Week after week, pastors and staffs of churches deliberate about what message they intend to purvey to their community with their church sign. The sign is intended to share with the community the most important thoughts of the congregation for the week. While visiting my home state of Georgia this week, I drove past a church sign advertising, “Moderate Theology.” The sign sparked my curiosity. Later in the day, I asked a friend in ministry in Atlanta about the sign. “They think that God calls them to be moderate,” she explained.
In the coming days, the people of Georgia are scheduled to execute Warren Hill. If the intentional execution of a human is not enough to spark your moral outrage, Hill has an IQ of 70 and would be considered mentally disabled by most fair standards. For fear of upsetting people in their congregations, pastors and churches in Georgia with a moderate theology will choose to remain silent this Sunday in the face of the Warren Hill tragedy. Based on the simple number of them, moderate churches could save Warren Hill’s life. I have no doubt that if the people of Georgia execute Warren Hill…moderate theology will be responsible. When will we understand that moderate theology in the face of injustice kills?
This will not be the first time that moderate theology will have failed to react in the face of injustice and remained silent in the face of death. Racism, classism, sexism, homophobia and a whole hose of ists and isms go unchecked and even encouraged due to an inability of churches to embrace the radical message of Jesus. Jesus never said, “Love your neighbor as your self moderately.” Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as your self.” When will we step up and stop hesitating to love people? Our neighbors are dying to find out.