Note: The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent The K.I.N.G. Movement or its supporters. They are the views of the author alone.
Yet another unarmed Black male, Terence Crutcher, has been killed by police. The absolute numbers reflect that this has happened to more White Americans than any other group in our country, leaving some Christians to assert that the media, Black Lives Matter, and “race hustlers” have created a false narrative regarding the spate of police shootings that have occurred over the past few years.
The ignorance of facts, distortions and denials of reality this view portrays aside, the situation has been exacerbated by the recent uproar of verbal and written assaults against Colin Kaepernick's protest.
Many athletes, military veterans, law enforcement officials, celebrities, titans of industry and self-declared Christ-followers have stated, “I wouldn't do it the way he is doing it but I respect his right to do it.” A smaller group of individuals have called for him to “leave the country if he doesn't like it here.” The question begs to be asked: “If not his way, then what way will you actually engage to create a national conversation on this issue?”
Not long ago, kneeling was trendy as many found “Tebowing” a respectful way for football star Tim Tebow to express his faith.
Originally, Kaepernick sat in protest, but because some in the military viewed sitting as disrespectful, he decided to kneel as a way to express his discontent with injustice. It is also an overt expression of his faith that the country can be better than it currently is for all Americans, especially those of African descent. In response, vitriolic voices around the country have risen to a shrieking crescendo.
So the question becomes: “Why are we so vocal about a man that kneels, yet silent about men who are killed?” The Violence of Christian Silence does not mean we are co-conspirators with the corruption but it does mean we are failing to be “salt and light” in the process of trying to press the case for justice.
Scripture is clear that God views the pursuit of justice as a hallmark for His people and their leaders. In fact, more than 135 times, God speaks to this important issue.
When we fail to “mourn with those who mourn,” our hearts fail to beat with the King’s heart on these social issues. Political, ideological and theological debates aside, the Kingdom of God is where our first and primary allegiance needs to reside.
If our theology doesn't impact, integrate, and at times interfere, with our creature and cultural comforts then are we really being like Jesus in the world?
I do not expect those of you who do not share my ethnic heritage, or gender, to have the exact same fears, anger or reaction to the madness happening across the country right now. However, our shared spiritual heritage is infinitely more important than differences in culture and gender. Therefore, I do expect the love of Christ to be expressed and poured out on the hurting, confused, afraid and disenfranchised - whether innocent or guilty.
I am saddened by the silence of all the good, godly people I know around the world who do not identify as descendants of Africa, but are children of the Last Adam. You can and must do better if our God and His Gospel is to impact this world at the levels necessary to produce social change on a global scale.
There are three tangible actions we should all consider:
- Prioritize Christ in the Scriptures over the Christ presented in our culture (when the culture misrepresents His heart and character)
- Prioritize people over politics - others may not vote like you or I do, but Christ shed blood for their redemption. Their importance is not determined by what they check on a ballot.
- Position ourselves to “be touched by their infirmities” and get to know their pain, their promise, their potential and their process.
We don't have to relocate to another part of the world, change jobs, march or protest. We don't have to do anything actually. But as Jesus said “salt without saltiness is useless.” So we do have to be useful.
I implore you in the name of Jesus to find a way to be useful in this context. Someone’s life literally depends on it!
A finance executive, Marc Thompson, Jr.—known as Mr. Uplift—is the senior leader of Uplift! Fellowship, where the mission is "raising lives by love and truth." He is a sought after speaker passionate about leadership, relationships and stewardship. Follow him on Twitter @MrUplift