There has been a lot of analysis… and a lot of “what did you expect”… and a lot of “how could this happen”… since January 6.
I will put 1/6 up there with 9/11 in my list of events embedded in my life. When 9/11 happened almost 20 years ago there was a shout in my spirit that the Body of Christ in America was being exposed and it was time to lean into spiritual formation and discipleship. Our national soul was exposed on 9/11 and found wanting. We were empty spiritually.
When 1/6 rolled around, it was painfully obvious. We were not just empty… we were stubborn, hard-hearted, and rebellious.
I do not despair. Jeremiah was there to prepare Israel because most would be wiped to the side, but Jeremiah was to focus on the remnant. There is always a remnant.
We must continue to move deeper into the rhythms of the Kingdom of God, finding those ancient paths that have sustained the Body of Christ for two millennia. We must also pay attention to those already around us who know what it is to walk in the shadows of humanity and society, but know the light of Christ. For this, we need to lean toward the historic black church and other believers of color. They know the way.
Some reading and listening:
My go to podcast came through again. The Holy Post Podcast had an in-depth discussion on 1/6 and Phil Vischer read from articles I may post here as well. GIVE A LISTEN. And take note of the title: Was the Capitol attack a CHRISTIAN insurrection?
Part of the major shifts since the lat 1980s, in my view, has been the shift in culture. We’ve feared it. Why? Because it isn’t WHITE any more. I am thankful the Lord has kept me aware of my own heart and challenged me. When I see the shifts, I am not fearful. I am hopeful.
But, when you’ve “had it your way” for a few hundred years, it’s hard to let go. This piece by Andre Henry gets to the core of what we fear as the white church:
White Christian theology is still an important pillar of support to white supremacy today. It can be seen in the Christian symbols in the crowd outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, even as it was a few weeks earlier when armed neo-fascists stole a Black Lives Matter banner from the grounds of a historic Black church and burned it in the streets. It can be seen in SBC seminary presidents who maintain that Christian orthodoxy includes denying the existence and effects of systemic racism.
David Brooks writes about the war within the American Church that will rage because of Christian nationalism. One particular Charismatic preacher apologized for getting his prophecy about a Trump victory wrong. He was eviscerated… by fellow Christians:
“Over the last 72 hours, I have received multiple death threats and thousands upon thousands of emails from Christians saying the nastiest and most vulgar things I have ever heard toward my family and ministry. I have been labeled a coward, sellout, a traitor to the Holy Spirit, and cussed out at least 500 times.”
What 1/6 exposed was the deep roots of racism and nationalism in law enforcement, the military, our institutions, and the church. Arrests have been made bringing in people in law enforcement and the military (or former military) who were there to storm the Capitol on 1/6. While I seriously doubt anything would be done to lawmakers, what is evident is they gave aid to this insurrection and may have gone as far as giving tours of the Capitol just before the insurrection.
While I can’t control any of that in the way of prosecution, what I need to point out is that the American church is still deeply complicit. THIS ARTICLE gives a layout of the Christian nationalism and symbolism seen on 1/6.
The longer story, of course, is the embedded Christian nationalism and white supremacy that has long existed in the American church, but that day exposes it even more.
Lindsay French, 40, an evangelical Christian from Texas, flew to Washington after she had received what she called a “burning bush” sign from God to participate following her pastor urging congregants to “stop the steal.”
“We are fighting good versus evil, dark versus light,” she said, declaring that she was rising up like Queen Esther, the biblical heroine who saved her people from death.
From 9/11 to 1/6… over the past 20 years… we have been systematically exposed in the American Church. (And this is just in the political arena. I’ve also made the case over time concerning other issues.)
And how have we responded?
The sorrow in my heart is this reality: we have NOT responded.
The American Church has doubled down on its hard-hearted attitudes time and time again. We had “moments” (like the murder of George Floyd) but we took a pill until that feeling went away, and got right back to our entrenched false beliefs.
We are not healed.