Should Believers Support BLM?
In the last four months we have witnessed our normal become abnormal. Things that were once commonplace have no nook or cranny to fit in with the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In the middle of all the chaos, a movement was awakened within the heart of America. After the death of unarmed black man George Floyd while under police custody, protests that began in Minneapolis spread across the country like wildfire. Although the situation itself is tragic, America isn’t a stranger to the scenario. According to the Washington Post, in the last year, over 1,000 people have met untimely deaths by the hands of police. The common theme when protests are held is Black Lives Matter or BLM. In the past few months, we have seen a level of protests that the country hasn’t seen since the civil rights movement. Countries all over the world are in alliance with America, and people from different backgrounds and demographics are coming together to march. Though from the outside this seems all in line with the gospel, one still has to ask themselves; Is it Godly to support BLM?
Credit: (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)·
What is BLM
The organization known as Black Lives Matter was founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi in 2013 after George Zimmerman was found not guilty and acquitted of all charges relating to the death of Trayvon Martin. The organization quickly gained a hashtag, following, and before the country knew it, there were protests happening all across America. Of course, with any movement and protest comes a counter protest and resistance. The civil rights movement of the 60’s was met with dogs, America had to fight a revolution to be free from Britain, and in the last days followers of Jesus will be persecuted for our faith. Steering back to the topic of BLM, another group labeled All Lives Matter was formed to reinforce the idea that all lives do matter the same. So, as believers what do we do? Do we ignore the truth of racial and systemic injustice that is vibrant in our country? Or do we understand everyone has their own struggle and that every life matters. The answer seems complex and tricky, but in all reality is very simple. Please bear with me for a moment.
· From a Biblical Standpoint
As believers, we must analyze this from a “WWJD” point of view. Besides, if we aren’t thinking like the father do we have any reason to be confident in our own solution? We should always aim to look at things from a perspective that accurately reflects God’s love. In the Book of Luke chapter 15, Jesus speaks about a parable associated with livestock and a shepherd. Verse four reads, “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”(KJV) The parable goes simply like this, a farmer was shepherding his herd, and out of 100 one of the sheep wandered off. The farmer quickly realized and went off to find them. After he found the sheep, he went back to his friends with the livestock on his shoulders rejoicing. The moral and the lesson is simply, be willing to leave the 99 for the 1. With the situation that America has positioned itself in with the mistreatment of minorities, they have put themselves in the place of the shepherd and allowed minorities to become the 1. As we as a country have allowed such injustice to carry on tolerated, it is only right that we take responsibility and go after the 1. When the shepherd went after the missing sheep, he never invalidated the existence and importance of the rest of the herd, but he realized that there was an issue with the missing sheep and fixed it. In that same vein, when BLM became a thing, it was never to invalidate other lives, but to simply draw attention to the crisis at hand. I implore you to not look at the movement as an attack on those who aren’t mentioned, but a spotlight to those treated cruelly.
· From a social standpoint
To keep this short and simple, if you were to look at the Black Lives Matter website and go to their about page, one would easily find that they don’t promote things that are kin to Christian values. This is often used as a cop out to not align oneself with the BLM movement. However, Derek Minor said it best in an IGTV post, “You don’t have to align with the organization, just agree with the statement.” The statement Black Lives Matter was a hashtag and saying before it was a movement so simply offering a helping hand doesn’t mean you are siding with said organization. You can still march, sign petitions, and challenge a system without compromising your faith. There is nothing political about standing against the oppression of others, while it is everything spiritual to love our neighbors as ourselves.
· Departing Thoughts
This article wasn’t written to criticize or call out, but to challenge and convict. I apologize to anyone who took offense to what I said, but this is the best way that God allowed me to articulate what was on my heart. I pray that you all go out into your respective communities and make a positive change and refuse to stir and instigate hate and prejudice. The Bible says in Luke 6:27-28, “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,Bless them that curse you and pray for them which despitefully use you. Let’s make sure to uphold what Jesus instructed us to do when dealing with those who we disagree with. Have a blessed day.