Black History Month: We’ve come to the Koinonia Community in Americus, Georgia. (This is our second visit here.) I talked with Mercer College Professor Greg Domin. He had a group of students here from Mercer College in Macon, Georgia. Mercer is a Baptist school and Professor Domin said the reason he brought the students here was to learn about Rev. Clarence Jordan. Jordan started Koinonia in 1942. It was established as an “Intentional Christian Community” and farm where whites and blacks could live together and worked together for equal pay — in the middle of the rural South in the face of a long list of Segregation Laws. As a result, Koinonia experienced drive by shootings, the Klan burned crosses, town businesses boycotted the farm… (It was the backwater Montgomery, Alabama, of the Civil Rights Movement, long before Montgomery became a flash point.) In the throes of all the backlash at Koinonia, Clarence Jordan wouldn’t back down. He would say later in a sermon that people will say “Jesus Christ is Lord.” Then he continued that this is the “biggest lie” in America. That is, materialism, customs and law will often trump Christ’s teachings for most Christians in our society. As an example, the Segregation Laws of old in America were fundamentally the opposite of Jesus’s teachings, yet most American Christians in the South went along with them. So in effect, these ‘laws were Lord,’ not Jesus. Another example is the continual upward pursuit of the “American Dream” to enhance our own lives (in the face of current abject inner city and Third World poverty) is totally antithetical to Jesus’s message. Yet most modern Christians’ actions indicate ‘materialism is Lord’ in their lives as they keep reaching for more and better material things, comfort, and so on — while throwing, percentage wise, a mere pittance of what’s left over to the poor. Note: Last night I attended a talk by Sanders Thornburgh at Koinonia. He said the Rose Creek Christian Community in Tennessee lives two or three families to a modular home. Some of the savings go to help finance “Mercy Houses” in India for people living on the margins in that country, and there are many. Mercy House literature says it’s not uncommon for parents to throw an infant there in front of a train — so they don’t have to watch the baby slowly starve to death. But hardly any of us seem to be able to house share (modular home or bigger) in this country because, well, ‘materialism is Lord,’ not Jesus and his teachings — which, rationalizations aside, would be pretty clear on this one.