News of the Charlottesville riots continues to hang heavy on all of us, but for good reason. Such a moral failing of humanity should never be taken lightly nor forgotten quickly. NPR released an interview (link below) on Sunday with Christian Picciolini, a reformed white nationalist who now runs a nonprofit that advocates for peace, and in particular works with current white nationalists and other related groups. One of the most interesting nuggets from that article is Picciolini’s insight into why people join groups like the KKK. He says, “I think ultimately people become extremists not necessarily because of the ideology. I think that the ideology is simply a vehicle to be violent. I believe that people become radicalized, or extremist, because they're searching for three very fundamental human needs: identity, community and a sense of purpose.” What are the three earthly results of giving our lives to Christ? Identity, community, and a sense of purpose. We find our true identity as a child of God, we join a community of believers in the Church, and through the help of the Holy Spirit, discover our purpose on earth. If white nationalists (and any other violent or hateful extremists) are seeking identity, community, and a sense of purpose, then what excuse do we have for not sharing with them the way, the truth, and the light of Jesus? There is no clearer place for Jesus than someone seeking identity, community, and a sense of purpose. Continuing the lesson of the Parable of the Weeds from Tuesday of this week, because Jesus has not returned to earth yet means that the harvest time is not yet here. Thus, it is still our responsibility to share good news of Jesus as it is our commission on this earth. For if Jesus can touch even one who has bound his heart with hate, then as Paul preaches in 2 Corinthians, “he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Pray today for the Holy Spirit to show you those in our community who need Jesus, and for him to bless your words to them.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV