OUR BLM stance
There’s a lot to feel uneasy about in today’s world. These are hard times, forcing us to grow in ways we never thought, whether we like it or not. Each of us is reckoning with something. We're seeing patterns show up that need tending to, and challenges emerge that can no longer be ignored. We are fighting a pandemic, while also grappling again with our nation’s history of injustice. We are reminded that we have a long way to go in building a better and more equitable world.
Our faith's teachings tell us that each person is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and therefore has intrinsic worth and value. So, why, when Jesus proclaimed good news to the poor, release to those who were jailed, sight to those who were blind, and freedom to the oppressed (Luke 4:16-19) did he not mention the rich, the prison-owners, those who had sight and the oppressors? What conclusion are we to draw from this? Doesn't Jesus care about all lives?
Black lives matter. This is an obvious truth in light of God's love for all God's children. But this has not been the experience for many in the U.S. and around the world. In recent years, young black males are 21 times more likely to be shot dead by police than their white counterparts. Black women in crisis are often met with deadly force.
Something feels different this time. What we’re seeing in others and what we’re personally experiencing is an awakening to race-related injustices at a deeper level. What I really want to see is a Godly awakening and Godly conviction. I'm not interested in presenting false care or concern. That's what the Pharisees did, and Jesus rightly rebuked them. We need to see heart change. True heart change. In the wake of national protests over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, among others, many churches and pastors are quick to raise their hands and admit there needs to be change and that they will do the work to ensure change happens. It’s the actions they put behind those words in the coming weeks, months and years that will truly show how committed they are to such change.
Only God can change a person's heart and in changing their heart change their actions. I wanted to share some practical things I'm doing and encourage all of us to do.
Seek to Understand - I'm listening and asking questions in ways I've never done. I'm watching talks, reading articles, finding books I need to read and connecting with friends and family and having conversations about what’s going on.
Turn Off the: "Yeah, but..." - It's not difficult to find a hole in a point of view, or think about ways something isn't true, but doing that disrupts my first goal of listening and seeking to understand. So in this season, I'm trying to live James 1:19 to an extreme. (Very quick to listen; very slow to speak.)
Speak Out Against Injustice – God wants us to work for justice—especially for the vulnerable. “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17).
Stand up for what’s right, even when others don’t. “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd” (Exodus 23:2).
God commands His people to uphold justice. “Thus says the Lord: ‘Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness be revealed’” (Isaiah 56:1).
There is work to be done, and we will do our part to advocate and make positive change each day that helps open the way for Godly understanding, connection and reconciliation. In this season, I’m asking God for a heart change in me, in you, in the world. A heart change towards God will drive all of our actions for the rest of our lives. We are here for you. We see you. You matter to us.