In the wake of the stupidity in Charlottesville VA, church leaders across the US have been falling over themselves to condemn the Nazis. And they seem to gloss over the fact that not everyone who attended the rally was a Nazi. But they didn’t condemn the Communists, who started the violence.
Here is the released statement from the Orthodox Church of America:
“The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America joins people of faith and good will across the United States, Canada and Mexico in unequivocally, unreservedly and unambiguously rejecting words and actions which perpetrate, support or encourage hatred, violence, racism, white supremacy, white nationalism or neo-Nazism.”
The following is an open letter to the Churches. Feel free to forward to yours.
I can say with all certainty that I also denounce White Supremacy and Neo-Nazism. However, I do not understand how we can reject words and actions which support and encourage hate, violence, racism, or nationalism, without also rejecting scripture.
Hate, like all emotion, is a gift from God, and has it’s time and place. We are even instructed to hate by the prophets and the apostles.
Psalms 97:10 To love the Lord is to Hate evil.
Proverbs 6:16-19 The Lord hates six things; in fact, seven are detestable to Him: arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers.
Romans 12:9 Love must be without hypocrisy. Hate evil; cling to what is good.
According to these scriptures, hate, rather than being the opposite of love, is instead a necessary part of love.
With hate follows violence. If hate, by definition, is intense hostility and aversion deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury, then violence is hate in action.
It is no secret that The Church has enemies. And our enemies wish us harm. Our Lord instructed his disciples to carry a sword when he sent them out because self defense is sometimes necessary. All Christians wish to live our lives unmolested and in peace. However the evil that rules this world is actively trying to destroy us. It is not content to let us live in peace. The Crusades are often criticized as violence by Christians, were in fact defensive in nature. By the time of the first crusade, Muslims had conquered and put to the sword 2/3 of the Christian world. Christian Violence was necessary, and it was driven by hate. Hate of what is evil.
Lastly, please help me solve the problem of condemning racism and nationalism, without condemning God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
It was God who cursed us to be separated by Nations at Babel. God is the father of Nationalism. And as with all things that the Father speaks into being, Nationalism is still woven into the fabric of reality. Men are still cursed to spend our days in labor. Women still suffer in child birth and follow after men. And the serpents of the earth still crawl in the dust.
Nationalism is simply a love for your own people. It does not necessitate hate or violence, just a preference. No one condemns Han Chinese Nationalism. And yet, when you condemn White Nationalism it becomes necessary to equally condemn Black Nationalism, Han Nationalism, or Latin Nationalism unless you wish to fall into the very racism that you are rejecting. And it seems counter intuitive to condemn Nationalism at all when we keep company with Greek and Russian Orthodox.
In Matthew 15:24 Jesus says “I was sent only to the lost Sheep of Israel”. This is a Nationalist statement. Jesus kept in his company two zealots. In today’s terms they would be called freedom fighters, or nationalists.
Then Jesus goes on to say in verse 26 “It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and give it to dogs”. This is a racial slur hurled at a minority.
There are other places where Jesus unambiguously differentiates between Gentiles and Jews. He is by all qualifications a racist. To help put this into perspective we need only make modern substitutions:
“I was sent only to White people. It isn’t right to give eternal life to the Chinks.”
Racist: a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
Given that Jesus never sinned, it follows that racism is not sin. Moreover Jesus would know that the Father cursed us into nations, a curse that will be until all things are made new. It needs to be said that after the woman showed faith, that Christ indeed blessed her and helped her child. So we can say that even when racism is present, love and grace are given to those who show good faith.
But if there is no good faith shown, what are we to do? If a group of people organize to oppress White Christians, call for the destruction of our people, culture, history, and Traditions, does the church really expect it’s people to do nothing? Does the church really condemn self defense?