Today’s cultural environment has a call for “justice.” The danger is that in some segments, that call is also coupled with a “calling out” meant to shame a particular person and drive them from our visual existence. David Brooks has an excellent column HERE to dive into that segment.
Justice has to move past vengeance and anger. It has to move to deeper change.
In an excerpt from a sermon preached in Montgomery, Alabama in 1956, Martin Luther King, Jr. said this:
In your struggle for justice, let your oppressor know that you are not attempting to defeat or humiliate him, or even to pay him back for injustices that he has heaped upon you. Let him know that you are merely seeking justice for him as well as yourself. Let him know that the festering sore of segregation debilitates the white man as well as the Negro. With this attitude you will be able to keep your struggle on high Christian standards.
Since moving to Alabama several months ago, I have continually born witness to the spirit of justice in two key areas:
One, I’ve witnessed it time and again from African American friends who will pour grace and peace out to all who are around them. They walk with an understanding of an ongoing struggle and have decided to make sure they are people of peace themselves.
Two, the context of the Church. I’ve long believed the Church has to get racism and justice right and the context I’ve seen here is the Church is truly in that struggle. There is a movement I have been witness to that is powerful as white churches and black churches work to sit down together and listen more to each other.
I am witness to a refreshing move of the Spirit that is rising above the nastiness of the “call out” culture. We can’t “destroy” the one we perceive as “enemy”. We have to go at the root of injustice.