A Righteous Rebuke

It’s so quiet.  I would love to start this piece with a more provocative opening, but the truth of the matter is that those three words encapsulate what I observe happening (not happening, as it were) in the moment we, as a nation, find ourselves in.  By the time this article is published, not only will Donald Trump be a month away from being sworn into office as President of the United States, but the Electoral College will have cast their votes confirming Trump’s candidacy &  renouncing the voice of the popular vote.  The last scenario in which this election ends without a fascist winning the White House has come and gone. A cabinet replete with those whose interests exclude more than they include has been developed. Hate groups that have been encouraged and empowered by the elocution of our country’s new leader operate with newfound confidence.  Doubt and disappointment rule the day & while fear keeps many up at night.  And while all of this is going on…it’s so quiet.

The silence of which I speak is not related to those who find pleasure in the state our society but to those who do not.  The most deafening dead air is coming from those who claim to feel some type way about all of this yet do not say anything about it.  It is almost as if the ridiculousness of the reality we find ourselves in, the saddened, sickening state of our society, has stolen our voices and our motivation to lift them.

While the effects of investing in a system whose function is to fail those at the bottom of it are pointed and perceivable, while the blatancy of what we are as a nation has bludgeoned and bruised the belief of “better” for so many of us, this is not the time for us to be disconsolate or defeated.

In this season of life, the 24th Proverb illustrates the Master’s mandate clearly to us. Solomon pens that  “Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,” will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them”.

We block our blessing when we condone the work of the wicked with our silence.  The blessing we desire to manifest in the lives of this nation and her people will not come through inaudible indictments. Our breakthrough will not come from charisma, worthiness or benevolence. But the change we want to see will only begin to happen when the righteous become willing to raise their voices in unrighteous times.

Now is not the time to concede victory to the vicious. Now is not the time to struggle in silence.  Now is the time to strategize, organize, & mobilize our efforts of the name of a progress that will not be attained without struggle, but it starts with us being able to offer an honest critique of the context we find ourselves in. Our language must not be personal but prophetic. What we submit for consumption must be needed nourishment for the scarred souls of those who are having dehumanization forced down our throats. We must push back against the stigmas and stereotypes designed to cheapen our culture and distract us from our depreciation. What we repost and retweet must be what we need to say and not only what we want to say.  We must speak in the name of a God that demands that His people be allowed to walk in the freedom He offers us all.

Patriotism ought not only be comprised of compassion & conviction, but also correction.  And, as God loving pursuants of righteousness, we must be willing to refuse and rebuke change that condemns more than it considers.  The time is now for us to assume a position of humble morality in the name of God and begin the process of change through challenge.  The time for a rejection of elections that only favor sections is now. The time is now to pressure government into being the best version of itself. The time is now to push back against (and even discredit) those who claim Jesus but don’t sound like Him.  The time has come to stop waiting on a “move from God”.  The movement of God is waiting on us.

We must be valorous enough to meet these conditions with an unblenching proclamation loud enough for the world to hear.  Even with tears in our eyes, heaviness in our hearts & fears for the future, the time for reformation, the time to stop being so quiet, is now.  In times such as these, God is prompting and pushing His people to offer a righteous rebuke.

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Derrick Holmes

Derrick Holmes is the Senior Pastor of Second Baptist Church in Circleville, Ohio. He regularly attempts to think through intersections of religion, race, and culture. A closet introvert, Derrick presently resides in Columbus, Ohio where his quest for New York style pizza & knishes is ongoing.

Follow him on Twitter @mrderrickholmes

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Posted on: December 27, 2016

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