Emotionally, I’m outraged, is an understatement of how I feel about the injustices I see from the shootings of unarmed black men, women and children. Spiritually, confusion, lies within the hearts of not only my own but others across this nation as I am torn between wanting to trust God that he will take vengeance on the unjust, while at times there is a doubt within me that lingers due to the continuous stench of bloodshed that consumes the air of the many lives that have been lost with a hashtag in front of their names.
I found myself flipping through the Bible searching for answers on what my role is, as a Christian, in these political movements? I stumbled on many passages throughout the New Testament like Romans, Titus, and Peter where I wrestled with this recurring subject theme that Christians have a duty to be obedient to those in authority. Anger arose within me when I read them because, I have watched church sermons shift from how to spiritually survive the enemy to now self-survival from those same authorities who took an oath to uphold the law. Even when I read scriptures like do not be afraid, I now respond with “How, when we are living in time when even when you are not doing anything wrong, you still can be murdered?”
Filled with discouragement, disappointments and an increasingly harden heart, my prayer life was becoming more of a monologue to God petitioning for him to change the world rather than a dialogue. Yet throughout my anger for the judicial system something amazing happened. My spiritual appetite to know more about the christian’s political stance grew. I began to have more in depth philosophical debates with colleagues and youth pastors as I read commentaries on the context and timings on when scriptures were written in. My perspective began to change as I re-read texts like Romans 13: 1, stating: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
I now understand that when Paul wrote this to the Roman Christians he was letting them know that yes, although we have to follow authority do not forget that they also have to answer to God who is more superior. So when the ultimate question was asked in Romans 13:3 NIV, “… Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority?” Instead of laughing at what appeared to be a rhetorical question, I had to realize my answer would suggest the understanding that ultimately those in authority are merely human beings and acknowledging that God is still in full control.
So to relinquish my fear is to relinquish to God my anger, my concerns, my vengeance. To no longer fear, instills a baseline of trust to God. If I could put trust in the person I have elected as president to make changes, I must have even more faith that God is fighting on my behalf.