Lately, everywhere you turn, the piercing cry for justice pervades the air. Against the emotionally charged backdrop of Covid19 crisis, the grossly shocking murders of Black men by unjust policing instantly ignited a firestorm across the U.S. and indeed, the global community.
We didn’t really need one more calamity on top of a pandemic, but the “Black Lives Matter” rally is flaying all of us to seriously consider our own racial, educational and social biases. There are, inarguably, prevailing cultural attitudes shaping our predominantly white perspective. I hesitate to wade in on so incendiary a topic, but I know my own failure to treat others justly. The honest recognize we need a serious upgrade in acknowledging the deep grievances of African Americans and Indigenous peoples. We should be galvanized when innocents are gunned down in parking lots.
What made current events so singular was the high-speed explosion of social media. Suddenly, everyone, everywhere is on blast. The war-cry wailing of many voices has become the gospel of this generation. Unless you have trending media presence, you’re just not lit. Stand up and join the bedlam, or you’re a racist. It sounds impressive, but most of it is simply rhetoric; a complete ignorance of what, the authentic righteousness our souls require to thrive, truly costs.
Let's examine some misconceptions. Firstly, there is no protection, provision, stability, or equity flawlessly administrated in any earthly establishment. Although the attempt is often valiant, human institutions are violently corrupted, and completely inadequate to perform so pure a standard. If that’s your salvation, you will be heart-broken. Untainted judgment belongs only to God, so when we try to bend it our grubby little standards we end up with a painful grotesque.
Secondly, Justice is a razor-sharp, two-edged sword, so don’t swing it around like an idiot or you’ll end up cutting off something vital. The mere shout for vengeance shifts all eyes, and inevitably, your own actions come under unflinching scrutiny. How is it you demand the dismantling of police forces for violent manslaughter while at the same time, financing abortion? (# Unborn Lives Matter, too). Either all lives matter, or they don’t. Pick a side, and stay on it.
Thirdly, without righteousness according to God’s standards, there is no justice. Justice is a package deal; you don't get to pick and choose the parts you'll live by and the ones you won't. Eternal moral codes are not malleable material. Without honoring the nature of holiness, purity and righteousness, no resource to overcome human nature is available. Change is not possible. We just trade one form of slavery for another.
The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. Psalm 103:6-10
Finally, current voices demand a change in policy, a change in behavior, without actually transforming the heart. Loathing and contempt go underground, to strike again in a vicious moment. We’ve seen this in the recent, unprovoked attacks on Indigenous people in Northern Alberta. Only the Lord transforms the heart, and consequently, the fabric of society. Jesus, save us from ourselves!
And they sung a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
And have made us kings and priests unto our God: and we shall reign on the earth. Revelation 5:9-10
It's done. You and I have been delivered out of every perverse and twisted tendency of race, culture, family background or clannish predilection we came from. In Christ, my prejudice against black, yellow, indigenous or ethnic can actually be removed. I will possess the grace to see others through the lens of God’s value. The unspeakable preciousness of each life can become tangible and life-changing. This is our only hope of actually becoming a world where all are honored in the way they were meant to be. We've been howling for justice, but we should be crying for joy at a glorious mercy.
Father, help us to recognize the demeaning and oppressive ways we deal with others. Give us new hearts and minds with supernatural purity to love. Break off the victimization we carry; the hatred we have known and shown. Set us free from our own prejudice. Teach us your victory to overcome the world.
I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.
1 John 2:13
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