A Few Words about Charlottesville For the Church and For the Nation

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This is the antithesis of the Kingdom of God. Let this fact take root deep within us. God’s kingdom is every tribe and every tongue worshiping the Jewish Messiah. It looks nothing like white men with torches chanting “blood and soil” and asserting their significance. According to Paul in Galatians the gospel unites different races and obliterates ethnic pride. This, like all assertions of ethnic superiority, is evil.

The church needs to address this and do so with more than tweets. Wisely, the Southern Baptists condemned this kind of thing this summer. Just about all the evangelical leaders to whom I listen have been vocal in their condemnation. This is good, but for the most part these are just words. I would like to see real racial reconciliation like what Paul talked about in Galatians 3.

I would like to see the end of black churches, the end of white churches, the end of Hispanic churches. I long to see Christian worship to be so intrinsically linked to racial unity that we couldn’t imagine one without the other. If this were the case, everyone who witnessed the actions of these terrorists would know: these are obviously not Christians. Sadly, too many ignorantly associate this with Christianity.

This is the antithesis of America. We are a nation of political ideals, not ethnic pride. Our nation has had plenty of white supremacy in its past, but it was not founded on ethnic or religious lines. It was founded on the inalienable rights of all men. If we take the Declaration of Independence and Constitution seriously, our nation was created to protect our liberties and to establish the equality of all people before the law. Yet, I’m seeing people forsaking our sacred ideals and doing “hail Hitlers” in the street. Seriously, I cannot believe that this kind of thing goes on in the land that sacrificed so much to defeat this tyrant.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Hitler has become the ultimate hyperbole and comparisons to him are used far too often to denounce political enemies. The conscious decision by the Charlottesville protestors to associate with the Nazi war machine, however, makes this a chilling, but fitting comparison. As a nation, we seem to be reliving 1930s Europe, where it seemed like the world would be won by one of only two options: fascists or communists. Who’s it going to be 2017 America: Hitler or Stalin? Maybe we should insist on better options. Maybe we can unleash hell on the one and still tear down the walls of the other.

America may fail us. Certainly, it will not last forever. How long can a Republic last when its citizens lack virtue and know nothing about how it works? As a history teacher I will strive to promote civic knowledge, virtue, and commitment to those American ideals that transcend race, class, and gender. I can only have so much impact.

The Church will not fail. It will march into hell and take no prisoners. It will do this because it is not maintained by its own might but by the will of God. Pastors, empower your church to be The Church. Call it to be the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-generational eternal body united in celebrating the Kingship of Jesus. You can do nothing of greater impact.

David Lytle

Current history teacher, former missionary and youth pastor, grieving widower, father of the three cutest faces in creation, and giddy husband of a radiant bride. I also sang “I’m too sexy” for karaoke once. There was a crowd. My only comfort is that phones didn’t make videos back then.

8 thoughts on “A Few Words about Charlottesville For the Church and For the Nation

  • August 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm
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    I was born and raised in Virginia, and I was deeply saddened to hear about the events in Charlottesville, VA. I am choosing to be silent on line and go to my “War Room” and do my fighting in prayer. What I say on line will not change the course of events in the future, but with God in prayer, he can change the climate in our country. May it be so!

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  • August 14, 2017 at 1:20 pm
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    Thank you, David, for this clarion call.

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  • August 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm
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    Dave, thank you for writing this. As a writer/contributor for REO, I stand with this completely.

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  • August 14, 2017 at 5:14 pm
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    David,
    I am curious. I read many references about white supremists in these articles. I certainly am against racism and want our nation to heal. However, many articles I have read only tell part of the story. There were protests and counter protests. Video shows the violence was started by the counter protesters. We must be as verbally clear about the wrong on both sides if true healing is to come. While not politically correct, I say violence and hatred is the same on both sides. I call for both sides to stop. The BLM and the white supremists (there is a difference between them and the group called “the alt right”) are both guilty. We must be careful to see the big picture.

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  • August 15, 2017 at 5:31 am
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    FYI, when I hit the print icon, the print version doesn’t include the author and date (unless I am missing it, which is entirely possible). Sometimes I use these articles and like be able to cite the author and date. Not a complaint, just an observation.

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    • August 15, 2017 at 7:50 am
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      Interesting. I am not sure how to fix that. I wonder if any of our “techie” people do. I have only printed from this website once and it was my own article so I obviously wasn’t looking for the author or date, but now I wish I would have.

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  • August 15, 2017 at 5:19 pm
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    Well said, David. As a Virginian, my heart aches for Charlottesville. I am a Wahoo fan, through and through. But I am not a fan of actions that took place on the Jefferson University campus this past weekend. My wife and I celebrated our anniversary in Charlottesville just 2 weekends prior to the riots, so I am very grateful for God’s providential protection over us while we were there. The town is normally not this way. That’s part of the reason the news of these riots hurts us Virginians so much.

    These groups are God-less. They only exist to hate His creation. Their actions are the wrongful, extreme interpretation of our democratic republic. Ronald Reagan said, “Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure.” I would say that our nation deserves better, but clearly we don’t since these types of incidents have become increasingly more the norm. However, the world deserves better from The True Church. I love Bible passages like Revelation 7:9-10, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'” The Church needs to remind ourselves more of what heaven will be like; and we need to start practicing for heaven now, while we are on earth.

    Again, great thoughts, David.

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  • August 15, 2017 at 6:49 pm
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    Thanks, David.

    Bobby, I’m sure I only know a small part of the story. Their may have indeed been “many sides” in conflict in Charlottesville, but I don’t have time or space to address them all. I have just as little sympathy for racism against white people as racism from white people. Even so, given our history as a nation there should be no place for this neo-nazi crap. It opposes everything good about America.

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