As you well know, humanity has a sin problem. We all do. This is the nature and essence of all the issues we face as a Church and as a country. Anyone talking about racism and justice must begin there. Be wary of those, whether inside or outside the Church, purporting to be fighting for “justice” while disregarding and even advocating sin.
It is impossible to address these problems efficiently while brushing aside the eternal principles of nature, as given to us by the Creator. We would be missing the problem entirely, and in fact, aggravating it further.
This is not just within the confines of the Church. We are talking about reality here. Social change must be sought in this manner. It is the way Martin Luther King, Jr. accomplished so much in such a short life. Remember his Letter from a Birmingham Jail? In it, Rev. King explained how we could determine whether a law is just or unjust. He wrote:
“A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”
Justice demands a standard. And aside from God’s standard, there are only personal preferences— human preferences, to be precise. The same humanity plagued with the sin problem.
That is why so many today are committing such heinous, unjust acts of racial violence against their neighbors. They are committing such actions because they believe similar acts were committed against them or their communities. They are acting according to their evil nature and imposing their sinful preferences over another’s. Sin for sin – an atrocious exchange.
Warning: Graphic Content
We, as the Church of Jesus Christ, simply cannot support those whose whole strategy is to commit sinful acts against another in the name of “justice.” We do not repay evil with evil (1 Peter 3:9). We are not frustrated when some are “getting away” with this or that. This is not what we believe.
No one gets away with anything. We trust in the Lord Almighty (Romans 12:19), so we do not lose hope and fall into despair as the unbeliever does. And we reject the worldly, devilish dichotomy by the scornful telling us that not to join them in their wicked ways is to allow injustice to flourish.
No. There is a better way. The way. It was the way of Dr. King and most abolitionists throughout history. They fought injustice, even as they remember the admonitions of Proverbs 3:29, “Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you.” There were plenty of instigators among their ranks, too, with promises of quicker resolutions. Evildoers claim victory at every chance they get.
Do not fall for their lies. Continue to heed the Proverbs (3:31, 32), “Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence.”
Standing in the confidence of God, we can speak truth that is more powerful than an entire army. We extend the hands of grace and help, empathy, and longsuffering that bring healing and reconciliation. We stand up to tyrants and, yes, perhaps even give our lives for freedom.
It is “[f]or freedom Christ has set us free,” and we, therefore, “stand firm … and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” That was our previous life. We were slaves to sin. But now, we do not walk in our former ways. We do not join the sinful mob for whatever reason. We walk in the light.
We will fight injustice. You can rest assured of that. We will just not fight it the world’s way (Romans 12:21).
May the God of all hope and peace fill you with the courage and love you need for this moment, that the power of the Holy Spirit may shine in your community now as never before.
Letter: one, two.