Charlie Hebdo and the massacre of 12 satirical cartoonists, 2 police officers, and 3 Jewish shoppers rightfully brought the world to Paris. It was more than a terroristic threat; it is a threat to a way of life. I am not of the opinion that our way of life should be maintained without revision. There are some highly offensive behaviors that should be corrected. There are few that would disagree. But, I have an alternative point to make here – another concern.
What does concern me is the casual overlooking of other massacred men, women, and children around the globe. Nigeria for example. These people are not advocating the maligning of Islam or any other religion but are just ordinary people who are only wanting to have a peaceable life where they live. And, here, I do have an ax to grind.
I have a friend who pastors a church in the northwest province of Nigeria. I know that he has a heart for his people. I was concerned, as were others, when I learned that Boko Haran has been systematically rooting out and massacring people of faith and those who educate children in the northeast province of Nigeria. My friend, Pastor Tunde Bolanta, is one who does believe that education is important for every young child. His church is but a few hours from where more than 2000 people were massacred in a small village for no good reason. And, there is no good reason for crimes of terroristic portions against Charlie Hebdo as there is for any crime and, especially, where good people are just eking out a living for themselves and their families.
The advocacy of one group of massacred people compared to another is insensitive and foolish. My point is not to say that we should pick one or the other but rather what is something we can do about the one or the other(s). How would Jesus respond? How would he challenge his followers to?
Discipleship—following Jesus—requires action. It is who we are. We are followers. Our dilemma is what should or could we do to bring grace, love, and justice to bear in these types of situations. To do nothing and be indifferent has the effect of consent. To do something wisely, deliberately, and with conviction is required and can bring solidarity, encouragement, healing and hope.
To do something wisely, deliberately, and with conviction is required and can bring solidarity, encouragement, healing and hope.
I don’t know what you should do. I have a personal relationship with someone who is in the middle of the fray. He literally has skin in the game—his own. I, for one, cannot sit idly by while he does this alone. What about you? Is your discipleship a subset of church programming relegated to Bible study and warm conversation around a cup of coffee? Or does it have feet, hands, arms? Does it offer a taste of grace? Is it taking action? Does it embrace the gift of mercy? Does it seek justice? Does it walk humbly with the Lord toward the good of others.
We cannot all respond to every injustice but we can do something. Should we not move toward it in good faith asking God for courage to act instead of running away and hiding in our enclave safe and sound?
If you want to know what I am going to do, email or text or respond to this blog. Better yet, tell me what injustice you are bringing to bear God’s love, mercy and love? It is always better to be doers of the word, than just hearers only. James 1:22-25. Isn’t it?