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The Privilege of Christ Being King

I love Twitter.

I’m not sure why. I guess I find something quite beautiful about crafting a meaningful message in 140 characters or less. It really is an art form, especially when considering how often such small messages have made me laugh out loud.

Things were less funny on twitter the other day however. After a long and grueling process, Donald J. Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States.

As could be assumed, reactions were all over the place. Staunch conservatives were elated; surprised with a win that the pundits and polls suggested was highly improbable. Liberals were devastated. How could the country have elected a man who has made misogynistic, racist and xenophobic remarks? This loss was especially felt as they had been practically assured of a Clinton win just days before.

As the results rolled in, in response to the dismay being aired on social media across the country, Christians, particularly evangelicals, spouted with confidence, “Don’t worry, Christ is still king.”

On Twitter, the reaction went something like this: “You can say Christ is still King because you are privileged and aren’t affected by this the same way I/We/Minorities are.”

Huh.

Here are my thoughts.

First, the reaction to lash back against those trying to convey a message of peace is seemingly rooted in three emotions.

  1. When you are feeling down and attacked, when a message of hope is given, often times it can seem as if it is condescending or negating your feelings.
  2. A fundamental difference in the belief that Christ is redeeming all of culture (including politics, and is thus untainted by it, racism, privilege, etc.), as opposed to religion being a cultural phenomenon.
  3. “I’m the victim here, so how dare you express an opinion when you are not facing the same situation as me.” (side note, the use of the word “victim” here is not meant to be degrading in anyway, rather the reality of racism, sexism, and Islamaphobia).

The fundamental truth that Christ is King is not dependent on world leaders, rulers, presidents, dictators, political party affiliation, gender, sexual identity, etc. I understand how it would seem this statement comes from a place of privilege. And in fact, I agree with this “privilege” on some level. Let me explain through an example from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 7.

“41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.””

For those who have not received earth-shattering forgiveness, earth-shattering love is a foreign concept. For those who have never been on the receiving end of injustice because of what their skin color or ethnicity is, Christ being King is an easy truth to believe.

If you are forgiven much you in turn can love much. If you have been on the receiving end of injustice because of your race or ethnicity, then you have a better grasp of what real justice looks like.

The truth that Christ is King is true no matter who mutters it. In Philippians we are told that every knee will bow and tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. But the reality of Christ being King is more easily accepted if you are a white male, because Christ being King is an easy hope to grab onto.

If you are a black female, who now has a President who has the endorsement of white supremacist organizations and seemingly views women as merely objects of sexual gratification, Jesus Christ is Still King. It may not be an easy of a hope to believe in as it is for me. But that doesn’t nullify the Truth of what that statement means.

Do not worry, for Christ is still King. The statement is being made not in a, “don’t worry about the political and social ramifications this presidency will mean,” but rather, that if you put your hope in politics, and political leaders, then you are already missing the point. When we put our hope in Christ, we believe that and have hope that in Him, justice, change, and ultimate satisfaction can be achieved.

James Harris

James is probably the 3rd or 4th funniest guy you know. Funny enough to invite to a party; not witty enough to talk about later. Co-Founder and Content Editor of Everyday Exiles, Director of College Ministry at Reynolda Church, EPC, and husband to Meredith. He has a dog named Calvin, a cat named Opie, and a robot vacuum named Alfred.

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