It almost seems like a year ago to the day (even though in reality it is a year, a month and a week) from a blog I felt compelled to write prompted by violence happening before our eyes. It is not that violence is not always a tragic consequence of the human condition after the sin event in the Garden. It just seemed at the time that something needed to be said as it was so shocking and especially so close to home. This weekend’s events in Charlottesville move me to speak yet again.
Much has happened since the tragic police shooting in the city of Dallas a year ago. We have elected a new president, seen our nation on the verge of war with North Korea and every day has given us new things that cause the hearts of many to wonder about what things are really happening in this world around us. Today, many of us are still reeling from the news coming out of Charlottesville as again at another protest, people were hurt and lives (civilian and police) were lost. Before I write another word, I want to be clear that although these events were similar in the disastrous results of loss of life, THAT IS WHERE THE SIMILARITIES END! What was displayed this weekend sickens the stomach and breaks the heart that more than 50 years after civil rights we are still fighting and dying in the streets over what colors we are and what rights should and should not be given! It is almost more than one can stand. I guess that is my point.
When we go to the Word of God for answers for the times in which we live, we are reminded that these are merely “…the beginnings of sorrows” Matt. 24:8. That is to say, the issues that assail us are going to get worse and repeat in faster and faster succession as time shall go on. That means that although it seems more than one can stand, if we are to make it until the end, we are being called to stand for more. Before you become exasperated, allow me to encourage you with this. I am thoroughly convinced that what God requires of His people, He equips them to accomplish. Since you and I are called by the name of God in these times that seem more than one can stand, it stands to reason that God is equipping us to understand that… one CAN stand!
One CAN stand and speak truth to power. Our culture grows more debase when good men and women don’t stand and say this hatred is wrong and that the real enemy to be fought is that which is behind the hatred and destruction. We must stand and say to those who represent us that we will not be silent and allow injustice to go unaddressed yet we will also not be distracted from pointing out that since the real problem is not racial but spiritual, while we speak out, we must do the greatest fighting with the spiritual weapons that God has given each of us to use to contend with the evil one behind the violence of these times.
One CAN stand and give an example of how the people of God should act, demonstrating the power of love to tear down barriers better than fear, hate and intimidation. A week before these events I had the pleasure of watching two churches from differing denominations and differing racial backgrounds share worship, food and fellowship together as Acts Two SDA church and Disciples Christian Church ate together at a potluck sponsored by our church at the close of their Sunday service. At the end, one member from DCC came to me and said, “More than the food, I thank you all for this fellowship. You served us and sat at the tables with us and we ate and shared together like the people of God should.”
One CAN stand and remind the people of God that the God we serve is yet able to speak peace to the storm or as seems more likely in the times in which we live, cause His children to rise, STAND, and walk in the midst of the waves while He speaks peace within their hearts and minds.
Lastly, and most importantly, in these turbulent times, one CAN stand and know that these are but signs that our Savior’s return is soon and in response, we must dig our anchor deep in the Rock of His Word and by His grace, equipped with the whole armor of God, “…having done all…[One CAN] STAND!”
People of the most High God, let us be the one who WILL STAND!”