Unless you’ve been living in a cave since August, you will have heard about Michael Brown. The young man who was murdered by an on duty police officer, Darren Wilson. Michael Brown was black. Darren Wilson was white. This is definitely about race and the dysfunctional relationship that the police (& white people) have with black people in the West, but this post isn’t about if Darren Wilson was justified (he was not) or if Mike Brown brought his death on himself (he did not). This post is about the Christian’s duty, my duty, during these times.
Michael is one of 6 (it may be more) black men/boys who have been unarmed and killed by an on duty white police officer, and black people & our allies have had enough. There have been protests, & rightly so. There have been petitions, demands, pleads, tears, blood, and pain. But more amazingly, there has been unity. Although the circumstances are horrid & gut-wrenching, the unity & togetherness that I have seen over the last few months has been inspiring. People from all walks of life have joined together to stand up against injustice & oppression. Leaders from various backgrounds and industries have stood up and spoken out against injustice & oppression.
What I haven’t seen is that many SDA preacher’s speaking out against this. Actually, I’ve only seen two. Now granted, I do not know every single SDA preacher in the world, nor do I know what is said on all the pulpits across the globe. However I find it interesting how we can spend so long debating women’s rights & women’s ordination, government, poverty, gay rights etc. but racial oppression? Police brutality? All of a sudden the church becomes a very quite place. And it pains me to think that the world church does not care about our black sons/brothers/fathers being killed by an authority that is supposed to serve & protect them – considering Christianity is largely about serving and protecting. It also begs me to ask, who are the world church serving, when there is a large majority of its membership suffering & hurting.
“a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
– Ecclesiastes 3:8
And don’t get me wrong, I know that there are racists in the church. There are those who don’t quite understand the social dynamics of all this race stuff, however, on the most basic level, mothers have lost their sons & wives, their husbands, the least we can do is extend an arm of love. I’m not saying everyone should go out & protest but churches should be reaching out into their local communities just to let them know that “hey, we care about you! we may not understand it all, but we care.” In a place where so many people are hurting, empty & resentful, caring is all that’s really needed. You don’t need to shove the bible down their throats or break down Daniel & Revelation, explaining how this is all a sign of the times. We need to meet their/our needs first. Non-Christians are able to do that most basic thing of caring about those hurting & they don’t know Christ like we’re supposed to, so why can’t we?
& I’m tired of folk making out like Jesus is only the lamb of God – forever peaceful & gentle. No, He is also the lion of Judah – ferocious & royal. When He came into this world, He did not just stroll through without a care. He shook things up, He stood up for the down-trodden, He spoke out against injustice, challenged authority & questioned tradition – & He did it all in the name of God. If anyone knows what it’s like to be oppressed, it’s Him. He knows what it’s like to be murdered for daring to live. He was at the front-line, in prayer & in love, & He suffered because of it.