Written By: Clarissa Mangaran
What I love about the video is that it shows the importance of studying God’s Word, especially at a time like this. Our country is in turmoil, and we’re attacking one another for our differences. Isn’t that what America is founded on- the freedom to believe what you want and the freedom of speech without fear of persecution?? Again, even God has given us free will. God loves DIVERSITY. Satan loves DIVISION.
As I stated in the last blog, “Confronting Chaos Pt. 2,” every single problem from the individual all the way up to administration is SIN. When we separate our ideologies from that of the Bible, we make decisions based on personal gain, usually at the expense of others, and it’s not long before injustice and social inequality poison our society. When we make laws based on what “feels right” to some people, that’s awfully shaky ground for a country to stand on when what “feels right” is constantly changing and up for debate. As we’re seeing, it has now become dangerous to question what’s going on. When lies and immorality reign, our country looks more and more like the Babylon nation described in God’s Word.
I believe that God is using the Coronavirus lockdown and all the protests and civil unrest to wake us up. For decades we’ve been lulled to sleep with complacency, which has blinded us from seeing things for the way they really are. But now a lot of us are forced to seek truth in God’s Word because nothing seems to make sense. Nothing is what it seems. However, when we turn to God (as the video above teaches), He pulls back the curtain to show us His divine perspective. We can look at our country in chaos and find clarity and understanding from the teachings of the Bible. We shouldn’t be surprised because we have already been warned about what is going on. We have the Holy Spirit within us, giving us courage and guidance. God blesses us with His heavenly perspective on our earthly situation so that we can go out and share the eternal hope and comfort of our salvation in Christ. We can help encourage others in their faith in God, who has already proclaimed eternal victory over the evil and corruption of this world.
Dealing with Injustice
Step 1: Heart-check!
I love the biblical definition of just: “to be faithful to the original design; honest, fair, and upright.” That was God’s original design for us- to be made in His image- honest, fair, and upright. Part of God’s definition of justice is the quality of being impartial and fair. That means we need to seek out and help those who are oppressed and disenfranchised. We also need to be careful that the once oppressed don’t turn around and then become the oppressors. But we can’t do any of that unless we allow God to deal with our hearts. It is necessary to be self-aware so that you are not doing the very thing we’re fighting against. You can’t expect change from someone else before being willing to take a hard look at yourself first.
Am I perpetuating the problem as well? Am I guilty of wrong-thinking or prejudices? What are they, and where did those stem from? Am I intolerant of those who think differently than me?
“Don’t pervert justice, do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. Don’t go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:15-16).
God gave the Israelites the Law and told them to be holy- to be set apart. As followers of Christ, we are also to be set apart. You want justice in this world? You must be a part of bringing justice to it. Do not add to the chaos plaguing our country (and our world, really) by committing the same evil as the world. Do not add to the slander and division that God warns us about.
Step 2: Clearly define what you’re fighting for.
DO YOUR RESEARCH! If you don’t even know what you’re fighting for, you will easily get caught up in the wave of emotion and chaos. Guard yourself against the lies and manipulation of those who wish harm on others. Ask yourself:
What is the actual problem? How did things get to the way they are? How are all parties responsible? What are some options for bringing about change on an individual, a community, and an administrative level? What are effective ways of getting your message out?
Always SEEK GOD’S BIG PICTURE, so you don’t fixate on the snapshot in front of you. Unfortunately, we can easily be deceived by the world. God, not your feelings, is the only solid foundation of truth to stand on. If you are being shamed, condemned, or filled with guilt, especially over something you are not responsible for, remember that it is a ploy by Satan to get your focus off of God.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
“He [Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
Step 3: Talk to People!
Clicking away at your computer or your phone can quickly make you forget that there is a human being on the other end of your rant. The screen is causing us to dehumanize people, and that only exasperates the problem. Whenever a society strips a people group of their humanity, the next step is to deny their most basic human dignity (i.e. slavery and the holocaust and socialism).
Many people don’t feel like they’re being heard. As a result, some are turning to violence. You can make a difference, even at a small scale, by making a phone call, getting on FaceTime, or using Zoom to get in touch with people. Offer someone different than you the blessing of being heard without trying to convince them of your point of view. We’re all isolated and cooped up in our homes, feeling alone in what we’re going through. Take the time to hear someone out with an open mind long enough to hear their heart. Ask them to share their personal experiences. You will be surprised at the healing and connection that happens when you just listen. You will have so much more compassion and understanding for those who have a different perspective than you if you just take the time to hear each other out. Pray for godly wisdom on how to reach people.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)
Step 4: Reconciliation
Step 3 will certainly make an impact on this one. I know reconciliation can be a difficult topic, but if we ever hope to do Kingdom work, we must address the topic of reconciliation. My Life Application NIV Study Bible defines reconciliation as “restoring harmony amongst people.” The commentary under Matthew 5:24 says:
“Broken relationships can hinder our relationship with God. If we have a problem or grievance with a friend, we should resolve the problem as soon as possible. We are hypocrites if we claim to love God while we hate others. Our attitudes towards others reflect our relationship with God (1 John 4:20).”
