Three Ways Christians Can Maintain Faith in the Fight for Equality
Updated: Nov 5, 2019
For Christians Who Personally Indentify with the foundational ideals of #MeToo, #LoveWins, and #TimesUp, Yet Not The Politics Behind Them
At the 90th annual Academy Awards, the demand for equality across-the-board in filmmaking could have easily been considered the big winner of the night: from Jordan Peele’s historic win for Best Original Screenplay, to Ashley Judd’s proud exclamation of “Time’s Up,” to Frances McDormand’s stirring speech that invoked the standing ovation of all female nominees in the building. However, as a Christian, it can sometimes present a conflict in fighting for equality, since the term itself is all encompassing of issues that are supported biblically, and others that are not.
As a black, female and Christian producer in the entertainment industry, DaVida Blackman goes into detail about how she found a way to function in the middle of highly progressive Los Angeles, California, with these Christian convictions and worldviews. “I have had to still create and maintain my relationships with all people (white, black, straight or homosexual) because of gender and racial equality with a clear understanding amongst us that I am a Christian. I do not engage in conversations that encourage that lifestyle, but keep it professional and still love with the love of Christ, meaning not judging them,” said Blackman. In considering this feedback from an entertainment industry professional living in Los Angeles, we can take away three main things Christians can do to stand tall as a part of the equality movement, without compromising their faith convictions.
Yes, it’s the popular acronym made famous by 1990s Christian culture, what would Jesus do? In Matthew 9:11-12, Jesus is criticized by Pharisees, the religious leaders of the time, for “eating with tax collectors and sinners,” to which Jesus responds by saying, “it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” Rather than alienating people, Jesus clearly saw past the lifestyles of those he ministered to and elevated his witness above all; he trusted the power of God within himself. When we put the “Christian-ese” aside and simply receive people, not their lifestyle, then we do as Jesus did and display trust in the power of God to minister to the person’s spirit. It’s not our responsibility to change them, just love on them.
2. Know It’s Not Your Job
Something that seems to be difficult for Christians to comprehend is the understanding that we are not responsible to save, change or correct the world. For example, when Christians are advocating for gender equality and equal racial representation, even if homosexual equality is lumped into the movement at times, they don’t necessarily need to remove themselves from the movement altogether. Simply be clear in what you are advocating for, let others do as they feel, and if possible, avoid arguments and discussions that are divisive and likely not productive, anyway. The Holy Spirit is the changer of hearts and Jesus is the saver of souls, so let them do that ---- would you really want the responsibility of either of those jobs, anyway?
3. Keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing
Above all, the movement is about equal pay and equal representation in the industry; this is something all people can agree on with this movement, regardless of
their worldview. See this as an opportunity to unite with someone whose lifestyle you may not agree with, and go a little further to connect with their humanity. This is how the Gospel travels, anyway, through relationships between people who decide to look past the surface of others. Let the equality movement be an avenue to build relationships with people you might not perhaps interact with --- all the while, advancing a very timely and overdue cause in our culture today.
Above all, the movement is about equal pay and equal representation in the industry, something all people can agree on, regardless of their worldview.
What Christians have been accused of for several years is being out of touch with reality, judgmental and “holier than thou” as a people. However, when Christians can step outside of their preconceived boxes and truly connect with the humanity in others, this is the point where Christ can truly flourish and the invisible walls that others put up with Christians can be knocked down with acts of love between people.