JUNE 9, 2020
SOURCE: 1452



“Christianity in the Western world lives and moves within a diseased social imagination.” - Willie Jennings

What's happening within the church right now feels like a mask off moment. As our nation's systemic issues are being brought to the forefront and many are wrestling with our history of enslaving and abusing people of another race, Christians must choose one of two options: engage with these issues head-on (finally!) or, sadly, continue doubling-down on problematic theology in order to explain it all away.
It should surprise no one that many are choosing the latter option. After all, when you've lived a privileged life but been taught that it isn't privilege but in fact 'divine providence', you have to do a whole lot of rationalizing to explain why God has allowed others to be worse off than yourself — and it's at this point that people's faith often forms a weird outer shell of nationalism. That nationalism is the root of the church's problem. We have removed God from his all-encompassing role of ‘creator of the universe’ and squeezed him into the depressing role of ‘protector of the privileged’.

That is not his role and it never has been. Jesus came to turn the very concept of empire on its head, caring for the least of these regardless of background instead of exclusively revealing himself to a chosen people. So how is it that so many Christians seem to believe that they are 'chosen' and others are not? This is a belief deeply embedded in our theology. Look at the words we use in our sermons and our worship songs. It’s not hard to see.

Walter Brueggemann said that “the task of the prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us.” There are prophetic voices parroting the people in power to maintain the status quo, and it is wrong. A true prophetic voice should be crying out for the church to acknowledge our nation's history of injustice and finally become fully conscious of its wrongs. It’s time to bring Christianity out of its diseased form of thinking and allow it to become the much-needed prophetic voice for our times.