Monday, August 8, 2022
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The Call: Beyond our church and community

Those who claimed to be disciples of Jesus are called to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly before their God (Micah 6:8). Rev. Susan M. Shaw (PhD), professor of women, gender and sexuality studies at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon rightly noted that “As disciples of Jesus, we do not have the luxury of hating people, writing people off, dehumanizing them or wishing them ill, even when they are acting in the worst ways possible.” I like to add that Grenadian and Caribbean disciples of Jesus do not have the luxury of remaining silent in the face of injustice even if this injustice is beyond our immediate church and community.

Where many of us have remained silent too long is on the treatment of Americans of African descent in the United States.  And in the recent murder of an American young man, Ahmaud Arbery, it took activists, politicians and legal experts across the United States country to raise the alarm about this injustice.

Seventy-four days later, the graphic, viral video of Ahmaud Arbery’s final moments compelled authorities to arrest the father and son suspected of cornering the 25-year-old with a pickup truck before he was gunned down (washingtonpost.com).

The powerful white evangelical community in the United States, as per usual, remained almost obscenely silent on the issue.

In fact, it is part of the larger theological issue, since “Most white Baptists have not viewed racial disparities in income, health, education, voting rights, housing and life expectancy as matters of moral and ethical concern.” #BNGcolumn by #WendellGriffen

The Chief Executive Officer and General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, Rev Elijah Brown (PhD) to his credit has consistently spoken out against racial injustices.

On the murder of Ahmaud, he said, “Death and delayed justice remind us that racism and structural injustice remain sinful parts of the fabric and that there is much work to be done.”

What then is the solution to some of our unsacred acts of silence and seemingly non-involvement in the call of justice?

Asking God to bless us with Jeremiah’s passion, who said, “If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot” (Jeremiah 20:9). How are we doing in Grenada and the Caribbean?

Rev. Vonnie James, Grenada Baptist Association

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