Stay in Your Lane

From time to time I get frustrated at the political climate and the antics we see and I find myself communicating that frustration via social media. To be honest, it’s less of a frustration with politicians or government leaders as much as it is a frustration with people who claim to follow Jesus equating actions of their preferred political / governmental leader and standing for Jesus.

A couple of days ago this happened. I saw some of the comments made by our President regarding countries in Africa, and I saw comments made by those in the evangelical world commenting about President Trump standing for Christians and it was too much.

What followed was a smidge of a Tweetstorm…

I found myself questioning the wisdom of the posts immediately afterwards. Questioning whether I should just keep my mouth shut and “stay in my lane” so to speak.

Oddly, right after that I found myself struck with the realization that because I’m a middle class white male it’s an available option for me to close my mouth (and my eyes) to the issues surrounding us. Because in the eyes of society I sit in a position of power I have the option to ignore what others are saying and doing around me.

This was a heart wrenching realization and reminder of my privilege. 

As a follower of Jesus, this is actually my lane. Scripture is filled with commands and examples of the people following Jesus standing up for the oppressed, the downtrodden, those who have no voice.

‘Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed. Speak up, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy. ‘ Proverbs 31:8-9

‘Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause. ‘ Isaiah 1:17

‘Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and needy; save them from the power of the wicked.” ‘ Psalms 82:3-4

‘Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world.’ James 1:27

There are countless other passages we could turn to to describe God’s call on his followers to protect others and speak up for them.

What does this mean for me? I”ll stay in my lane: but that lane includes doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly. Loving Jesus and allowing people to be oppressed simply does not go together. Let’s make the church great again by focusing on others, by serving others, by standing for other.

It seems fitting on this MLK Day to close with this quote by Martin Luther King Jr:

A religion true to its nature must also be concerned about man’s social conditions….A ny religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion.

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