Online and in the streets, this intense, personalized anger and expression of group grievance are an increasingly prevalent form of Evangelical Christian expression. It’s so very important to understand that this is not new for the South. What is new, however, is the increasing dominance of Southern demographics and Southern culture within the whole of American Evangelicalism. It’s the population center. It’s the power center. And now it’s the cultural center…

So, what do we do? What is the Christian response? It’s to realize (in Curtis’s words) that “the promise of the Gospel is that if we ‘stand down’ from our culture’s broken attempts to restore our own honor, then in Jesus we are ‘raised to glory.’” “Glory,” he says, “is not some mystical, ethereal, after-life reality. It is the honor of bearing God’s true image: the Jesus who refused to defend himself, who absorbed the shame, and who trusted his Father God to defend and justify him.”

Those are powerful, countercultural words. They don’t relieve us from the biblical obligation to “act justly,” to humbly and faithfully seek justice in the public square. They do, however, rebuke the worldly urge to demand respect. They do rebuke a culture of grievance. And they place our hope outside and beyond the old southern urge to fight harder and with more fury against the opponents all too many Christians have grown to hate.