Pastor’s Ponderings

God’s name is important. It has power. It has meaning. We must be careful when we use it. A couple weeks ago angry, armed people carrying many different flags, including Confederate flags and Jesus flags forcibly overpowered capital police forcing Congress members, aids and others working in the capital to flee for protection and their lives. Some of these people carrying flags, Bibles and crosses beat police officers and lives ended. They removed many items from the walls of our government building, broke glass, beat down doors and dishonored many of the sacred places and items that our capital building held in trust for we the people.

We all saw what happened. I do not need to retell the whole story. Except for this part: as I continue to look at the footage and read about what happened I see gallows, crosses erected, carrying of crosses and Christian flags, I see people caring Bibles and then the prayer that was offered by some inside a chamber by those who laid siege on the building praying in the name of God.

There is much more than just a political point of view that disturbs me from that day. From my Christian point of view I found it incredibly dismaying and asked myself, “How can people do these things?” How was it, “That many people could do these things in the name of God”?

What happened on that day will go down in history and was an accumulation of many things that have gone wrong in our country. Christianity has taken on a nationalism and the Christian faith for too many people has become American and America is only a Christian Nation. Many organizations have hidden behind a, “Religious” banner to justify what they are doing.

Jesus did not come for a few or one particular nation. Jesus came for all people. For us to believe that Jesus is only, “An American” which has become the theme of so many groups as, “American Nationalism” which really goes against everything that Jesus has taught us through scripture. The heart of Jesus would have had nothing to do with hatefulness and violence that we have seen become part of our life in America today. Jesus would have nothing to do with disenfranchising millions of people because of the color of their skin, the country they may have come from or their religion. The discrimination that we allow to grow in our country today is not, “WWJD -What Would Jesus Do”. To do this or allow this is racism. When someone attacks another person because they are somehow different than themselves it is racism. When someone sees themselves as privileged and others as not having worth it is racism. All of what our Jesus stood for is summed in LOVE FOR ALL. 

There were many individuals and different groups that stormed our capital on January 6, 2021. It is only recently that I have become aware of one such group and philosophy and that is “America First”. This group or belief comes from white Christian nationalism who see themselves coming from white demographic supremacy over others. 

For me as I view much of what we have before us in video and see protesters kneeling at a cross before they entered our capital building, carrying signs that say, “Jesus 2020”, a Bible held at the chest of an invader as they push through the capital doors and the person next to them carrying a poster that says, “Jesus Saves” I have to question the role that we as a church and as individual Christians have allowed with acceptance and become, “These things in the name of God”.  They are not of God. All of God creation is in His image and likeness and that includes His heart.

Join me in continual prayer for our nation, its people, our leaders and our religious institutions as instruments of peace.  AMEN!

​​​​​Pastor Gary

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