Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Lives Matter

San Francisco Hosts Annual Its Gay Pride Parade I came across an interesting post on Missio Alliance about ways predominantly white churches can respond positively to the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter campaigns.

It is written by a pastor in the US, but I was struck by its echo of the message of St Paul to churches almost two thousand years ago. It is fundamental to the Gospel of Jesus that in him are gathered all ethnicities, all social classes and all genders:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:28)
Black lives matter because all lives matter and it is black lives which are being disproportionately squandered in Western Europe and North America. Whatever the ethnic mix of our own local church community, as part of the worldwide family of Jesus we need to live out the truth that central to our 'good news' is that the lives of our black brothers and sisters matter.

The lives of the poorest in our society matter. Across the world it is the poorest whose lives are being disproportionately thrown away. Whatever the social mix of our own local church community, if we are part of the worldwide family of Jesus we need to live out the truth that central to the Christian message is that the lives of our poorest brothers and sisters matter.

Trans lives matter, as do gay and lesbian lives. Across the world including, sadly, its religious communities, those who do not conform to gender norms are disproportionately abused, bullied, rejected and murdered. Whatever the mix of gender conformity in our own local church community, as part of the family of Jesus we need to live out the heart of our 'good news' that the lives of our LGBT+ siblings matter.

There are, of course, so many other disadvantaged groups in our societies, but these are three where many predominantly white UK churches seem to be in denial (as well as being the three specifically covered by St Paul). The Christian Gospel is that in Christ all lives matter, so we are called to act specifically on behalf of those 'others' whose lives are treated as 'less' by the societies of which we are a part.

Grace and peace.

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