The shocking murder of George Floyd on 25 May 2020, and the racial unrest that followed have re-opened a deep wound within the black communities around the world. But it was also a 'kairos' moment of justice and transformation.
What does God say about justice?
The Bible speaks of God’s justice, intertwined with His amazing love and mercy. The Biblical concept of justice runs much deeper than either punishment for a crime or holding power in check. It goes straight to the heart of God and his design for the world. One Psalm says, “The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad …righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne” (Psalm 97:1-2). In other words, justice is fundamental to the very nature of God, and when justice is abused the whole creation will suffer.
God's ultimate answer to injustice was sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to be born, to live and to die on the cross for the sin of mankind. The triumph over injustice was Jesus' resurrection.
There are many verses in the Bible that speak about God's justice, mercy and compassion. Doing a study on your own or in your small group will help you to see God's perspective.
As Christians, how can we navigate the questions around race and faith?
The Bible speaks very clearly that we are all equal under God. There is only one race under God: the human race. God also makes clear that we are to stand up for the oppressed.
On an individual level, most of us can identify experiences of racism, and as parents we have to prepare our children to navigate life in a culture that is opposed to them. As a community, we need to get together to support each other.
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
Sometimes the time is short, but the waiting is LONG! We're talking about years of inequality, injustice, discrimination. It's not just George Floyd. It's understandable that we feel angry because of the number of times it's occurred. It's important to be honest about what you're feeling and acknowledge it before God.
Should I protest as a Christian?
In Proverbs 31:8,9 it says:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
This passage underscores the responsibility that we all have as Christians to speak out against injustice wherever, and whenever we see it. We can protest, but if we choose to join a protest we need to be aware of who's organising it and whether their values align with our own as Christians.
It's also important to acknowledge that there is a diversity of views as to how we should protest against structural racism. These will be influenced by your personality and frame of reference as well. A Baby-boomer will have a different approach to the Millennial, but we must be guided by the Spirit and God's Word.
There are different ways to speak up on behalf of those who are oppressed. Below are just a few:
'Clicktivism' - Online petitions are useful for gathering public support on issues of injustice and disadvantage
Lobbying behind the scenes - Join a pressure group to influence change with local or national levels
Vote - Exercise your right to vote and get involved in politics
Join the conversation - Keep the conversation going, no matter how uncomfortable it gets
Keep going! Often, these acts of violence can trigger a spike in protest activity, but consider what your ongoing contribution could be when the media spotlight moves on.
What is Micah doing, and how can I get involved?
We go back to our founding verse, Micah 6:8 and God's requirement of us: to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly before our God.
Whether it's Pastor Denis representing our voice as part of a group of faith leaders to influence Metropolitan Police relations with black people, supporting initiatives for single parents and young disenfranchised youth, providing access to business support, or providing a safe space to vent before God, ask questions and to pray, we've tried to keep a balance between making our voice heard when it counts and equipping and empowering people on the ground to grow in every area of their lives.
We welcome any ideas and initiatives that you would be interested in taking forward to help us as a body of believers to strengthen our voice.
Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit our George Floyd. Race. Justice. God's Agenda. Resources page for more information and links on black history, racial injustice etc.