rembrandt7 227x300 One Further Thought On Urbana 15

The Prophet Jeremiah Mourning over the Destruction of Jerusalem. Rembrandt.

Earlier this week, I posted a blog about the recent Urbana 15 conference sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, available here. That article described how InterVarsity, at its triennial conference at the end of 2015, gave a full-throated and unapologetic call for the 16,000 in attendance to support #BlackLivesMatter (“BLM”). The article was widely disseminated, and received many important and interesting comments. I have also been told that it has been read by senior personnel at InterVarsity. Two commenters to the blog made some thoughtful remarks that merit a response from me.

First, “Joella Ranaivoson” said that my blog showed that I was not listening, and that I should be listening rather than arguing, and that I should be listening to “a part of the body of Christ that is hurting, that has been hurting for centuries.” Another commenter, “Left To Unfold,” wrote:

After reading the article, I’m left to question if the author even read InterVarsity’s released statement and other articles on the subsequent fallout of the BLM talk . . . This article seemed premature and quick to condemn. And to echo what Joella said, there is a testimony of suffering and legitimate cries of injustice coming from our family in the black church.

Left To Unfold then concluded that perhaps I suffered from “selected hearing.” First, in writing the original blog, I did read numerous InterVarsity statements and tweets. And yes, Joella and Left, we humans can have a propensity to listen in order to reply. But the complaints by BLM proponents are not new, and so I have listened to them all before over several decades. In my blog, I stated that BLM was evil, and I asked how is how is it Christ-like justice when you harm one person to purportedly help another? (I am still awaiting an answer to that question.) Why was BLM evil and unworthy of the support and acclaim by InterVarsity? Because violence and murder is of Satan and his children. The Lord Jesus declared in John 10:10, that Satan only seeks to steal, kill, and destroy, as do many of the proponents of BLM.

The value of properties and businesses destroyed in Ferguson and in adjoining Dellwood was in the tens of millions of dollars. Some 25 businesses were looted and burned, including Walgreen’s (which you may remember was located next to a facility for retired persons who would no longer be able to readily obtain their medicines), Little Caesar’s, McDonald’s, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Beauty World, Sam’s Meat Market, Autozone, Public Storage, JC Wireless, and many others. In Ferguson, 17 businesses saw their buildings damaged so badly that they were deemed “unsafe structures,” and so were torn down. Many other buildings in both towns were damaged by fire, though not completely destroyed, and many more homes and businesses had windows broken and other damage through vandalism. In the City of Baltimore, BLM protestors smashed dozens of storefronts, hundreds of cars were vandalized, and countless businesses looted. In addition, 159 fires were set, destroying dozens of buildings, including a home for senior citizens. At the time of the mayhem, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake famously said that she gave instructions for police to give “those who wished to destroy the space” to do so. The Baltimore damage cost estimate was at least $20 million dollars, and the Baltimore mayor is awaiting reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which means Mayor Rawlings-Blake wants you and me to pay for the riots she permitted. And then, there were murders of police officers, as well as numerous injuries by police officers in New York City, Ferguson, and Baltimore. Numerous groups of BLM protestors taunted and threatened police as they chanted, “Pigs in a blanket; fry ‘em like bacon!” Media reports described how Harlem residents cheered when veteran New York City police officer Randolph Holder, an immigrant from Guyana, was murdered in the line of duty. I could go on, but I do not wish to belabor the murder, mayhem, and violence by some of the BLM movement supporters.

Yes, the BLM movement, and those who support it, are indeed evil, and its promotion and advocacy by InterVarsity is a shameful and disgraceful blot on its history and mission. “Rev.” Michelle Higgins, in her remarks at Urbana 15, had an opportunity to denounce the violence, mayhem, and murder. She did not. She also had an opportunity to denounce the murder of more than 16 million unborn black babies in the womb since 1973. Again, she did not. Could it be that, in reality, for “Rev.” Higgins and her friends and admirers at InterVarsity, only certain black lives matter? In a statement issued on December 31, 2015, Jim Lundgren, acting president of InterVarsity, observed, “Scripture is clear about the sanctity of life. That is why I’m both pro-life and committed to the dignity of my Black [sic] brothers and sisters.” If such was the case, then why, instead of “Rev.” Higgins, wasn’t Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries, invited to address the young people at Urbana at a plenary session? Dr. King is also a voice for sharing the testimony of her two abortions, God’s forgiveness, and healing. Would not the young people have benefited greatly from hearing Dr. King? I think so as well. After all, being pro-life in our society is a quintessential counter-cultural Christian witness. And why weren’t pro-life organizations, Students for Life and Rock for Life, permitted to exhibit at Urbana? InterVarsity vice president Greg Jao said, “If a pro-life organization met the exhibitor criteria, we would be happy to talk to them about being an Urbana exhibitor.” So InterVarsity denied pro-life groups their exhibitor applications, while “Rev.” Higgins demeaned pro-life activism in her address. But could it simply be that seeing images of aborted babies could make Urbana attendees feel uncomfortable? Perhaps even constitute a micro-aggression? And yet, an InterVarsity statement declared that black brothers and sisters bear His image. “They deserve safety, dignity and respect. InterVarsity believes all lives are sacred – born and unborn.” Or is there a double standard?

I am proud to declare that I loathe what BLM stands for, and until they repent of its support of murder and violence, and give clear evidence of their repentance and rejection of murder and violence, I always will. Christians should shun the support of all violence and destruction. As a result, the BLM movement, “Rev.” Higgins, and the other race hucksters of her ilk, have absolutely nothing to say to me. Joella and Left, how about you? Are you listening? Or are you too shocked and offended to discover that there are other views? After all, it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and not Malcolm X, H. Rap Brown, and the Black Panthers, who prevailed in the 1960s. Perhaps “Rev.” Higgins could have explained why that was the case. But then again, perhaps she doesn’t really understand.