Speaking Up: Complete Affirmation
Because black lives matter too! I am in complete agreement with this statement. I love black people and I believe black lives matter. One can not claim that all lives matter equally and unjustly treat a certain group of people based on their skin color. Thus, to truly affirm that all lives matter, you must affirm that black lives matter too.
(Side Note: I think that adding “too” to the end of the hashtag/saying clarifies the true meaning of what many well-intended people mean when they share it and makes it much less incendiary. It indicates “both/and” instead of the possibly “either/or”. I think clarity of speech and meaning for the believer is much more important than simply participating in something that is trending but unclear or divisive. But this isn’t the main point of this article. Nor is saying it without “too” wrong.)
Although misunderstood, because of the way the hashtag/saying is often presented (causing many people internally to ask, “Hey, doesn’t everyone matter?”), the positive use of the hashtag/saying is to affirm to the black community exactly what it says, “Your life matters!” And even if we are not black, we mourn with you, we value you, we hear you and we see you—and we are trying to honestly say, “You matter to us!”
Every follower of Jesus should affirm that black lives matter too. Jesus came to save the black man too. He died on the cross for every shade of skin tone that exists within the single human race. We are to communicate the love of God to a lost and dying world and this absolutely includes black lives. (Following Jesus and racism/hatred are incompatible; 1 John 2:9)
I empathize with you. I want to have compassion. I do care and I am trying to love. I stand against unjustified police brutality, murder, racism, hatred, and apathy.
Vigilance: We Aren’t Allies With The World
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
2 Corinthians 11:3
As the above is true, the following is also true. At the same time, we must be vigilant, because we know that Satan doesn’t let a crisis go to waste. “Black Lives Matter” is more than a hashtag or support for black lives, but it is a network and an organization. They have a website and they have a “what we believe” page. A quick read through it shows that there are many positions that a Bible-believing Christian can not affirm. (Not to mention their calls for the murder of innocent cops.) This organization (BLM) is incompatible with Biblical Christianity. Believers and local churches don’t need to lock arms together with such an organization to affirm that black lives matter too.
This isn’t a political stance but it is a Biblical stance. Politics, the mainstream media, and a barrage of social media postings are confusing believers and they are not sure which way to go. We don’t know where we fit in. But as believers, we are in the world but not of the world… we shouldn’t fit in neatly into any worldly groups (see below: John 17:14–17). We are called out from worldly ideologies and world-views (Black Lives Matter, Marxism, Postmodernism, Deconstructionism, Feminism, Black Liberation Theology, etc). To take it even farther, even though we vote within a majority two-party system, we shouldn’t feel “comfortable” in the republican or democratic party. We are part of something different, something greater, something better…this world is not my home. If we are Bible believers then we will be at odds from the world simply by believing what it says. We affirm that racism, homosexuality, abortion, transgenderism are all sins against a Holy God. We also affirm biblical marriage between one biological man and one biological woman, sex only within that marriage relationship, and pro-life from the womb to the tomb as right and true.
It is all in the name…the marketing of this organization makes this balance hard and causes confusion. Many if not all believers want to affirm that “black lives matter” but also not be mistaken for support for “black lives matter (the organization)”. As you can see, because of the name of the organization, to be against the organization also sounds like you are against black people. But this is furthest from the truth. Things are often labeled this way on purpose and for this purpose. But because the world uses a “good phrase” to also mean bad things, does that mean we should avoid it as Christians? I don’t think so. I think we redeem it. It is similar to the rainbow which has a certain meaning for the homosexual community, but it also has a meaning for the Christian community. Because some use it to teach anti-biblical things, should we ignore its Biblical meaning? Of course not. We redeem it and use it for good. This might take adding context and thus extra work, but if that is what it takes to not be misunderstood and to shine light into the darkness, then we should be willing to do the extra work. (Or do avoid confusion, you can say the same thing, but chose different words or hashtags).
“I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Applications: Loyalty, Humility, Engagement
As believers, we do desire to be followers of God and not allies with the unrighteous. Here is how I think we can apply this:
In Psalm 139 David reminds us of two important things that I think are helpful:
- We can’t be loyal to God and at the same time be allies with His enemies. We have to firmly stand with God and not with those who speak against Him with malicious intent, take His name in vain, and actively oppose Him. We don’t want to be identified with them or be mistakenly grouped together as their ally. Your testimony is on display. Application for this article: Show your support and love to the black community out of loyalty to God and don’t become allies with those who oppose Him.
“Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: Depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, And thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.”
- We constantly and humbly come before God to unroot any unrighteousness in us. As we firmly stand in our loyalty to God we are inviting Him to search and know our hearts and thoughts to see if there is any sin or unrighteousness within us. We want to expose anything within our character that would be grievous to our righteous Father and be led in the way that God loves. Application for this article: Ask God to search and know your heart and thoughts to see if there be any wicked way of racism in you and if so, repent.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”
Finally, our next step takes us back to John 17:
- We are to engage the world as Jesus did. We are on a mission like Jesus was. What did Jesus preach? Repentance and belief in Him for everlasting life! Application for this article: Engage the black community around you as Jesus would do; be the salt and light you have been commanded to be.
“As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.”
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”