Wondering what to do, Church? Retaliate!

So what do we do? That’s my question along with millions more this morning. Innocent people gunned down from both sides of an emotionally charged issue. Racist fear. Burning anger. Bullets sent back. Urban war zones. Exhausted nation. It’s time, Christians, for us to retaliate. Fight! Pick up your weapons. Sprint towards the front lines, this is a battle. Don’t let them get away with this.

Yes, some of you will fight back with policy changes, please do! Let wisdom and the word of Christ guide you, fight against systemic racism, violent reaction, impossible scenarios for law enforcement, and rampant weapons on our streets. Fight back with every ounce of your heart. Change the laws, uproot the systems. Leave everything on the field because lives matter.

Not all of us are policy makers. Sure we have a voice and can influence, use it, with sobering humility and covered in compassion. But beyond that, what do we do?

Every violent act flows from a broken heart and twisted mind. Fear clouds judgement. Hate whispers lies. Anger incites the unthinkable. We must retaliate against these enemies. And they aren’t out there.

We all know this “be the change you want to see.” So will you inject more anger into our society today? Will you spew hatred onto our streets through Instagram rants and set fires on Facebook? Will you provoke more fear by mongering with generalities and sweeping whole classes and races of people into a condemning category? Will you walk around with judgement behind your eyes when you see someone with different skin color or wearing a badge? Retaliate against these enemies! The greatest battle is inside of you and me.

Rally a riot against every word of hate you might want to speak this week. Replace it with empathetic understanding. If you are not a person of color, you do not know the torture of racial profiling. If you are not an officer, you do not know the anguish of wondering what will happen to you when you are doing your job. If you are not a policy maker, you do not know the impossible complexities of our systems that need untangling.

Sure sit from your chairs and lob Molotov cocktails of aggressive emotion. But you will only enflame more of what is destroying us.

We need people who know how to retaliate in the right way, by blockading fear from causing you to say and do harmful things to anyone. By stonewalling the anger in your own heart. By combating the condemnation you want to launch.

In the end Ephesians 6:12 is right, our struggle is not against flesh and blood. We are fighting against evil whose weapons are hate, fear, anger and judgment. Those weapons are in your closet and mine. Don’t grab them unless you want the forest fire to spread. Retaliate in prayer. Fight back with understanding. Work to treat people in your own mind and heart the way you want our world to function on the streets. Lament over the lost. Plead for change. Now let’s pray…

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