Something I wanted to share that relates to, but goes beyond McKinney. Sometimes, we are unaware of things that “lie beneath the surface of the waters,” that act as triggers in events like McKinney.
That’s why it is important to me as a theologically Conservative, socially Liberal, and politically Moderate white Christian (there, I think that I’ve managed to slightly offend everyone), that I learn from individuals who are “different” from me whether it is because of classifications (mine, society’s, and self-identifiied) such as race, ethnicity, religion, LGBTQ+, etc.
Because of my cultural, faith, and experiential background, I may not agree with everything that the “other” individual might say, believe, do, etc. However, I seek to understand them at the point of our commonalities, I seek to learn from them at the point of our shared humanity, and I seek to love them at the point of challenging my own personal theology.
I still may strongly disagree at times, and I will definitely fail much of the time, but I seek to greet them with open arms of love, rather than with rocks held in both my hands, and slurs rolling off my tongue.
And, to my fellow Christians (Progressive, Evangelical, Liberal, Conservative, Denominational, Nondenominational, etc), I would issue a challenge: The battlefield is not our country, nor should we issue a demand that the “world” be like us. We are simply ambassadors here.
We wage battle against principalities and powers in high (invisible) places (I’m aware that some of you will disagree with my interpretation. However, I believe history proves me right).
Our political ideologies should rightly be expressed, our moral views should be heard in the public square, our lives should impact the marketplace, but we are never going to change the hearts of men and women through these methods.
Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35, NLT).
Jesus didn’t challenge us not to judge (Matthew 7:1 needs to be read in context), but He taught us how to judge:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:15-16, ESV); and Jesus taught us how to live:
Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:9-12, ESV).
As Christians, the challenge is to wrestle with our faith, seek to understand the meaning of Jesus, and allow the culture of His kingdom to influence the “waters” we all live in together. There is never a call to build His kingdom on this earth. That, my brothers and sisters, is His responsibility. And He will build it as He chooses.
Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America by Jeff Wiltse