There is something that has been circulating lately that has gotten me thinking a little deeper.
I have seen the quotes “White silence equals violence”, “silence kills”, “your silence is sin”.
I have read them. Listened to the writer.
Thought about it.
Prayed about it.
And these are my thoughts on it.
I would like to start by saying that these are my thoughts based on what I have studied in the Bible.
I am not saying that I am completely and totally 100% correct on all my beliefs.
I would be prideful and waaay wrong to think that I had all the answers.
I do not.
But I encourage you to hear me out, do your own study of the Bible and pray for wisdom from God, which he promises to give when we ask!
As believers, we can all agree on the fact that God is just. (Is.30:18)
That God loves justice (Is.61:8, Ps.33:5)
That the Lord requires us to act justly (Micah 6:8)
That we are blessed if we act justly (Ps.106:3)
We still good so far? You all with me?
Here is where I want to encourage and exhort you.
When someone starts picking a specific injustice that they are passionate about, and starts accusing other people who are not speaking up about it the way they think they should be, and even uses Bible verses to call them out as sinners for not? That’s where I think we have to take a step back.
There are a few reasons for my belief.
1. Action does not always have to be marching, posting on social media, or protesting.
Please do not misunderstand me here. I am not at all saying that those things are wrong. Not at all. What I am saying, is that what you view as action is not the only action that is actually an action.
(How’s that for a tongue twister?!)
How powerful do you think prayer is?
How much discipline and hard work does it take someone to pray?
What if I decide that my action to whatever injustice I see in front of me is to wake up an hour earlier than normal. Get on my knees. And spend that full hour crying out to God to protect, to show justice, to avenge, to comfort…is that action?
What if I don’t go to march, or protest, or don’t post on social media that I have done it?
Does it still count as an action?
I believe it does.
2. I can not be passionate about every injustice in the world.
This world is filled with sin. And to be clear, I am filled with sin. I would probably be able to fill pages with all the injustices in the world. I am personally passionate about many things, but one of them is foster care. The foster system is a mess. I have seen children go back to birth parents when it was not safe enough for them, I have seen children taken away from birth parents when they never should have been, and I have seen children stay in foster homes that were abusive. All wrong. I post about it, I am a foster parent, and I desire to stand up for them.
I have friends who I have never seen post a single thing about foster care, I don’t know if I have ever heard them talk about foster care and I don’t think they have ever marched or protested for better homes/judges/casa’s/social workers for them.
I have never, one time thought that they hated foster kids. I have never thought that they were then “part of the problem”.
And this is just one other injustice.
What about the way the poor/homeless are treated? What about how the famous/not famous are treated? What about the way the unborn are treated?
What about the problem with racism? What about the way people with mental illness are treated? What about the way women are treated?
See…the list could go on and on and on with problems of injustice.
It would be impossible for me to be vocal on every. single. issue.
So, just because I am not being vocal on the subject you are vocal on, should not mean that I am sinning.
3. Whether I want to admit it or not, the media impacts what I feel passionate about.
The media has an incredible amount of power. We see pictures, read memes, watch videos and we get emotionally involved, sometimes without even realizing it. It is so easy to get caught up in what looks like a mic-drop-moment and not take the time to actually do the research and study out to see if it’s accurate. I have seen so many quotes, comments, pictures (some that even have Bible verses attached to them) that just aren’t accurate. It is super tempting to think about my specific passion and find a Bible verse to comfortably fit around it. We have to be so careful that we are not taking a verse out of context to make our point.
When someone says that by me being silent on whatever topic they are talking about goes against the verse in James that says “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin”, I struggle to see this as the proper context. This is implying that the “right thing to do” is whatever that person thinks is right.
Going back to my first point, what is the “right thing to do” in a particular case for me, may not be the same for them. It kind of takes a verse and throws it in someone’s face and calls them a sinner for not responding the way that person is.
When I see a powerfully written quote, it is not necessarily truth!
This needs to be remembered. When a quote ends with… “then you are the problem”, or starts with “the goal is…” Just be careful with those ones. Make sure they are in alignment with the truth of God’s Word. Does God say that if I’m doing or not doing something then I’m part of the problem? Is the goal of what the rest of the quote says really a goal that I want to attain?
We just have to be careful.
And we have to always be loving and humble, even when we are disagreeing with someone or exhorting them.
4. Vengeance belongs to the Lord.
I have to study this one out a little bit more, but I certainly can not ignore the verse in Romans 12:19 that says “Do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place for wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay’, says the Lord.”
That word avenge actually means “to defend one person from another; to punish a person for a thing”.
We always have to compare scripture with scripture and find out the context, but there is certainly something to be said for waiting for God to avenge. Hosea 12:6 says to hold fast to love and justice while waiting for God continually. There is verse after verse in the Bible that talks about how God will judge and pay back the wrongdoer (and then says with whom is no partiality) so we know that God will judge, even if we don’t like the timing or method! We have to trust God.
SO…I guess that answers the question Does silence always equal sin…
2 really good verses to remember before you start scrolling and before you start posting are these:
“When words are many, sin is not absent”, and
“a fool shows his annoyance at once”.
*We have to show love.
Always. To everyone.
*We have to be careful to not accuse people of sinning or wrong doing just because we don’t like the method in which they are doing something.
*We have to turn our own eyes to Jesus. When we are so filled with the love of Jesus in our hearts, the desire to be right, and the desire to have to get our own way gets pushed right out.
*Then we have to look at ourselves. Be willing to look at our own shortcomings in the way we treat everyone.
Be willing to repent of anything that we are doing wrong.
Be careful that if we are working, and posting and marching that we aren’t just doing it for the attention. Determine our goal, and ask ourselves it is God honoring.
That will point people to Jesus…
The way, the truth and the Life.
The only way to God.