Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
This month, I’m reading and preparing for several anti-human trafficking efforts to include a community fundraiser, education and awareness event, the International Justice Mission Advocacy Summit, and IJM NC State leader training. I would appreciate your joining me in prayer for these efforts. As part of my preparation, I am reading and reviewing several resources. I’m primarily focusing on the book, Justice Awakening, by Eddie Byun. This book calls every Christian and church to become awakened to justice.
Today’s post focuses on exposing the darkness of injustice. Throughout the Bible, we see metaphors and descriptions about light and its contrast to darkness.
Jesus, himself, taught with this understanding in mind:
“For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes (John 12:35).”
“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12).”
At another point, he tells his disciples, “You are the light of the world… (Matthew 5:14)”
The Apostle Paul echoes the teachings of Jesus when writing:
“Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law…So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light (Romans 13:9b-10, 12b).”
“For this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (Ephesians 5:5-8).”
When teaching and encouraging their followers to become light and walk in the light, Jesus and Paul are challenging followers of “The Way” and disciples of Christ to become more like Him. They are plainly stating that disciples must not, and indeed cannot, follow Christ and continue to walk in darkness like everyone else in the world who does not know Him.
There are many people who continue to walk in darkness. Some walk in darkness because they are blind. They cannot see. While physical blindness can be traumatizing for some, remaining in spiritual blindness is most certainly a death sentence. Some walk in darkness because there is so much darkness around that they simply cannot see any glimmer of light. This can be the unfortunate circumstance of someone who is trapped in prostitution for an extended period of time. Her lifestyle and the lifestyle off all her girlfriends may lead her to incorrectly conclude that she doesn’t have anything else to offer the world but her body, and she will never experience a reality other than what she is doing right now. This is a blindness that is fueled by psychological depression, physical abuse, and spiritual drought. She is blind to hope or a vision for her future. Still yet, others walk in darkness because they simply deny God’s truth when it is presented to them.
I would submit that there are several professing Christians who are walking in darkness because they deny God’s truth of his love, care, and concern for all people—that’s the heart of the reason we don’t pay people a fair working wage, why we feel justified in keeping some people in the “in crowd” and rejecting others, why our passion wavers concerning the lives and opportunities for children both in and outside of the womb, why we are unmoved by the lack of education equality, or those living in extreme poverty, or violence without justice. It is the very reason we have been lulled to sleep by entertainment that celebrates arms, drug, and human trafficking. Comfort in the darkness paralyzes us to do and say nothing in the face of injustice. Jesus is calling us to walk in the light!
When we choose light, we are acknowledging the authority and work of Jesus in the world! Jesus has all power in his hands (Matthew 28:18), therefore, we are commissioned under his power and authority to walk in the light. We know that this same Jesus will win and ultimately reign as King in the end. He is also the risen King now, and as servants of this King, he wants us to use the power and authority he has given us to take stand against injustice and to walk in the light!
Until we see the sin in our own apathy and comfort in the darkness, we will never take action or walk in the light. There are victims of injustices all around the world, and yes, many of them are in our own cities, towns, and neighborhoods. Eddie Byun believes that God has a solution for our spiritual blindness, lack of compassion, and unwillingness to take right action. God wants us to: see our own sin; pray for unjust people to put their hope in God; and love victims of injustice (Chapter 3). Exposing the darkness begins with people like me and you trusting God completely, and faithfully taking small steps out of the darkness and into the light.
“What is your current understanding of the church’s role in seeking justice in this world (55)?”
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2015