What Then Are We to Say….

“What, then, are we to say about these things?” So wrote Paul in his letter to the Romans. Chapter 8, verse 31. That’s not the whole verse. The better part is yet to come, and I will get to that in a minute.

But let’s just reflect on this part of the verse for now.

Edmond Burke once wrote this: “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.”

I once kept a poster of Martin Niemuller’s words on my wall as a pastor. Since that time I have visited the concentration camp where he was imprisoned and from which he wrote those words. They read:
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak up – because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the labor unionists and I did not speak up – because I was not a labor-unionist.
Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak up – because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak.”

Silence in the presence of evil exacts a heavy price.

What, then, are we to say about these things?

On Jan. 6, we all watched our Capitol being taken by storm. They did so because our president decided what he had to say about these things was something like: “There’s the Capitol. Follow me!”

An armed insurrection led by white supremacists and white terrorists unfolded right before our eyes and while law enforcement officers opened doors, posed for selfies, or felt utterly overwhelmed and helpless.

What, then, are we to say about these things?

I have two responses to that.

The first is this: say anything! Say something. Silence is the enemy here. You have a voice – use it.

The second is this, and here I will borrow Paul’s own words and finish the verse: “If God is for us, who can be against us.”

In other words – speak. Speak when the fear is great and the uncertainty high. Don’t be afraid. God is on your side. Speak against terror and speak against white supremacy and speak against insurrection. You may anger and you may upset and you may not be the most eloquent and you might not get it exactly right – but if God is on your side, who can be against? Take that step and let the world hear your voice.

Stand up for justice.

Stand up for freedom.

Stand up for righteousness.

Lift every voice and sing.

Let it not be the case again that imprisoned pastors sit in concentration camps bemoaning the silence they chose because they were not among the persecuted – yet.

The time is now.

The voice is yours.

God is at our side and on our side. I can’t wait to hear what YOU have to say on this, our journey Into the Mystic.

Categories: Column Into the Mystic

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