A man named Rick Tyler is running for the United States Congress in Tennessee, and he decided to try and drum up name recognition by putting up a billboard that reads “Make America White Again.” I only really got nauseated when in a local television interview I heard him say that he was a Christian and quote Romans 8:28.
Part of his desire, he said, was to recreate what he believes was an idyllic America accurately reflected in television shows like Leave it to Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show.
This is his desire, and making “America white again” is what he is willing to do to accomplish it.
And then a few minutes after reading about and listening to Mr. Tyler, I read this in Galatians 1:
So extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles…
From the good side of Damascus, seeing Gentiles saved was worth more to Paul than the traditions of his fathers.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ (the news of grace for all peoples through faith in One Savior) is worth infinitely more than any traditions of any of our fathers. Good traditions or bad, true ones or imagined, childish nostalgias or real achings for the past, none of them are worth twopence of what the Gospel that saved Jews, Syrians, North Africans, and Europeans is. Of what the Gospel that is populating Heaven (and will populate the new earth) with every tribe and tongue is.
Paul spent the first half of his life zealous for the wrong message. Longing for the wrong Eden. And doing it all in the name of God.
It sounds very much to me like Mr. Tyler is, too.
Here’s to all of us longing for something, and someone, far better than Mayberry.