Okay, I am going to say something a little bit controversial. These are uncharted waters for me, so try to work with me on it.
First, before I say it, in no way is this a walking back of the gospel truth I stated yesterday. Whites who hate blacks because of their skin color are also hating God, the image of God, and the gospel which restores the image of God—red and yellow, black and white. Blacks who hate whites because of their skin color are in the same boat, hating God and hating their fellow man. There is no room for genuine racism in the church of God. There is, however, more than enough room in the church for things that are called racist these days. So, that said, I reiterate all that I said about the unifying power of the gospel, and the fragmenting power of every form of secularism. So start from there.
That said, I want to praise our president for two things he did in his impromptu news conference yesterday. These are two things that every magistrate ought to be able to do, and which precious few of them today are even willing to think about. Trump refused to be steered by mob action, and when two evil groups clashed violently, he refused to take sides. He stated his case inelegantly, but he was clear on the essentials, and I was very gratified by his refusal to budge.
He said two things that were manifestly true, undeniably true, and that vast paludal flatland that is our sorry excuse for media went, as the saying goes, nuts. When he said there was evil on both sides, this was, as I look around for another word to use, incontrovertible. And when someone like Trump says something incontrovertible, what must one do? One must douse his hair with lighter fluid, set it off, and then run in tight, little circles.
What do I mean by refusal to be steered? He saw and identified the game plan that is being run on us all by the violent Left. He said today it was Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson. But who is next? George Washington? Thomas Jefferson? Tell me, oh ye who have surrendered the essential principle involved here, why will there not be demands to cleanse our public spaces of all reminders of those slave owners, Washington and Jefferson? The natural common sense and internal self-restraint exhibited by the Left? Your naiveté could make a cat laugh. Francis Scott Key, the man who wrote our national anthem, owned slaves. How about that? The progressive Left loves Orwell’s memory hole. They love airbrushing people out of the pictures. They think they can surgically change a man into a woman, so they certainly think they can erase our history and change it into something more edifying. There will be no need to tear down the Washington Monument, because it is a memorial and not a statue. All they will need to do is rename it something like The People’s Gay Phallus, and get those rainbow floodlights going. Declare a national holiday.
Back in the day when well-intentioned Christians were scrambling to denounce the Confederate flag, I pointed out that another flag was next—a flag that flew over slaves in bondage for many more years than the Stars and Bars ever did. Is there anything about what is happening now that shows that my prediction was off? Anybody who thinks the target in all this is the Confederacy, and not America, needs to sit down and think it through for a minute. The Confederacy is just an initial soft target on their way to other and greater things.
The second thing the president did that was worthy was that he denounced the criminals and thugs on both sides. This is what you want from magistrates. If the white supremacists get a permit, and they are marching to Hell in an orderly fashion, they ought to be allowed to march there unmolested. If antifa thugs show up with baseball bats and attack, they ought to be treated as the violent instigators they are. If one of the white supremacists drives his car into the crowd on the other side, that is not self-defense, and he needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Policemen, and the magistrates behind them, are in the business of maintaining public order, which means that they do not get to approve of anarchy from one side only.
If there is outrage over Trump’s denunciation of both sides, then it is plain and obvious that someone is attempting to steer us. In response to my post yesterday, someone breathlessly announced that I had equated Black Lives Matter with the Klan. Why, yes, I did. Hatred and murder are to be reprobated, period. Movements that excuse them are to be reprobated, period. But when your moral compass is governed by the skin tone of your tribe, instead of letters in granite inscribed by the finger of God, then you are going to get the kind of identity race war that we are in the process of getting.
I don’t expect the president to fix this kind of thing because he cannot. Going back to yesterday, the only one who can deliver blacks from their resentments and hatreds, and the only one who can deliver whites from their resentments and hatreds, is the Lord Jesus. He can do this because He was commissioned and sent into this world in order to bear our resentments and hatreds on His shoulders, bearing the Father’s rational wrath on account of our irrational wrath. He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities (Is. 53:5).
Jesus died, in short, for people on both sides of that street in Charlottesville. In that melee, we may assume that the elect of God were scattered amongst them, sinning along with the rest. Apart from the gospel of Christ, that is America’s future.
As a minister of Christ, I want our magistrates to resist the roar of crowds, and to identify bad actors in whatever crowd might happen to be yelling at the moment. But that is all I want them to do. I want them to do that in order to maintain public order, so that we who possess the gospel might have the opportunity to set before the people a different vision, in Christ, for loving each other.
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:1–4).