Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. That’s from Proverbs. However, it still applies to Christians today. We may not want to acknowledge it, but, Jesus did say, Mt 5:18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore, we need to speak up when a black person holding a cell phone is viewed as a danger by law enforcement, but a white person holding a spear isn’t!
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves
What’s going on here? Why do I bring this up? Two reasons.
First – I watched something on Spectrum News about an artist making woodmen sculptures of various items that police thought were weapons being held by someone. Every one of them was shot. Every one of them was also black. There were things like sandwiches and cell phones. Really. Sandwiches! Haven’t seen a sandwich gun, except maybe on TC or movie spoofs of spy movies. And cell phones? How can you shoot a bullet out of a thin little thing like a cell phone? I remember when they used to have the “bricks”. Much larger and had this big antenna sticking out. Maybe on that one. But today? Wow.
The second one is equally mind-blowing. Well, actually, even more mind-blowing. The excerpt below is from a cnbc.com article.
ProPublica reported that last month two women warned Capitol Police about Chansley, whom they had seen outside the building “strangely dressed” and “carrying a spear.”
“He was a figure they would come to recognize — Jacob Chansley, the QAnon follower in a Viking outfit who was photographed last week shouting from the dais of the Senate chamber,” ProPublica reported about the women, Melissa Byrne and Chibundu Nnake.
“They alerted the Capitol Police at the time, as the spear seemed to violate the complex’s weapons ban, but officers dismissed their concern, they said,” according to ProPublica.
“One officer told them that Chansley had been stopped earlier in the day, but that police ‘higher ups’ had decided not to do anything about him.”
″‘We don’t “perceive it as a weapon,”’ Nnake recalled the officer saying of the spear,” the article said.
Byrne tweeted Friday, writing, “I am exceedingly livid that I reported this a—- to the USCP on 12/14 for carrying a weapon on Capitol Grounds and was told ‘higher ups’ okay’d him being there. I am seething. Imagine if he would have been arrested and investigated.”
Seriously – someone holding a spear in the middle of a riot isn’t a concern to law enforcement? Could it be because the man was white?
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves
What do you think? Would you speak up?
Maybe you think the black people shot for holding “dangerous” items like sandwiches and cell phones can speak up for themselves?
Maybe, if they’re still alive.
Or maybe you think their families can speak up if the “dangerous” person with a sandwich or cell phone is killed. Maybe the family can speak out. But – then other questions come up. Will they be heard? Too often, the answer is no. And if they are heard, will anything come of it? Again, too often the answer is no.
Conclusion – Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves – where are the Christians?
Ultimately, the question I have to ask, more and more often, where are the Christians in all this?
Yes, we sometimes see a black Christian Pastor on the news. But is he or she heard? Too often, the answer is still no. And I say this because nothing changes.
Where are the white Christian Pastors? Especially the rich and famous white Christian Pastors? If they do speak up, will they be heard? Will their voices lead to changes? Or will their loving, tithing, “Christian” fans leave them to follow someone else?
Think about that as you read the passage below. In this passage, pay attention to I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. But then also pay close attention to what Jesus says after that. See if the shoe fits, so to speak.
Jn 6:25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jn 6:26 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
Jn 6:28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jn 6:29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
Jn 6:30 So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’’”
Jn 6:32 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
Jn 6:34 “Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”
Jn 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Jn 6:41 At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
Jn 6:43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Jn 6:52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jn 6:53 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Now – keeping in mind the “if the shoe fits” statement, see what happens next.
Jn 6:60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
Jn 6:61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”
Jn 6:66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
Jn 6:67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
Jn 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Jn 6:70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)
So the question is – when it comes to this issue – speaking up for people who cannot speak for themselves, are we also deserting Jesus?
And the question within the question – when it comes to this specific instance of speaking up for people who cannot speak for themselves, do we desert Jesus?
Do we ignore the reality that black people can be shot for carrying a sandwich down the street? I’ve done that. Eating while walking isn’t a crime. Nor is it dangerous. So why can I do it, but a black person can’t, without worrying about the possibility of being shot?
Whether we “speak” with words, by way of people we support, by who we vote for, Etc. – do we speak up? Or do we desert Jesus?