How do we love white supremists?

The conscience is reached by love and humility, not by condemning/belittling/mocking, or by legislating my values on others.  Legislating hate-crimes, removal of statues, and flags, does not reach the conscience.  Self-righteous response to self-righteousness does not reach the conscience.  In my opinion, Hollywood has done more to reach the conscience of whites in America, than legislation has ever done.  Protesting against protesters only inflames self-righteousness on both sides, and does not reach the conscience.  Intolerance of intolerance does not reach the conscience.  Condescension does not reach the conscience.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies.  Do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you.  Pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn to him the other cheek.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Jesus also said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn and you will not be condemned.  Forgive and you will be forgiven.”

Rather than being the chief accusers of white supremists, especially those who claim to be Christians, pointing out their sin in not following Jesus, I have more hope in reaching their consciences by being chief confessors, humbly confessing to them that we are no better than they, because our tendency is to feel superior to haters, to be just as self-righteous as any other hater, to love being right more than we love Jesus, so we are also sinners in not following Jesus.

We live in an era that is highly-politicized, highly-divided, because there is so much self-righteousness and so little humility.  No one cares to listen to the other side to understand-or-even-care-about their concerns.  No one cares about compromise.  Self-righteousness abounds.  Love and humility are absent.  This is the atmosphere of war.

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who loves feeling self-righteous about the self-righteous, except when he’s been freshly convicted of loving his own righteousness more than Jesus and His imputed righteousness

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The watching world is bored

with Christians because they see in us what mere humans can do.  Human power.  Jesus makes no remarkable difference in our lives.  We are circumstance-dependent for our joy and peace, just like they are.  We do not operate in out-of-character-for-for-us kinds of ways.  We are not more humble than they.  Not more loving.  Not less competitive/critical/judgmental.  Not less us-them.  They don’t see in us the values of the Upside-down Kingdom of Jesus.  We’re just like they are.  They are not wowed by the Jesus in us.

They don’t need to change.  We do.  And we cannot change ourselves.  Brothers, sisters, what can we do?

We can ask for the Spirit, claiming the promise of Luke 11, that if we ask for the Spirit, He will give us the Spirit.  Fresh conviction of sin, especially the sin of confidence/self-reliance/worldliness/competitiveness/independence. We are just as failure-avoidant/proud/judgmental as any nonbeliever.  Boring.

–ShepherdDave, chiefest of worldly believers, who sees the problem, but is powerless to change himself

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The humble believer is self-aware and self-accepting.

The proud believer is self-deceived.  And filled with irritation/self-contempt, or bummed, in failure.  The proud believer does not handle failure well.  His whole life is based on failure-avoidance.  And this weirds him, and his relationships.

The humble believer enjoys himself in failure, and enjoys learning from failure/mistakes.  The proud believer only has fun when things go as expected, but the humble believer has fun no matter what.  The humble believer is never humble for long.  Especially an Irishman on St Patrick’s Day.

–ShepherdDave, always needing fresh conviction of the sin of independence/pride/worldliness, so he can momentarily be DumbSheepDave, experiencing the bliss of Jesus-dependency/humility, so the pre-believers around him might actually want what he has

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Compassion for those who irritate and disgust me?

Where do I get that?   Why would I even want it?  Because Jesus says to love my enemies — those most different from myself, doing things I would never ever do, because I’m better than they.

So how do I get compassion for them, forgive them, extend grace to them, enjoy them?   I find it really helpful to ask Jesus to show me ways that I’m just like them, probably not on the surface, but deep down on a root level.   And as His Spirit works in me, convicting me of how I’m guilty of the same root motivation as they, I have instant compassion, love, acceptance for them, and I begin to enjoy them, just as they are, not demanding that they change one bit to be loved by me.

