I was on vacation in the north woods last week, disconnected from the world at large and from the urgency of current events for the most part. Bits and pieces of the tragic violence that occurred in Charlottesville filtered through, and I came back to be confronted with the full on force of those events this week.
I still don’t know all the details, but I know that what happened is a product of racism at its worst. It is nothing short of domestic terrorism. I am left with a dull ache, a heavy sadness and a lot of pessimism about our future as a country.
These events aren’t as raw for me as they likely are for others. I was away when the full brunt of the violence took place. I am also a white man.
But, I am human. All people are brothers and sisters. I believe we were all made, male and female, Jew and Gentile, black and white, in God’s image. Therefore, we are one. I believe every individual, therefore, of every tribe, nation and tongue has intrinsic value. Racism is not only senseless; it flies defiantly in the face of our Creator.
That white supremacists claim the name of God for their cause is anathema to me!
Nothing could be more ungodly than to deny the oneness of humanity that God created in His image to have fellowship with Him and with each other.
If anyone believes in the Bible as Holy Scripture, they must accept the statement that God “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth…” If we all derive from one, and all were made in God’s image, there is no distinction to be drawn on the basis of race (or ethnicity, or nationality, or gender….).
The Gospel story is that God became man to redeem us from our erring ways – our violent, hostile, selfish, racist ways. He came with the prayer that we would be one. He came to tear down the “dividing wall of hostility”.
God’s end game is illustrated in Revelations with the picture of “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” worshiping God together in all of their diversity.
That people who call themselves by God’s name continue to maintain those walls of hostility, and refuse to be one with their fellow human beings means simply that they are not followers of Christ. They are bold, blasphemous impostors.
Just as we should not confuse radical Islamists with peace-loving Muslims, we should not confuse white supremacists with followers of Christ. They are not followers of Jesus, and they condemn themselves by their vile hatred of God’s image bearers.
That anyone should question whether black lives matter is a sad testament that we still live in broken world. I pray that the real followers of Christ, not the impostors, stand up and speak out. I pray for the peace and oneness for which Jesus prayed.
 “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
 Acts 17:26
 “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21)
 Ephesians 2:14
 Revelations 7:9-10