Fact: There are over 2000 verses in the Bible that talk about poverty and justice.
Fact: The Bible calls Christians to a life of love and justice. This isn't justice the way America's forefathers defined it, and this is not the Hollywood version of love. It's antithetical to our most basic of instincts. Here's a snapshot:
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Mark 12:31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.
Matthew 5:42-44 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you...
Fact: If you call yourself a Christian, this world is not your home.
Phillipians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ...
Fact: Our mission as Christians is to show God's Kingdom on earth.
Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Fact: I am angry. I am discouraged, disillusioned, and disheartened.
These are the facts, and I feel compelled to share them because too many Christians have forgotten them.
I have seen countless people who call themselves followers of Christ show a lack of compassion so great that I know God must be grieving. My heart grieves with His. And I, a generally optimistic person, am experiencing a cynicism I did not know I was capable of containing.
Over the past two weeks, I have considered not having children. Moving to another country sounded increasingly appealing. I wanted to remove myself from the situation.
Jesus did not remove himself. In fact, he moved closer. He ate with sinners. He asked them questions. He called out people who were doing it wrong.
What we need is the voice of Jesus.
Pause for a moment. Log out of Twitter. Stop posting Facebook comments, and read the Gospels.
Observe how Jesus treated those who were different than him. (Hint: It was not by discrediting their concerns.) See how he sought them out. I look at Jesus' interactions and see a man who "left people better than he found them", even when he was rebuking them.
And then I look at the hate, or worse, apathy, being spewed by members church and I am angry. I would venture to say that it is a righteous anger.
Here's a final fact for you.
Fact: If you are not loving your neighbor, your friend, your enemy, that person of another race, that person you disagree with, you are doing it wrong. If you are not praying for and seeking racial reconciliation in this country and in your own life, you are doing it wrong. If you are calling people, who are made in God's image, animals or any number of dehumanizing phrases, you are doing it wrong. If you are more concerned with discrediting the the opinions and feelings of another person than with loving them as yourself, you are doing it wrong. If you are not concerned about the plight of the oppressed, the poor, and the marginalized, you are doing it wrong.
Those are biblical truths.
This is not about black or white. This is not about whether or not there should have been indictments in the two recent cases. This is about the fact that we live in a fallen world. This is about the fact that we as Christians are reacting to this brokenness in a way that is indistinguishable from non-Christians. We need to do better. To whom much is given, much is required, and we've been given so much as Americans.
I'm gonna let my man James close this one out:
James 2:14-20 (The Message)
Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”
Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.
Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?