The prophet Isaiah depicts the dreadful and startling condition of humanity in chapter 59, verses nine to sixteen. Although he wrote this over 700 hundred years ago, its an accurate portrayal of our current society. “No one calls for justice; no one pleads a case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil. So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like people without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead. We all growl like bears; we moan mournfully like doves. We look for justice, but find none; for deliverance, but it is far away. For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities: rebellion and treachery against the Lord, turning our backs on our God, inciting revolt and oppression, uttering lies our hearts have conceived. So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.“
The passage above describes how God looked at the earth and determined that humanity was helpless to do only what Jesus Christ could do—remove the penalty of sin. None of us are righteous, no, not one. The events surrounding the death of Ahmad Arbery saddens me deeply. It shows that racism is still very much ingrained in our culture because of ignorance, prejudice, stereotypes, which are all manifestations of sin in the human heart. As a part of OneRace in Atlanta, we are calling for justice for Ahmad Arbery because righteousness and justice is an aspect of the character of God, and is how He governs His creation. Such justice applies not only to Ahmad Arbery, but to innocent babies murdered in the womb, gang violence in which witnesses refuse to testify against the perpetrators, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, and for any other wrong committed in our society.
The racial issues we are facing go far beyond our skin but is a result of sin. I am sorry to say that as long as there is sin in the human heart, these kinds of tragedies will continue to exist. Apart from Jesus Christ, Whites will continue to spill blood in the streets and perpetuate bigotry. Apart from Jesus Christ, Blacks and Latinos will continue to harbor hatred, bitterness, and vengeance in their hearts toward their oppressors. Because of sin, the conflict between the oppressor and the oppressed will remain. “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed— and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors— and they have no comforter (Ecclesiastes 4:1 NIV).
Yes, we must cry aloud when someone is treated shamefully and gunned down in the streets! Yes, we must protest the 20 million aborted black babies that are victims of a racist agenda by Margaret Sanger, called The Negro Project! Yes, we must intervene in communities ravaged by black on black crime. All of these actions are what God calls us to do. But we should also remember that our true enemy Satan, takes advantage of the sinful human heart and employs a strategy of divide and conquer. We should not be ignorant of his devices. Let people of every race, culture, and creed unify, to target the real invisible enemy and his demons that exist in the heavenly realm, where principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness reside. If we continue to antagonize each other in our racial silos, we risk creating the racial war that fits into a Satanic playbook where everyone loses (Remember the Civil War). Then, we will never truly acquire justice from God’s viewpoint.
Feature article by James G. Leak III, Ed.D.