Look around and there's some type of racial tension everywhere you turn. Some would say that this puts evangelical Christians in a tough spot. Is it possible to proclaim that Black Lives Matter, to march, to rally, and to still love Jesus? Yes.
The large majority of the church has been silent for too long regarding issues of race and justice. It's almost if an extremist approach is taken on both sides. One side uses the typical "heaven will be diverse", so let's all worship together approach. Yet, this doesn't heal the wounds of a people less than 300 years post slavery. The other side takes the approach of worshipping separate on Sunday morning or avoiding "race talks". In fact, it's not a secret that church is the most segregated hour of the week.
The recent murders of innocent Black men and women, the complete disregard of Black life doesn't make any of this any better. Still, as the body of Christ we are called to stand with those that are oppressed.
Statistically, 87% of African Americans identify closely with a religious group. Similarly, 84% of Latin Americans identify closely with a religious group. This means that the large majority of those most frequently targeted for injustice occupy a pew on Sunday morning.
Issues of race are messy because humans are messy. We've been messy since Genesis, but thank God for Jesus. Jesus gives us the grace to deal with messy situations. We have to start somewhere and it's definitely a process. Ignoring the issue, even when our own are affected and oppressed daily is never the answer. Where would we be if Jesus stared the oppression of our sin dead in the face and walked away?
This is more than a debate of All Lives Matter vs. Black Lives Matter. It is more than a rally, a march, a protest. Black Lives Matter is a movement, a revolution; a movement in which the church has a pivotal role to play. Our love for Jesus should always compel us to action.
The church on a global level must talk about issues of race and justice in the church. Most, importantly it is time for us to act. The Body of Christ has to collectively and creatively combat the attack on Black life in the place we call home. It starts on an individual level with deep-rooted self-reflection on the roles that each of us play. Hopefully, this self-reflection helps us engage our pastors, friends, and communities and ultimately promotes awareness, healing, restoration, and CHANGE.
The truth is that Black lives matter because Jesus said so. Time out for pointing fingers; let's live out the words of Micah 6:8; love mercy, seek justice, and walk humbly.
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