–ShepherdDave, who loves feeling superior to others, needing prayer for fresh conviction of the sin of independence/pride, so he is momentarily transformed into being DumbSheepDave, with compassion for all, enjoyment for all, even the worst (please pray now)

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God-thing in Chile


Chip Jones is a blue-collar-kinda-guy World Harvest Missionary I spent a lot of time mentoring while he and wife Meredith were raising support several years ago.  Unlikely candidate to be a missionary.  Not a seminary grad.   Not even a college grad. But they were sponges for being trained in Jesus-dependency, and they have been modeling ministry from weakness, to both believer and nonbeliever.   While in language school in Costa Rica, Chip befriended a street beggar/druggie, who over time, prayed to receive to Jesus, quit drugs, got a job, because Chip was like no other Christian this street beggar had ever come across.  Though untrained, Chip is a gifted communicator of biblical truth, and the chief repenter/failure/mess when he opens his mouth to teach/share.  His faith is contagious.  Here’s the latest prayer update from Chip and  Meredith, where Chip was one of several speakers at a ten-day retreat.

–WeakDave, recruiting prayer for the Church to be transformed in our day


Have you ever seen something happen that was impossible?

Well we just have.  We just got back from 10 days at a Christian camp in Linares, Chile.  About 200 folks camped among the eucalyptus along the river.  I knew about many of the struggles in that particular church and had heard the squabbling of God’s children.  As they came to camp, many seemed to have someone else that they wanted God to touch and change…perhaps those teens who were doing things that they shouldn’t, or that hypocritical leader, or ……. well, typical church sentiments.  You know what I am talking about…that we always want God to change others

 

As the word was taught, many began to find that they had been living like modern-day Pharisees: living up to laws/traditions/customs but lacking love, a real love for others. Having all the right outward appearances and vocabulary but with their hearts so far away.  And yet there they were judging others for not following suit.  Like the Pharisees, Jesus had no real present value because they had become quite good at saving themselves as well as teaching others how to do the same.  But just as the tiny moon can block something as big as the sun, so we can block others from seeing God when we think that we are ok and that its only others who need to repent and change.  When our works are motivated by a love of self, not love for others, we have done what God said in Jeremiah when He said “they have abandoned me, the spring of living water and have dug for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”  After all, God in all of His essence is love.  When “love” is more of a word, maybe a set of actions and no longer something from the heart, we are not walking in line with the Gospel, for in that one tiny word hang all of the law and the prophets.

So what did I see that I never thought I would?  People who thought that they had nothing to repent of, repenting!  Pastors, elders as well as ordinary folks who were not caught in adultery or doing anything wrong on the surface.  Yet they were weeping, confessing, repenting at Jesus’ feet.  Mourning over their over-abundance of love for themselves and lack of love for others.  The lack of love which causes factions, bitterness, jealousy and causes us to push others away as we pretend that we are better than “they” are.  The stuff that makes the average Christian so dull and un-appetizing to the unbeliever.  Kinda like a birthday cake that has no sugar and salt.  Looks great!  But unless you are trying to flatter the cook, you really won’t want much.

So God has begun to refresh the church here and the result has been people returning to those they have hurt, then un-ashamedly asking for forgiveness.  Teen cliques melting in a stream of tears as they pray for each other.  Another thing that really caught my attention was that the kids groups were not present to hear any of what was being taught in the adult sessions, yet the Holy Spirit caused those little kids to begin weeping and asking for prayers and forgiveness as well!  The last day of camp, about 70 of us went to a pool in Linares and I was moved as I saw God’s kids playing with each other and genuinely enjoying each others’ company.  I even saw a 3 tiered chicken fight!  (I’d never seen that before either).  This is the stuff that refreshes the weary, the broken, the un-churched and de-churched.  It did my heart good!

One of the results of this camp is that I have been invited by two pastors to help teach in their churches.  I have also been invited to moderate as well as share how the Gospel applies to two opposing church groups as they begin the process of healing and forgiveness.

I just wanted you to know that you are making a difference here and I cannot thank you enough for sending us and being there for us.  Please pray for the work and the beautiful people here when you can.

For the work left undone,

Chip