Faith Matters, General

Navigating an unjust society as a Christian.

Family, welcome back. I guess I should welcome you all to the month of June, but I’ll save that for tomorrow’s #FirstFriday post.

Today’s post has been difficult for me to write. Not because of the content contained within, but because of the happenings that inspired it. Most, if not all, of us have seen and heard the things that have been happening in our world.

Particularly against black people.

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure where to start, nor how I’ll end. My heart is heavy. Its been heavy since last Tuesday when I watched an American citizen by the name of George Floyd be treated as less than human by police officers, to the point of death. It upset me. It really did. And over the past week and a half the information overload – on social media – of the racial injustices happening all over the world has, in a way, tested my faith.

I mean this in the sense that, it’s very easy to look at what is happening as a race war, and to begin to harbour feelings of disdain towards white people. Yet the Word tells me to live and walk in love when it comes to my neighbour.

So I sat down with myself and thought on this. I wondered if there is more to what we see, beyond the physical. What part am I meant to play in all this as both a Christian and a human? Does it matter if I speak up or not, and why? I also tried to imagine what Jesus would have done.

I’m thankful that God’s word holds answers to these questions.

Is there more to what we see – beyond the physical?

Ephesians 6 12
Ephesians 6:12

Life is spiritual. The happenings of our physical world are often a direct result of certain things taking place in the realm of the spirit. And so, it is important that we do not get carried away with being so fixated on what we see physically that we forget/negate the spiritual aspect.

Consider, for instance, the story of Daniel in chapter 10. Daniel had been fasting and praying for 21 days, and on the 24th day an angel appeared to him and said this: “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was standing in opposition to me for twenty-one days. Then, behold, Michael, one of the chief [of the celestial] princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia”. The prince of the kingdom of Persia mentioned here is one of whom Ephesians 6:12 is referring to when it says “…rulers and authorities of the unseen world”.

We see that what Daniel could have seen as a ‘delay’ in receiving the response to his prayer physically was a direct result of the opposition the messenger angel had faced spiritually. Thus, what we see taking place physically is only but a mild indication of what is actually taking place spiritually.

Am I saying that racism is a spiritual issue? A demon that needs to be cast out? Lol, no. Racism is a physical issue (a heart/thought thing), however it’s presence acts as a catalyst for the perpetuation of racial segregation/injustices/wars. When you understand the nature of the enemy, of satan, you know that his agenda is to cause confusion and division everywhere he possibly can, so as to try and limit people’s experience of God (His goodness, peace, kindness, grace, mercy, glory etc).

And so, because we wrestle not against flesh and blood, the weapons of our warfare cannot be carnal either (2 Corinthians 10:4). We ought always to pray and not to faint (Like 18:1), to stand in the gap and intercede. To declare words of life over the nations of the earth. To cause a change, a shift in the spirit such that the physical can only but obey/adhere.

What part are we meant to play in all this? Does it matter if I speak up or not?

The scripture above urges us to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. To individuals who haven’t grown up in households and/or environments that talk about racial injustice issues and the like, it may be daunting and uncomfortable to even just think on how to go about this. Let alone actually do it. However, change hasn’t never been birthed from a bubble of comfortability.

Speaking up requires that one puts aside all cowardice, in order to advocate for what is right in the eyes of our father. It also requires that one be fully aware of what exactly it is they are defending. Meaning, educating ourselves is key. Having those uncomfortable conversations is necessary, because it opens up our eyes, broadens our perspective and helps us confront our ignorance head on.

Speaking up is more than just words. Its attaching to those words actions that correlate. In our day, it ranges from signing petitions, to being a part of protests, to donating towards initiatives that deal with the issues at hand. Speaking up looks like calling out racist remarks when you hear/see them in your sphere of contact/influence. And so much more.

I am still learning what it means, because for the first time in forever I’ve taken it upon myself to not watch from the sidelines, but rather educate myself on what I can do, and taking a step towards it..

Daunting? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.

What would Jesus do?

Considering the man was and is the word, I think it’s safe to say that He did exactly what it says. From including the excluded by showing compassion toward social outsiders (lepers in Matthew 8:1-3; Luke 17:11-19; Mark 1:40-44), and protesting inequality towards women (Luke 10:38-42; Matthew 9:19-26; John 20:11-18). To Rejecting racism, sexism, exclusion of ‘the other’ (like the samaritan woman: John 4:1-42). We see it happen often as we read about the life of Jesus.

It’s important to note though, that none of it ever came from a place of hate. Instead, it was done in love, and that is the example we are to follow. To seek justice out of love for the oppressed and not hatred towards the oppressor.

And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. – 2 Corinthians 5:18‭-‬19 NLT

Now is not the time to stay quiet on a spiritual & a physical end. Not when heaven welcomes diversity.

Every race, every tribe, every nation, every language. That is heaven.

Today I leave you with a question. One that I’m really hoping you’ll answer in the comment section. What’s one thing you’ve learnt during this period, concerning advocating for change?

Grace & Peace to you & yours
– Xo, Jo 🌺

4 thoughts on “Navigating an unjust society as a Christian.

  1. I’ve learned that silence is detrimental. There were other cops around when George Floyd was being pinned down by the knee. They may or may not have agreed with the proceedings but their silence can only be interpreted on way : they are on the side of the oppressor.

    I’ve realized that it’s the same with me. When I am silent I am siding with the oppressor.

    Thank you for this blog post. It’s given me words to say.

  2. I have learnt that even though I can’t do anything financially to support such causes, we still need to talk about it. For the first time in my life me and my mum actually had a lengthy conversation about racism.

    1. You laid it out so beautifully. I love the part where’s you mention that, we shouldn’t speak up about these things from the sidelines before educating ourselves I feel like that’s so profound cause I’ve seen so many people raising out they voices and I respect and salute them but like you said, do you understand it personally about what you defending

      I’ve been getting a lot of for someone who so much of a Christian I haven’t said much maybe it’s about time I read my bible and honestly I don’t know what to say because I wasn’t educated about these things even when growing up cause sexism, racism and etc wasn’t that loud.

      So thank you for this
      I’m still a work in progress.. I’m learning to educate myself.. I’m not silent intentionally it’s only because I don’t know what I’m defending..
      However change is a mandate

      1. I can fully relate with not you when you say your silence is not intentional, but a result of lack of knowledge. I admire the fact that you’re willing to educate yourself on this, because not many people will do that. And the good news is that it is not too late to start. Kudos to you sis!

        And thank you so much for stopping by!

Got any thoughts/questions on today's post?