So if the concern isn’t over theology — or any specific, known teaching of the church — then why the alarm bell?
It should warn us about our vulnerability. The shooting in Poway is a terrifying reminder that the church isn’t immune to any moral malady that stalks our land. It may land within the church with varying degrees of intensity and frequency, but it will land in the church. And as we see the spread of the very kind of online hate that seduced the Poway shooter, it’s incumbent upon the church to wake up and deal with this modern, deadly incarnation of the very old sin of white supremacy.
In 2015 and 2016, when my family was in the crosshairs of the alt-right — with my adopted daughter the subject of vile and vicious online memes — members of my church (and my Christian friends from across the nation) were shocked and appalled. The vast majority didn’t even know online communities such as 4chan or 8chan existed. Some were completely unfamiliar with terms such as “meme” or words like “sh**posting” or even “trolling.”
Even folks who were far more wise to the Internet’s ways assured me that there was no real risk. The sh**posters and trolls were in it for the “lulz,” the laughs. They just wanted to inflict — and mock — our family’s pain. In hindsight, that complacency was foolish.
Now we know. Now we have no excuse not to know. Among the many malevolent forces that stalk our children — including the children of the faithful — is a new form of an old evil.
The Poway synagogue shooting should be an alarm bell for the church. Here’s why: https://t.co/nNY9Y89co8
— David French (@DavidAFrench) May 2, 2019