…simply not being a racist or not being a kinist is not enough. Neutrality was never a real option, and it still isn’t. When the moment to take a stand comes (and that moment has come again and again) we can’t just claim innocence while being a bystander. We, as Christians, cannot claim that a fight for justice is not our fight but we’re “good” because we don’t actively participate in the sin. This is true of injustice in general, but specifically, it is true of the Christian duty to war against hateful racial partiality. It’s time to come to terms with the importance of being an anti-racist or an abolitionist of injustice, as opposed to just “well, I’m not racist.” It has never been enough and the call to work against injustice isn’t a “woke” or “Marxist” paradigm, but the simple insistence on the positive aspect of God’s Law. God’s Law calls on us to not only forsake evil, but to answer evil within society.
An excerpt from answer 145 of the Westminster Larger Catechism on bearing false witness shows that the positive duty of Christians extends beyond simply not telling lies.
“concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause, and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof from ourselves, or complaint to others”
The Westminster Divines saw “undue silence in a just cause” as sin. Not only caring about our own personal sins, but also speaking out for just causes is a duty of the individual Christian. This means that Christians do not only have a negative command to not give false witness, but they also have a positive command to speak and act on behalf of a just cause.Indifference & Racism: Why just being “not racist” isn’t enough by John Reasnor
I have a grim suspicion.
I have a suspicion that, as the economy rots and the culture degrades, there will be more and more indifference, especially among the well-off, but even deep into the middle class. Everyone is going to focus on their own survival.
And sadly, many among the poor will grow quite indifferent as well to the injustice suffered by others, just so long as it doesn’t impact themselves personally.
When does it end?
In repentance. Or in death.
Indifference towards injustice is not neutrality, it’s sin.
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” ― Elie WieselIndifference & Racism: Why just being “not racist” isn’t enough by John Reasnor
I understand where Wiesel is coming from: but there is no indifference in death.
If we are highly blessed, younger men, both black and white (and yes, it will probably have to be men) will lead the push back against indifference of our impersonal/mechanical society. Justice must be secured against rampant racial evil – in the past, and today – and some form of compensation/restitution gained.
I am unsure how it can be done on a personal level: the first group of pastors who figure it out and put it into successful action that can be duplicated widely will be worthy of great respect. They will be real leaders, compared to (say) grumpy bloggers.
It is much easier to get it done on the Federal level: the paper trail of Federal-enforced segregation is clear, the monetary calculations are not so difficult. And even assuming there is no money in the budget (maybe not true now, but true enough within ten years), there are ample ways to gain non-monetary/indirectly monetary compensation.
And the successful expansion of justice in one area, would tend to lead to the expansion of justice in others: from men who unjustly lose out in divorce courts, to women victimized by their pastors; from the victims of police slander in the court to the victims of corporate-legal miscarriages of justice.
Or, we can just let it all fester and simmer, until the modern equivalent of the Day of the Lord arrives, and it all gets paid for in some horrific rolling disaster. All the way from the murdered unborn, the enslaved blacks and the slaughtered American Indians to the endless stream of political & cultural lies, the wealth stolen from the poor and young and shipped to the rich and old, and even to the smashed shops and stolen goods the rioters left behind.
“Everything gets paid for. No partiality.”
No rock, no hiding place.