Does the Church have a sound and if it did, what would it sound like on the issue of social justice?
“Oh this is a sin problem” “This is a government issue, the church is separated from this”
“All we can do is pray” “They aren’t really Christians” “It’s not a real issue”
83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians (ABC poll), being true followers of Christ. What exactly does that entail? Due to the nature of this post, it would be impossible for me to cover all things related to the faith. But there are general assumptions made by most groups like these below:
- Christianity is a faith of conviction
- It’s about responding to humanity
- Living a life of selflessness, humbleness and being kind in general
- Putting Christ first, Reading the Bible and living it out
- Denying our “flesh” (worldly identities and desires)
- Belief in prayers being answered
We seek justice in a world for those that are being ignored, plead on others behalf and believe that God is in control of all things and that his plan is what’s best on all levels and in all things. It’s an active faith, it’s an active cause and it’s one where we should have a response. But amongst our diverse groups of Christianity, we’ve been generally silent.
Tribes: Why are there so many of us?
In the Christian sect, there are varying opinions, varying depictions of the life and purpose of Jesus, infighting on the interpretation of scripture and leaders. We’re still dealing with whether or not we can drink, whether or not we accept the reality and use of the Holy Spirit and personalizing scripture. We’re separated, getting with others that agree with us and creating new groups, and in hopes of what? Possibly –one of the groups being right when we stand before God.
Could this possibly be the reason why we can’t move forward? Is it the lack of unity and agreement between us all. Or have we become the tower of Babel, our intentions of building sound well enough but they are poisonous and we’re rewarded with our own confusion.
But amidst our own noise, the cries of injustice, mistreatment, and complaints of (not just blacks) but other groups as well. I wanted to a pose a question of what the church (in a general sense) should sound like today.
Taking Sides: Is Race one side or is it a multifaceted issue
A lot of Christians have chosen to speak out against the shootings that plagued our television screens last year and received severe backlash. Which only brought to light more questions of whether there is actual infighting in the church on whether or not we should say something, but what?
Would it sound like Lecrae’s verse in Can’t Stop Me Now:
“Another murder on the television
Man, somebody go turn it off
I spoke my mind, I got attacked for it
Thought these people had my back boy
Then they tellin’ me I asked for it
I guess I’m just another black boy
And then they killed Tamir Rice
And they just go on with they life
They tellin’ me shut up talking ’bout it
Like, I should just talk about Christ”
Maybe there’s a middle road where Christ can come into the conversation and where we can discuss Tamir Rice, the young boy that was mistaken for an active shooter.
Lecrae has chosen to use his craft of storytelling in hip-hop to address the dissettling notions that the church in his view has tried to ignore. He has been attacked on twitter for his openness on the issue and has often commented on it in several interviews about he has received very little support from his Christian fan base and how he’s constantly being misinterpreted and his words are being misconstrued. He has stated several times, that he generally feels that church is ignoring the issues of race and feels that it is his responsibility to be the mediator explaining the origin of hip-hop’s use and where the church fit in, especially now in the rise of conflict and misconception toward the black community.
He feels that he has to because of his experiences, convictions and possibly the demands of some in his audience. I would question what happens after we are educated and made aware of the origin. Does it make a difference knowing where it stems from? Only time would tell.
But let’s not dismiss prayer and actively engaging our community.
Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a
qualitative change in our souls as
well as a quantitative change in our lives.
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In the shadow of Black History Month, we find ourselves hungrier than we may have been before and yet we are still unaware of what specifically we have a taste for. We are unable to put into words what it is we specifically want and dream of.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, is idolized in the black community because he could articulate with specificity what it was we wanted at that time in history. Also because we saw the effects of his style of “being active” with peaceful protest and actions intentionally focused on love.
Interpretative Dance: What does love in action require?
Maybe what Lecrae calls ignoring is just a difference in opinion on what action looks like. If we believe that Christ is the center of all things, doesn’t that require an intense focus on His way? To deny ourselves of all other affiliations, whether it be of race, gender or etc. and to make Christ the standard of all things. If so, that would be a powerful revelation for many of us who are still confused on what we as a church body are supposed to take up and rally for.
Imagine the change in thinking on other issues like:
- Before I am a woman/man, I am a follower of Christ…..
- Before I am a republican/democrat, I am a follower of Christ
- Before I am an artist/ rapper/ writer, I am a follower of Christ…..
- Before I am black/ white/Hispanic, I am a follower of Christ…
Changing the ties that hold us together into something much stronger.
What do you guys think?
Has the church been largely silent on the race issue?
Have you seen any pastors speak out on the issue?
What do you think about Lecrae’s approach in educating the audience on its own story? Does origin matter or result?
Let me know in the comment section below 🙂