Before I share some thoughts, I’d like to start with this beautiful passage from Scripture:
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” (James 1:19-21)
Unfortunately, I’m usually better at the opposite- being quick to speak and slow to listen, but my wise husband continually is teaching me by example to follow God’s command here. So I have given some time and pause before addressing recent current events through social media. However, I sense a continual deep conviction from the Holy Spirit to not remain silent. As Christians we are called to speak the truth in love and expose everything to the light, just as we are called to seek unity in faith and build one another up. I love these passages in Ephesians, which set such a beautiful tone for this:
“…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:13-16)
“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:13-17)
My heart has been heavy for weeks now, seeing so much division, strife, and extreme violence rising up in our nation and even around the world. Something in the horrific, tragic death of George Floyd awakened in people an awareness and a just anger- both of which are Biblical and vital. We need to be aware of evil and we need to be angry at evil. We need to speak up and defend the dignity of every human person, no matter his or her color, cultural background, age, ability, race or religion. We are created uniquely, with beautiful diversity, each in the image of the Holy God. Our worth and value is not determined by the context in which we were born or the economic status we hold or the educational background we boast or the hue of our skin color…Our worth and value are determined by the passionate love of a Savior who sees us as children of the Living God, children for whom He sacrificed His life to give us life.
As I stated- it is both Biblical and vital to be angry when we witness sin. However, in the middle of a time like this, those of us who follow Jesus are commanded to not allow that anger to turn into sin. Responding to sin with sin is never going to bring about healing, hope, or restoration- in fact, it worsens the problems and muddles any clarity or true conviction. That same section of Ephesians sums it up so perfectly:
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:25-32)
We are also commanded to seek the peace and unity of all.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11)
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (Romans 14:19)
Christians should always be at the forefront of peace-making, showing the world the deep love of Christ by loving our neighbors as ourselves. Even when a neighbor may look different than us, act different, have a different background or even different ideology, that person is still our neighbor, and when it is within our power to do good and bless, we must do so (Proverbs 3:27-31). Jesus takes the command even further,
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44)
Wow, this is beautiful, radical Christianity, which goes against everything our human instinct would tell us. 1 John explores this type of profound, counter-cultural love and challenges us extensively to live it out:
“Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death…This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters…Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth…
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us…
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them…We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 3:13-18, 4:4-21)
In laying all of this as the Biblical context for what I am about to say next, I hope the heart of Christ comes through—because everything as a believer has to come back to the Word of God and our rootedness in Christ. The world doesn’t need another opinion or another loud voice shouting. The world needs Jesus-desperately needs Jesus. I have nothing to offer this world except Jesus. As a follower of Jesus, I never want to be silent on issues that matter where conviction and truth come into play. One of the most powerful quotes I heard recently was from Tucker Carlson, “If you can’t tell the truth when truth actually matters, then nothing you say matters.”
There is a lot of pain right now, a lot of confusion, a lot of digging up of wounds that need to be healed. And yet, one of the things that is breaking my heart the most is seeing good-intentioned Christ-followers jumping on board a movement and backing an organization and slogan that extensively goes against the very heart of Christ. The organization and movement I refer to is none other than Black Lives Matter. A lot of people are afraid to even hint at opposing this organization right now, but fellow believer, we are commanded to be wise as serpents, yet gentle as doves (Matthew 10:16) We must not throw aside wisdom at a time like this, and we certainly must not throw aside gentleness. We must always seek truth above all, for Jesus is THE TRUTH and all truth comes from Him. We must boldly share truth with the world in a manner of gentleness, respect, peace, and love.
I urge and challenge my brothers and sisters to dig deep and do a little research (one doesn’t even have to dig too hard) to find out the message and the agenda behind the Black Lives Matter organization. One of the main focuses of this organization is to support the homosexual and transgender movement, which is in direct opposition to God-ordained Biblical marriage and sexuality. This organization also believes that women and mothers don’t need men or fathers in the picture- again, so against our Heavenly Father’s heart and beautiful design for families. Destroying the family unit is a quick path to destroying culture. Black Lives Matter is also in support of legalizing prostitution and countless forms of “sexual work”- which is today’s most horrific form of slavery- something I have witnessed first-hand through my advocacy with the ministry of Made in Hope around the world, meeting women and child survivors and personally hearing the piercing cry of one women suffering as a slave at the hands of evil men.
What breaks my heart most of all is that Black Lives Matter is closely aligned with Planned Parenthood- the leading killer of black individuals in the United States. Ironically and tragically, any support of Black Lives Matter is actually support for the murder of thousands upon thousands of the most innocent and vulnerable, beautiful, precious black lives across this nation, as well as support for the legalization of the modern day slave trade– human trafficking. If this weren’t enough to break the heart of every Christ-follower and cause us to stand up in bold witness against such an evil movement, we cannot ignore the fires set across the urban landscape of our nation, the homes and businesses of blacks, whites, Hispanics, and Asians destroyed over the past few weeks and the countless murders of innocent people caught in the middle of these mobs and violence.
So what do we do from here? Well I certainly do not claim to have all the answers, but I do know Someone who does- His name is Jesus. I pray that instead of turning to a radical movement for change and answers, we would turn our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, because then and only then will the troubles of this world grow strangely dim in the light of His magnificent glory and everlasting grace…And when we gaze upon the power and hope of our Almighty Savior, we are then empowered to go out into this world as agents of truth, agents of love, agents of peace, agents of forgiveness, and fearless agents of the life-changing gospel that can penetrate even the most angry or hurt human heart. When we experience the life-transforming love of Christ in our own lives, we can offer the world that same love, one person at a time, one neighbor at a time, even one “enemy” at a time…and this world will be set on fire, not like the fires we see burning down cities in the news right now, but a Holy Spirit-filled powerful fire that will heal hearts with brave forgiveness, compassion, and humility.
Brothers and sisters, no matter what your age, your race, your background, your credentials- if you are in Christ-then God has chosen YOU to make known to the world the glorious riches of the most wonderful mystery, which is Christ in YOU, the hope of glory! (Colossians 1:27). We await the coming Kingdom that our Savior promises one day- the new heaven and new earth, where every tear will be dried and every wrong made right, yet in this waiting, we eagerly pray “Thy Kingdom come” even now, Lord, through your people, the body of Christ!