The frustration I once had with certain sorts of Christians saying “we don’t need political divisions in the church” has long faded into the sort of dull indifference you get to a TV left on in the background while you do something productive. You may even forget to turn the thing off.
The sort of Christians who say this thing seem to fill leadership positions at uncomfortable rates, but at least on this particular issue their wisdom is lacking. It is simply impossible to divorce Christianity from politics, because if Christianity is true (and it is true), then certain views about how we interact with other people spring out of that truth. Christianity is a worldview, not just a private thing you do Sunday mornings and at weddings and funerals. It’s the way the world really is, as Greg Koukl says.
I’ve said much of this before, but I need a bit of a preface for the main point of this post. Because many of these same sorts of people will readily jump into politics if it supports their cause. Case in point:
The above nonsense is my focus here. The above is a masterful work of condensation; in this case condensing several bad ideas into a very small written space.
Black Lives Matter is both a statement and an organization. The organization was founded and is run by Marxists, and in true Marxist fashion, they have named their group something like “Don’t Kill Puppies”; this takes advantage of those who say the expression because they mean the expression itself while also making it sound like anyone who disagrees with the expression is a terrible person.
Mr. Price seems to have been taken in by this scheme, and so he considers it virtuous to repeat the name of the organization and – it must be noted – unbiblical not to.
The reason many Christians hesitate to say “Black Lives Matter” is because the organization called “Black Lives Matter” is an anti-Christian, Marxist group opposed to liberty, goodness, families, fathers… and the list goes on. We should hesitate and clarify our position here. To do otherwise is to endorse the opposite of Christianity.
A Mishandled Parable
After this, he begins some exegesis of Luke 15. Lets take the whole context that Mr. Price fails to account for:
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
The interpretation we are given is that the passage means any time someone is in danger, we must be willing to say the endangered person’s life matters.
I don’t know about you, but that isn’t exactly the first thing I thought when I read the passage. I doubt the Disciples or the Pharisees caught that either.
The Pharisees approach Jesus as He is actively reaching lost sinners. They’ve been looking for ways to slander Him and find something convenient. Anyone who keeps bad company probably isn’t very good himself. But Jesus knows what they are saying and so gives them a parable. It’s just one parable in a series, the whole series is designed to make a primary point:
Jesus came for the lost, and by the lost, he means genuinely lost. Not for those who think they’re good enough already by their deeds. If you think your works save you, you haven’t understood the Gospel.
Jesus is absolutely not telling us to say slogans for virtue points. The author isn’t interpreting Jesus’ parable to understand what He meant. He’s making it into a parable for something else! Jesus is not teaching the message Mr. Price is. Mr. Price has simply stolen the parable for his own purposes while divesting it of its intended meaning.
If we want to understand how the parable might apply to “black lives”, it’s no different than to any other life and it seems a bit ridiculous to isolate people by skin color on this: Jesus came to save those who are lost. Everyone is lost, but we first need to recognize it.
What’s Really In Danger?
Mr. Price bases his misapplication of this parable on the assumption that “black lives are in danger”. But is this the case? The answer is overwhelmingly no! I won’t quote it, because you should read the whole thing, but Wintery Knight has a post covering the subject here. Read it and follow his blog!
The real danger here is truth. Well-meaning Christians are being taken in by bad ideas because they are presented in pious language.
Christians need to be on their guard against this sort of thing.