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Protest, Part 2

July 10, 2016

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

– Elie Wiesel

As Christians, we may be called on to speak out against injustice, bigotry, and anti-Semitism in any number of contexts.  Our response matters.

Whether we speak up or not – whether we witness or not – will be noticed.  Make no mistake.  Our response will be noticed by those suffering from injustice and those perpetuating it; by believers and non-believers; and by God, Himself.

Self-Righteousness

Despite his heritage and education, his talents, and his role in the early church, the Apostle Paul was never self-righteous after his conversion (Philippians 3: 4-7).

This is where many Christians today fall into error.  We are to take a stand for righteousness.  Our own righteousness is, however, as “filthy rags” when measured by God’s standards for holiness (Isa. 64: 6).

Unfortunately, some Christians resort to self-righteousness in an attempt to disguise that reality.  This is often coupled with hypocrisy, a sin Christ was vocal against (Matt: 7:5).  Thankfully, Salvation is not dependent on our righteousness, but rather on Christ’s.

Condemnation

“ ‘I have not come to condemn the world, but save it’ ”(John 3: 17).

Too many times, Christians (and those claiming to be Christian) make the mistake of condemning the sinner, along with the sin.

The actions of the Westboro Baptist Church illustrate this.  Denounced both by the Baptist World Alliance and Southern Baptist Convention, this church is widely known for the hate speech it directs at American soldiers, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and the LGBT community.  Its website and protest signs make provocative statements such as “THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS” and “GOD HATES FAGS”.  Contrary to what the Westboro Baptist Church maintains, this is unbiblical conduct.

We all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3: 23).  Compassion for the sinner is not to be confused with condoning sin or compromising the Word.

If Christ had wished to condemn us, He would not have died on the cross.  Conviction is for the Holy Spirit (John 16: 8).  Christians are instructed:  “ ‘But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…’ ” (Matt. 5: 44-45).

God holds out a hand of forgiveness, as the Parable of the Prodigal Son demonstrates (Luke 15: 11-24).  Who are we to do otherwise?

“Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon” (Isa. 55: 7).

Paying the Price

Christ warned that His followers would pay a price (John 15: 18-20).  In fact, we are told all who attempt to lead godly lives will be persecuted (2 Tim. 3: 12).

Speaking out for the Gospel takes courage.  It may well involve sacrifice on our part.  We may lose friends, reputation, or income.

But Christ died so that we would have eternal life.  His love should be our greatest incentive.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6: 23).

There were 7 shooting deaths in the national headlines over the past week.  Please, pray for the victims, their families, and this nation.

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  https://avoicereclaimed.com

14 Comments
  1. Powerful words Anna! This is an excellent article.

  2. Monochrome nightmares permalink

    Hi Anna.

    Recently, all I seem to read in the Newspapers and
    see on the TV is America policemen shooting innocent
    people.
    What’s happened to your wonderful country?
    How do they get away with it.

    Here in England, the regular policeman on the beat
    does not carry a firearm.
    Only a special division of the police force are armed.
    In America all the so called good guys and the bad
    guys all have guns.

    You mentioned there were seven shootings in the past week
    alone, where these shootings by the police across the whole
    of America?

    • I wish I knew how we got here.

      The Second Amendment to America’s Bill of Rights protects the right to bear arms. It originated against the backdrop of the American Revolution. In the context of today’s anti-government sentiment and concerns over crime, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has used it to oppose even the slightest restrictions on gun ownership.

      Congress (heavily influenced by the NRA) has been unwilling to require registration on sales at gun shows or background checks (meant to bar suspected terrorists on the “no fly” list, criminals, or the mentally ill from gun ownership).

      Though the vast majority of police/civilian shootings are justified, I’ve lost track of those involving unarmed black men over the past three years.

      This week’s tally of deaths involved Alton Sterling, a black man in Baton Rouge, LA, reported to have brandished a weapon, but shot while pinned to the ground; Philandro Castile, a black man at a traffic stop in St. Paul, MN who had informed police he had a permit to carry; and 5 police officers ambushed by a sniper in Dallas, TX intent on killing police.

      This is a deep wound, getting deeper.

  3. Good continuation of this series Anna, thanks

  4. In my opinion,the “how we got here”can be answered but it would require an exhaustive analysis of many facets of our society over several decades. An analysis that very few would be willing to pursue for the fact that it would uncover wickedness of an unimaginable magnitude.To simplify,the present lawlessness we are seeing in America today is traceable back to a few basic issues emanating from our collective rejection of Almighty God. And yes, I know that flies in the face of most Americans. History,however,never lies.

    We are a nation drunken with Self, with Greed and Privilege our new societal pillars. The masses have been made to swallow the bitter fact that abuse of power at the highest levels is acceptable but the common man must bear the full weight of law. How could any society endure this?

    As a former gun owner(and will certainly become one again) I agree with your assertion Anna regarding the NRA. That being said, where to draw the line of who gets a gun and who doesn’t is a difficult decision to make. And who can be trusted to make any such decision when you have NRA money on one side and the anti gun lobby on the other side? Neither “side” trusts the other,and most likely never will. All of which leaves Mr. average American left to figure it out on his own.

    I did some research on the issue of police killings and what I found is appalling,howbeit not surprising. From the guardian dot com:

    2015 police killings. 1146 total. 306 Black. 195 Hispanic/ Latino. 13 Native American. 581 White. 24 Asain/Pacific Islander. 27 Other/Unknown .

    If you break this down by % per million it looks like this:
    Black 7.27
    Hispanic/Latino 3.51
    Native American 3.4
    White 2.93
    Asian/Pacific Islander 1.34

    There is no way to know how many of these deaths were to unarmed individuals,but the message is clear: if you are Black in America you are twice as likely to die from a police shooting then the next highest ethnic group. What we MUST do is understand why.

    Until then,as you said Anna,the wound will only get deeper.

    Bless you Anna.

    • Thank you as always for your valuable insights, Ron. I am especially grateful to have the input of a former gun owner. I used to live in Philadelphia where urban violence is common. I live in a rural area now, where hunting is widely practiced. That difference in locale makes an enormous difference in attitudes toward gun ownership.

      Blessings,

      A.

  5. Holy Boldness–I’m beginning to speak, if only on the blog. God bless you–all through the week, Anna ❤

    • That’s wonderful, Shadeau! ❤ I hope you will view this as a safe place to express your feelings.

      • You’ve offered a loving, compassionate heart to the world here–how can readers not bloom? 🙂 ❤

      • You make me blush, Shadeau. I don’t deserve such praise. But thank you.

      • I mean every word–I’m sure I’m not the only one who hungers for some encouragement and compassion 🙂 You’re most welcome.

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