Racism, police brutality, American politics, President Trump, MAGA caps, Christianity – and Aotearoa

8 June 2020
Dr Stuart Lange

Racism, police brutality, American politics, President Trump, MAGA caps, Christianity – and Aotearoa

by | Jun 8, 2020

Amidst all the rancour and toxicity issuing from a troubled USA, some questions to ponder and discuss. And some suggested responses…

  • Is racism ever okay, for Christians? No, it is abhorrent, and contrary to the New Testament Gospel (e.g. Galatians 3:28)
  • Is systemic racial injustice ever okay? No.
  • Is police brutality ever okay? No. Police are meant to uphold justice, not act with cruelty or injustice.
  • Is peaceful protest okay? Yes, and it can sometimes help bring positive change.
  • Is violent protest helpful?  No. It undermines a cause, and deepens divisions.
  • Is the Republican Party or the Democrat Party the more Christian option? Both parties have some good people and good principles, and both parties have some policies, emphases, and tendencies which are less than Christian.
  • Are all Republicans Christian? Absolutely not.
  • Are all Christians Republican? No, very large numbers of American Christians (including many Afro-American and Hispanic Christians) vote for the Democrats.
  • Why did many conservative American Christians vote for Mr Trump? Because many of them were Republican voters already, because over the years the Republican Party had actively courted the conservative Christian vote, and because many Christians were particularly concerned about late-term abortion.
  • Do all Christians who voted for Mr Trump approve of everything Mr Trump says or does? No. Many have misgivings.
  • Is President Trump personally Christian? God alone knows his heart, or truly understands him. Politically, Mr Trump makes some pro-Christian statements, and supports some Christian agendas. But many of his own words and actions do not seem very Christian.
  • What does the Bible teach about universal human nature? That we are all made in the image of God, and we all reflect something of God’s goodness and glory. That we are all deeply flawed and marred by sinfulness, including selfishness, hostility, and self-deceit. That Christ is the way of love, forgiveness, peace, reconciliation, healing, and transformation.
  • Are American politics relevant and transferable to New Zealand? The contexts and dynamics are very different, and the crossover is limited.
  • Is there some racism and injustice in New Zealand? Unquestionably yes.
  • Have the police in New Zealand sometimes acted illegally, or with brutality? Sometimes, yes.
  • Is politicising Christianity good for Christianity? No, it is fraught with danger.
  • Is linking American politics with New Zealand Christianity helpful? No, not at all.
  • Would wearing MAGA (Making America Great Again) caps be a great and wise thing for New Zealand Christians to do? No. It would be confusing and inappropriate.
  • What is some great biblical advice for everyone, especially in times of ferment: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”.
Dr Stuart Lange
Author: Dr Stuart Lange

Dr Stuart Lange is the National Director of the NZCN and is a Senior Research Fellow at Laidlaw College, where he was formerly Vice Principal. Stuart wrote and presented the historical DVD documentary Te Rongopai: 200 years of the Gospel in New Zealand, 1814-2014.

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