While the Trump administration was battling Bob Woodward's new book and the anonymous op-ed piece in the New York Times, there was another newsworthy event that took place this week. A number of fundamentalist and evangelical leaders released "The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel." To date the statement has had almost 5,000 signers. Initially signed by 13 men, most of whom are white males, the statement reads like a tempest in a teapot, except that thousands of people are listening to these dangerous men.
We never cease to be amazed at the audacity of white fundamentalist Christians to take every attempt at justice, whether it be racial, LGBTQ, or socio-economic, and turn it into an attack against those who hold to the "faith once for all handed down to the saints." Of course, a suspiciously large number of those saints appear to be white males who have become rather comfortable with their power.
The document itself is laughably self-referential and alarmingly condescending and ill-informed. But again, uninformed people will take the word of these men as the gospel. The signers are counting on it.
We would love to just ignore the statement, and allow their own bigoted confidence to destroy itself from within. But as we have learned time and again, you can never be silent in the face of evil. It has the ongoing capacity to sink its tentacles into the thoughts and intuitions of the vulnerable, those who do not have the ability or the inclination to challenge the thought leaders they follow.
The co-pastors at Left Hand Church believe the "Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel" is a dangerous document, completely and utterly incompatible with the teaching of Jesus. Its racism is blatant, unbiblical, and appalling.
We all carry our implicit prejudices, and need help unearthing the negative ways in which they affect our lives and the lives of those with whom we interact. At Left Hand Church, we want to be made aware of our prejudices, not flaunt them. And at the very least, we want to learn how to be an anti-racist church.
If you have any questions about the statement, please don't hesitate to contact Jen or Paula (Aaron is on vacation for the next week.)
Your Left Hand Pastors