I have been following John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) for about a year on social media. However, the key thing that put him on my social media radar as a Firestarter was this tweet:
In the almost three years I have run this platform, there are very few subjects that I have shied away from. Anyone that has known me, or knows of me, knows that I am a woman of faith. I believe in God, and have seen too much to believe otherwise. While I do respect those of you, my beloved #Torches, to have varying differences about religion. For this, dearest ones, hear me out.
I believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of the most radical, revolutionary documents or teachings in human history. It has both started and ended wars! I believe that Jesus Christ was murdered as an enemy of the state (in front of his mother no less) because He refused to subscribe to doctrine that was hurtful and oppressive to the people He was sent to help. From that reasoning, from that standpoint of radical love and revolutionary outlook, we have Pastor John.
He blogs. He writes. He tweets. He trolls MAGA idiots and calls for accountability and responsibility for those that preach the Gospel (“The Good News”) in this time of social upheaval and change. I cannot emphasize to you how dynamic this is, how needed this is, and why he is a hero of the faith at present. In his most recent blog posts, he even apologizes for not being a good enough pastor to the White people of his congregation!
Before you unsubscribe, and think that I have gotten soft, here is why. Pastor John Pavlovitz said he didn’t do a good enough job as a pastor for these people because he didn’t confront racism and White Privilege.
Whoa (in my Keanu Reeves voice.).
If you have been following this space for this entire month, you know that it was kicked off with the magnanimous Ms. Jane Elliot. You should be acquainted with her thought and quote which tells us since White people created and benefit most from racism in this country, they have to dismantle it! One of the largest grievances against the North American church is and revolves around race–and its confronting of White supremacy fueled by racism! This grievance is filed under the tab of the Black Oppression Filing Cabinet under S for social control. The subheading reads: The White Man’s Religion.
However, here is what I want you to consider, and why this is essential to pay attention to at this time. In my opinion, people are walking away from God (whom loves all of us), because they do no see this love He is supposed to have for all of us demonstrated in the lives of people that are supposed to know Him. Whose job it is to have you get to know Him too! In order for a sound, –yea, revolutionary–change to happen in life of the North American church, it will take a radical pastorate!
It will take clergy like Pastor Pavlovitz to remind us of the dynamic, radical nature of Jesus Christ. It will take confronting broken systems of power, gluttonous from paid influence to speak truth to–even when your voice shakes! It will take confronting what old. racist White men have said what God is and comparing that to the God that we are to know. It will take being a radical enough in your faith, to believe that all God can do is not limited to, or in league with a party that doesn’t believe in the valuable personhood of all people.
Jesus didn’t wear a MAGA hat, so don’t you get one! Pastor John also said the hardest thing to do in this time is to keep your heart soft. From this wisdom, I remember I have neither the desire or will to hate another human being to the point I have no love for anyone else.
Thank you Pastor John. Thank you.
*If you are interested in all the dope work Pastor John is doing, please follow him on Twitter. Also, for his blog (that I, too, follow, click here.)
[image from christiancoachingmag.com and author’s social media.]