Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I want to offer you twelve biblical principles to guide Christians, black, white and otherwise, for this moment. The number is appropriate, since this is an effort to disciple.
The very public killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey and many other unarmed black people have rightfully dominated the thought and conversation surrounding us. Here in Halifax, while things are certainly different than south of the border, many black Nova Scotians would be quick to point out they’re not that different.
There’re a plethora of voices interpreting our times, trying to compel you to act and think in particular ways; some of these voices are good, and some bad.
Our God is not silent today. He offers wisdom to those who ask (James 1:5).
Recently there’ve been many posts and comments from Christian leaders that are either repentant, sympathetic or simply restating historic Christian positions for love and kindness and against racism and violence. Sometimes it appears they’re only engaged in public catharsis.
This is not sufficient.
Pastors are tasked with opening God’s Word and from it compelling God’s people to faith and obedience, exhorting and rebuking with authority and precision (Titus 1:9, 2:1, 11-15).
This is not a time to be vague, fearful or sentimental. This moment should give us a sense of urgency, not only because people are dying, but also because the night is nearly over; the day is almost here (Romans 13:11-14).
I’ve tried to order these principles in a way that flows logically (at least to me); if I don’t address a concern of yours in the first place, hopefully I’ve gotten to it later on.
That said, this is an attempt to be broad knowing I cannot be thorough. There’s more to say, but not less. If you want a simple solution to a complicated issue, sorry (not sorry).
Also, I’ve tried (clearly, unsuccessfully) to keep explanations of each principle brief. If you want a more detailed take on a certain principle (e.g. “use of imprecatory prayers” or “remember the poor”), I’m happy to talk more about it with you.
A final comment: there is a cry going out throughout our country and around the world from the black community, where there is a shared experience of injustice, and we need to listen. Whatever side of the political spectrum you’re on, we need to listen. God takes very seriously the voice of the oppressed, and so should we. Please don’t rush to read this document, seeking answers, and miss this opportunity to listen, learn and ask serious questions about your own contribution to the issues around us.
Christ, have mercy.