In today’s post, LaShondra Riddle concludes her series this week on racial reconciliation.
“Do good. Seek justice. Correct oppression. Take up the cause of the fatherless. Plead the case of the widow.” – Isaiah 1:17
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. – Proverbs 31:8-9
“Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? – Isaiah 58:6
“For I, the LORD, love justice.” – Isaiah 61:8
“The heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice. – Psalm 50:6
I cannot get away from the God of Justice.
No matter what page or book of the bible I turn to, He is there.
If I camp out in Leviticus and the Old Testament law, He is there.
If I scroll through the prophets, He is there.
If I try to hide out in the gospels and the letters of the apostles, He is there.
All throughout scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, the God of Justice is present and He is forever calling His people to carry out justice in the earth.
Over the last few weeks, I, along with so many others, have wrestled with what our response should be as followers of Jesus during this time.
Some have said that it is our place to pray. That God is the only One who can change the hearts of men and fix what is happening in America. Some have argued that the church has been silent long enough and it is now time to act.
I personally believe both are true. James puts it this way:
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” – James 2:14-17
In the same way, if your black brothers and sisters are crying out to:
1. Not be racially profiled by police,
2. Not be murdered in the streets, but be allowed due process and equal protection under the law, and
3. Not be given sentences that far exceed the crime or that are much harsher than ones given to white people for the same,
Then not only is it unbiblical to tell them “I’ll be praying for you. Have a good day and be safe,” but it is also cruel if you have the means to actually help meet their physical needs.
To this end, some will argue that changed laws do not equal changed hearts, and I absolutely agree, but changed laws help save actual lives.
Traffic Laws help keep people safe and save lives everyday.
Food and Drug Administration Laws help keep people safe and save lives everyday.
In order for white women to have the right to vote, a law had to be written into legislation.
In order for interracial marriage to be deemed legal, a law had to be written into legislation.
In order for an entire people group to be set free from slavery, a law had to be written into legislation
Laws not only help shape the society we live in. but they have a huge impact on the lives of individuals living in that society.
If we are to reflect the Son, who is the very radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of the Father, then we must be people who seek justice on behalf of the oppressed. And part of that looks like taking up the cause of black people in America who are being systemically oppressed and discriminated against.
Therefore, if you have yet to back up your faith with action in the dismantling of systemic racism and injustice in our society, I would like to personally invite you to do so. Won’t you join us?