I wrote this on Friday, Sept. 23 – less than a week before the rock at Bethel University was painted over a statement standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter to a message saying “Blue Lives Matter,” “Black Lives Matter=racist” and “double standard.”
I think these words from The Bible are particularly relevant as we are attempting to foster a healing environment as well as one of having those hard conversations.
There is no distinction, for God shows no partiality.
He judges people with equity, for equality is giving people the same thing, while equity is giving people what they need.
The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
The needy shall not be forgotten; the hope of the poor shall not perish forever – the Lord is their refuge.
For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted.
Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
You have turned my mourning into dancing and clothes me with joy so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
The LORD loves righteousness and justice.
The LORD looks down from heaven and sees all humankind.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
You deliver the weak from those too strong for them, the weak and needy from those who despoil them.
Do not fret over those who prosper in their way, carrying out evil devices.
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more. But the meek shall inherit the land.
The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak justice.
If you close your ear to the cry of the poor, you will cry out and not be heard.
When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous, but dismay to evildoers.
Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, but those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor.
Oppressing the poor in order to enrich oneself, and giving to the rich, will lead only to loss.
Partiality in judging is not good. Whoever says to the wicked, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations;
but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.
One who gives an honest answer gives a kiss on the lips.
The LORD is a God of justice. God loves justice and hates wrongdoing.
The LORD requires us to act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly.
Learn to do good, seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.
The righteous know the rights of the poor; the wicked have no such understanding.
This is what the LORD Almighty says: Administer true justice, show mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.
But they refused to listen, and turned a stubborn shoulder, and stopped their ears in order not to hear.
Fellow Christian sisters and brothers: if you believe the Word of God to be true, let’s start acting like it.