking a different moral path than the conservative NOT-christian Church means that people have rejected the conservatives’ moral claim over the society. So why blame the victim?
Merely forcing people to live according to their sensibilities is an abomination to God, and it is not a good missionary principle. The conservative NOT-christians are once again creating an oppressive, judgmental, and non-Christian environment in the name of promoting Jesus. Their farcical charade will be exposed, and in due time the laws will be put in place to protect people from them.
As Christians, we need to focus on building relationships with people and earning their trust so we may share our experiences of grace with them. However, the conservative NOT-christians have no Jesus, so they do not know grace. That means our Christian lives must be so full of grace, mercy, and love that the people will notice Jesus in us. Let us be changed people living out Jesus in us.
Let us be the people of grace and not a façade.