Let’s not simply encourage the oppressed to be calm and act peacefully. Let us, in the words of Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression.”
In a recent article, Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae discussed the tragedy that occurred in Charleston, S.C., last week. In it, he voiced his concerns about people’s propensity to offer forgiveness without stopping to address and remedy the real issues at hand. He went on to say: “We don’t need a cliché and a proof-text for every social issue. We need hands and feet in the cities, institutions and infrastructures. The same gospel that frees the soul frees us to live selflessly toward others with genuine compassion.”
Yes, forgiveness is a necessary step in moving forward after a tragedy. It’s what we are called to do as Christians: “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all…” (Romans 12:17-18). However, can forgiveness without action serve as a crutch? In times like these, when a group of people are being targeted and persecuted, should the church and Christians do more than just preach forgiveness?
Lecrae thinks so. To him, when it comes to oppression and persecution, there’s very little room for passiveness. Not only should we be a forgiving community, but we should also be an active one that seeks to end wrongdoings whenever we see them. There are people all across the world who are being persecuted for their race, for their religion or for some other senseless reason. And unless we all stand up together as Christians and as human beings, with God by our side, these problems will persist.
The world is hurting right now and it’s in need of not only forgiveness, but also of action. Each of us has the ability to help, even if it’s just to speak out against wrongs. For what good is talking the talk of Christ if we’re not also walking the walk? We owe it to our brothers and sisters around the globe to do all that we can to help.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? (1 John 3:17)
Find Lecrae’s full article here.