I enjoy reading The Galli Report, an online newsletter, written by Mark Galli, the editor of Christianity Today. Galli prides himself, and rightly so, on speaking out about current issues from a biblical perspective.
His recent article, What to Make of Extremists, caught my eye. In the first paragraph, he remarks, “The faithful readers of The Galli Report know that I have a weakness for extremists. They pound the frame we call civil discourse, bending it here and there. While this finally distorts the picture, along the way, one often gains new insights to the issue at hand because of their bending.”[i]
In this article, Galli tiptoed through the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, while pointing out that a former chairwoman of the Black Panther Party, Elaine Brown, referred to the BLM as “plantation mentality,” to voice her disapproval over “trafficking in mostly sentimental victimhood.”
Knowing that the BLM is a battle based on racial disparity, Galli also referenced an article, Whiteness: The Original Sin, which he explains as, “another extreme that has a kernel of truth.”[ii]
My concern over these extremes aligns with my view that we are a nation of extremes. We seem to go overboard in everything we do, until the pendulum swings another way. Unfortunately, in some instances such as racial extremes, the pendulum stays out of reach.
Our approach to Christmas is extreme. In stores, Christmas decorations and gifts became a focal point before Halloween was over. So, as we approach Christmas, I can’t help but point out how extreme our gift buying habits have become.
Christmas is more about frenzied gift buying and celebrating our temporal gifts and less about the true gifts that come from a relationship with Jesus Christ and last forever.
My prayer is that we settle down, enjoy the season, remember the reason for the season, and love one another, no matter our race, ethnicity, who we voted for, or what we believe. As Paul so poignantly reminds us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV).
[i] Mark Galli, The Galli Report, http://www.christianitytoday.com/lyris/gallireport/archives/10-28-2016.html