Charlottesville, VA: Our Silence is Our Collusion


3 Dead, 35 Injured - Who's to Blame?

The responsibility for what happened in Charlottesville this weekend falls squarely at the doorstep of one individual. His incendiary tactics and divisive rhetoric is as old as time. No one's hatred and anger could be stronger. I'm talking about Satan, the enemy of our souls. Too simplistic an explanation for such a horrific incident? More religious pretense from another misguided Christian zealot who feels his only objective is to help his wayward neighbors to comprehend life solely through the narrow lens of religiosity and secteriansm? Well before you decide to dismiss my thought and chose not to read on, please note, my sentiment is not to deflect or alleviate blame from the people involved who deserve it, but to raise the level of consciousness to the cause and not the symptom.

Without a force to stand against the evil onslaught hell is perpetuating against humanity, we can expect to see the manipulation of man's fallen nature continue, uninterrupted and more vile and insidious with each passing day. Our nation deserves better. Our nation deserves a righteous solution.

When is enough enough for Christians to take their rightful place as visible leaders in the fight against the divisiveness that readily emanates from man's selfish and sinful hearts? Personally, our sin may not be that we shouted inflammatory expletives in a public square against another protester or used our fist to punch that other person. No we may not have been the driver of the car that careened into that defenseless crowd on Saturday, but our silence can be just as devastatingly deadly.

Yes, I'm speaking to those of us who justify our taciturnity with the decency of our living. For us, it is good enough to believe the issues surrounding race are extreme and only appear on the outer fringes of society. It lies where extremist who picket one another perpetuate an ongoing struggle that would simply disappear if ignored and allowed to die. After all, is this not what's happening among the upstanding, law abiding citizens of our country? Its largely ignored in our more enlightened communities and therefore simply does not exist. Not exactly. As long as man is resident on earth with the temptation to conduct our lives according to the rules of self-preservation, the ability to live above and devoid of racial conflict will never be completely true. Dangerously, those who strive to believe this offer themselves and their families a false sense of security. Through this unconscious ignorance, one can further choose to make the schisms our society faces someone else's problem. This belief provides Satan the best cloak of covering under which to conduct his most seedy work unfortunately. It is a belief that threatens the hope for change. 

German Lutheran minister and survivor of the Dachau concentration camp Martin Niemoller, said, “In Germany, the Nazis first came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. They came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. They came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. They came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. They came for me, and by that time, there was no one left to speak up for me.” The silence Niemoller expresses is so indicative of the quiet attitude of good natured people today, however, it is our silence that is our collusion to the division we see.

We shake the hand of tyranny when we decide to ignore the divisive tactics of the enemy. Edmund Burke, an early critic of the British treatment of the American colonies said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Simon of Cyrene understood this. As he lifted the heavy, dense cross of Christ onto his shoulders along the crowded Via Dolorosa and starred into the bloodshot eyes of the innocent suffering Savior, he must have been awed that such suffering was necessary to combat an evil most men ignored and others could not see. In the end, his personal sacrifice to help our Lord led to his own salvation. We free ourselves of our own incorrect biases and attitudes when we help bear the responsibility of reconciling God’s people back to one another.

As long as Christians view the racial divisions of America as a circumstance and not a clarion call to rally for Christ, our nation will languish in the cesspool of moral depravity, unable to free itself from the divisive decay that eats at the soul of who we are as a free people. As long as white Christians see the issue as a black man's problem and black Christians view the circumstances as a white man's problem; or Christians in ghettos and trailer parks see this as a country club problem or country club Christians see the problems with race as a government problem, we all lose the ability to overcome. As Christians jointly, we, and we alone, have the solution. 1 John 4:4 reminds us, "But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world."

Let's embrace the authority that is ours and take up the charge to declare war on division in our land. Let's seek God for our part and get equipped with the skills that take us off the sidelines and into the battle. This is why ONE NATION Training exist. To help concerned Christians gain the practical knowledge about the underlying factors that impact race and ethnicity and the tools to utilize them for a more effective witness for the love of Christ. Through this, we can show more visible leadership to a hurting nation seeking answers to a crises that seems to never go away. Let's give them hope. Let's be a righteous solution.  

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Anthony Jones