"Where God's love is there is no fear." 1 John 4:18 (NCV)
I'm still stirring upon the words of Bryan Stevenson this week. He reminded us of how radical and outrageous the words of the prophets in the Old Testament, like Amos, were. They spoke during a time of prosperity in Israel's history-or at least they spoke to the prosperous. There was peace in the land, the economy was serving the majority well, and life was good. But there were poor and underprivileged people in the land too. The prosperous were okay with that. God was not.
The prophets preached to the prosperous to say they were not living up to God's standard. They supported kings who protected their status, but were threatened by anyone or anything challenging them to use their status for the benefit of the poor.
Then someone asked Bryan Stevenson to respond to the controversial topic of Critical Race Theory. He answered that the basic theory simply seeks to understand realities that have led to a disparity in our society. But it has been presented as promoting things that aren't true. He illustrated with a complex physics theory that few people in the room understood. He said, "Now if I tell you this theory teaches principles like defunding the police or approving violence, then the majority of us will not like this theory, and for good reason. But if we understand the theory, we will know better." Then he said something I'm still contemplating. "In a democracy, anything ending, in theory, is not a threat."
I don't know about that.
Theories can be threatening. Hitler came to power espousing theories that had devastating consequences. The theories that threaten usually appeal to people's fears. But theories that seek to advance truth and knowledge promote peace.
What an earful we have in John's words, "Where God's love is there is no fear." When we focus on love, we never have to be afraid to learn, even when the learning is difficult and not something we easily accept. We don't have to be afraid. Otherwise fear of theories will crowd out love.
So in the audacity of my suggesting an amendment to Bryan Stevenson's words, I would say, "In a democracy, theories that advance truth and love are never a threat.
Just a thought,