I marched recently with a solidarity group organized by the African American Council of Churches. It was not a Black Lives Matter* sponsored event, but one with thousands of participants from many local area churches. Why did I do this? Because “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28.) As believers, we should value people of all races equally because we’re all made in the image of God.To me, this was not a support of a particular political group, but a show of solidarity against the sin of racism. Click To Tweet
When I arrived at the march in Madison, I was blessed to bump into a friend from my church, Priscilla, a small group leader who I am in fellowship with regularly. It was a divine appointment.
It was my honor to march with Priscilla. She’s a beautiful woman of God. Marching with her moved me deeply, as it expressed solidarity between people of different colors, places and backgrounds. Our faith should unite, not divide.
Yet, Christians are an interesting bunch. There are as many opinions as there are denominations! I often find myself wondering if we will ever find unity and love each other well enough so that the world will know we are Christ’s disciples. (John 13:35.) But with God, all things are possible. (Matt. 19:26)
Some Christians may look at what I did as a great thing—showing support to my black brothers and sisters at a time when hearts are hurting. Other Christians might look at what I did as supporting some liberal, riot-provoking lawlessness, and may be disappointed that I did march.
That’s why Christians are an interesting bunch because we can’t seem to agree on lots of things. In this case, however, I think politics and religion are sometimes wrongly conflated. Walking with other believers was not a political move on my part; it was a move of compassion.
What haunts me, like everyone else in this movement, was that video of George Floyd’s death. As he must have sensed his demise, he called out to his mom… crying out to his mama… the one who loves unconditionally. (That just chokes me up typing it.) George’s mom will be with her son in heaven. That’s the one comfort we can find in this tragedy.
Seeing that horrific video was the match that ignited a raging fire. George Floyd’s murder, as one of the highlighted speakers proclaimed, was the spark that lit a pile of tinder that’s been stacked up high for many, many years due to racism, injustice and too much pain.
As we marched down State Street towards the Capitol building, I noticed all of the stores had boarded-up windows to protect rioters from breaking glass, which they had done earlier in other protests. What a difference from when protests first broke out; the march I participated in was very peaceful. There was no violence, no hate-filled language… just a passionate outcry for change.
And where, at first, were ugly reminders of when legal protests were overrun by the illegal acts of a few, became places where creatives expressed themselves, showing that beauty can, indeed, come from ashes. (Isaiah 61:3.) This is not in any way to support breaking the law, as some had done in the violence that broke out many days before, but an attempt to understand how people process their pain and what kind of expression people make in the aftermath of these events.
Once we arrived at the Capitol building, speakers challenged us — is this just going to be another march, or are we finally going to make some permanent changes?
Racism is sin, and it’s sin that causes pain. Jesus Christ came to forgive us our sins, and transform hearts to desire sin no more. That’s what we need -transformed hearts.
And in the meantime, we can enact police reform and create policy changes that stop the cycle of poverty, often found in black communities. Be part of the solution by what you support (read exactly what it is certain groups do support before giving, just to ensure they align with your Christian values), and be in prayer for our culture.
“…He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.”— Micah 6:8 (HCSB)
- Black Lives Matter is an organization that is not rooted in faith, but a secular movement that supports many beliefs that are not Christian. Some of its ideology is also rooted in Critical Race Theory, which is not a Biblical concept. I think all black life matters, and will support things that help create equal opportunities for all, and which also protects black people against racist violence and/or unlawful action.