There has been a lot of silence in the church regarding the evils of America. GOD says a key expression of love is correction. If you love America, then don’t let the nation be spoiled by withholding correction. As Christians, we have to be faithful and true to GOD, which is the same as being faithful to righteousness and that which produces life. Faithfulness to GOD means not letting personal preferences and biases interfere with the purposes and plans of GOD. We all prefer not to experience persecution but if you walk with Christ that is exactly what will happen.
8 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. (2 Timothy 2:8-13 NKJV and KJV)
I have often experienced disapproval from people when proclaiming truth and giving correction. The basis of their disapproval is the belief that an unfavorable response is evidence of bad timing but that is false reasoning that ignores scriptural precedence. The gut response to correction, by pride and lust, is always to it is as punitive instead of beneficial. This is why GOD gives grace to the humble but resist the proud. The proud often opposes His instruction. The whole idea of waiting for the right timing brought to mind a speech that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave were he spoke about “the fierce urgency of now.” The proclamation came in a speech titled, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” Dr. King is encouraging and exhorting clergy to lift their voices against the three evils that have corrupted America, namely racism, extreme materialism, and militarism. He was also exhorting clergy to lift their devotion and dedication to GOD above all other allegiances, because serving GOD is the highest calling of man.
Prophets are seldom received by the generation they speak to or in the land they are from. Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was rejected in his home of America and considered a national threat, but he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize by the Swedes. Dr. King is celebrated today in America, but in his day, he was scorned by many of which some were Black and White. I will leave you all with his words as they reflect the same truth I have been sharing however, since Dr. King has a national holiday, a Nobel Prize, schools and streets named in his honor, maybe his notoriety will garner more regard than mine are often given. Here is an excerpt from his speech.
“And finally, as I try to explain for you and for myself the road that leads from Montgomery to this place I would have offered all that was most valid if I simply said that I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them.
This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls “enemy,” for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.
And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.”
How many American Christians hear the cries of the indigenous people of America, the cries of children in border detention centers, the cries of families fleeing countries destabilized by American policy, the cries of civilian families bereaved by American weapons, the cries of those incarcerated due to an unjust criminal justice system? The Heavenly Father hears all these cries, just as He heard yours and everyone else’s He sent His son to be a sacrifice for. Everyone born of His love develops His hearing.
When people share their true stories about how they are victimized by unjust American policies, it is a cry to bring attention to their pain and suffering for help in bringing about the remedy. For those who experience guilt or shame at hearing these testimonies, it is a signal that they have not taken the time to truly reckon with the reality of America’s history of injustice. The trouble they feel is the dissonance between how they like to see themselves versus the reflection revealed by truth. When you exonerate and promote the unrepentant system producing the pain which is causing your brothers and sisters to cry, then you become partakers of the sin.
Conversation about the impact of America’s racist and imperialist nature and how it impacts all people is not about digging up things done long ago, it is about reckoning with her present evils which embody the same darkness but now takes new forms. In America, since White people have not been the targets of this evil, it is less apparent to them, so they are often more complicit with it. However, I must say that today I have found that not just some White people, but many middle-class Black people are also out of touch with the real experiences of the poor, oppressed and exploited. If you truly desire to facilitate more unity and work where the harvest is ripe, then lean into the truth and endeavor to hear and understand the voices of those who are unjustly oppressed and imprisoned. GOD can help us with all these things if we are willing to go to uncomfortable places.
Dr. King in this speech also spoke of the “fierce urgency of now.” I have heard talk about the right time to share the truth, well the right time to share the truth is when it dawns. To hold back the truth is to delay the birth of a new day. The vigilance of the Christian is about watching for the light of truth because the liberty it brings is towing the joy that comes in the morning for those who have been persevering through the darkness of the present night. The day never dawns for those who are not awake and watching. Thank you Lord for the great awakening! Amen.
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