On an individual level, many of us carry our own experiences with prejudice, injustice, and/or bias towards a people group. When we carry that around, we subconsciously take it out on others. Doing so perpetuates the very injustice we are fighting against. The tension of any unresolved issues or grievances that have not been dealt with will always simmer under the surface, ready to boil over at any moment. We must lay our hurts at the feet of our Father and allow Him to bring healing to our hearts. Allow God’s Word to teach you what it means to forgive and how to do so. When we intentionally seek shared experiences and understanding, like the conversations described in Step 3, you move toward reconciliation.
Look at the example of Jesus. He specifically and intentionally sought out the marginalized, the outcast, and the unwanted. Jesus didn’t come to earth to offer salvation only to the Jews. He came to expand His heavenly family to include all nations. It was very controversial when Jesus sought out the Samaritan woman, not only because of her gender but because of her race, which was despised by the Jewish people [John 4:4-26]. After the resurrection, Jesus’ disciples spread the Gospel all over, including Rome, which was responsible for the oppression of the Jewish people at that time. I would love to see this kind of reconciliation happen on a national level here in America.
In the meantime, we can start at the individual level. We can start by severing our ties with unforgiveness towards an entire people group based on past experiences. Can you honestly pray for those who have offended you or hurt you? Can you pray for the salvation of the officers involved in the death of George Floyd and their families whose lives have forever changed overnight? Can you pray for the people who you believe are out to destroy Christianity and its principles? We can’t control what happens to America, but we can control our conduct. Forgiveness = freedom. Victim and Victory have the same beginning, but how they end is up to you.
“For the Lord your God is the One who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” (Deuteronomy 20:4)
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
Step 5: Respect Authority
“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” (2 Chronicles 20:6)
The commentary for this verse says, “Jehoshaphat’s prayer had several essential ingredients. 1) He committed the situation to God, acknowledging that only God could save the nation. 2) He sought God’s favor because His people were God’s people. 3) He acknowledged God’s sovereignty over the current situation. 4) He praised God’s glory and took comfort in His promises. 5) He professed complete dependence on God, not himself for deliverance.”
We must come under God’s authority first and foremost if we ever hope to be a part of God’s Kingdom works to see change happen. According to Romans chapter 13, we must obey our governing authorities. This is definitely not easy when we don’t agree with how things are being run. As Christians, we must show respect towards our leaders. We are commanded to do what God says is right.
We don’t, however, have to obey laws, policies, or orders that go against God’s Law, but we must accept the consequences willingly and trust in God’s sovereignty. There is a right way and a right time to stand up for injustice against an oppressive authority. God’s original design was for all of humanity to live equal in value, true freedom, and purpose. If you’re going to take a stand on something, your foundation must be God’s Word. Otherwise, you’re just perpetuating the problem. You must be in God’s Word and in His presence in prayer to know when He is calling you to take action. When God gives you a calling, move with zeal and passion for God’s justice. Even if God is not calling you to start a large public movement, I would warn against apathy. Read God’s warning for the Church of Laodicea, the “lukewarm church” in Revelation 3:14-22. What I’ve learned from apologetics is that it is so important to know WHY you believe what the Bible says so that when your faith is challenged, or you face opposition, you won’t be swayed or deceived.
Trust in God!
Our differences are what make us beautiful, not enemies. The real enemy is not another person who is different from us. Our enemy is Satan, who lurks in the dark to steal, kill, and destroy.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:8-11)
We are responsible for surrendering our life to Christ. Let Christ be your standard on how to treat other people. Let Him help you to forgive and to receive forgiveness. Let Him help you to accept grace so that you can extend grace to others. Let Him bring stillness and truth to your mind, so you don’t get swept up in lies and dissension. When it becomes increasingly difficult to stand on God’s Truth, remember: “Nourishment comes from doing God’s will.” (John 4:34) If you’ve studied the book of Revelation, you know how this world will end. God warned us so we would be prepared, and we would maintain hope through the chaos. Time is running out for this world. May that give us more compassion for the lost and a sense of urgency to pray for their salvation. May that light a fire under our behinds to go out and share the Gospel so that even just one more person can be saved in the name of Jesus.
Find your identity in Christ, not a race or political party! When your identity is in Christ, you recognize other followers of Christ as brothers and sisters. You recognize that ALL human beings and ALL life are God’s creation. God has an eternal plan for us, whether we exist on earth for a few weeks or over 100 years. All life is precious to Him: from the aborted to the abused, from the wrongly accused to the murdered, from the enslaved to the oppressed. He cares. He sees. He knows our heart-cry. Jesus died on the cross so that ALL who believe can have eternity in heaven, in His presence, free from evil, sin, sickness, injustice, and pain….forever!
Jesus WILL make things right! The day IS coming! Be prepared!
Written By: Clarissa Mangaran