#PrayforDallas – responding to injustice

Immediately after returning from a family mission trip in Asia, the news broke, in my hometown of Dallas, of the horrific acts of violence on the night of July 8, 2016.  Within the past month, there were multiple shootings across America: Orlando, Minnesota, and Louisiana.  However, this time, the shootings were directed at the people who swore to protect our lives and promote justice.

The wide range of public reactions were blasted all over social media.  Moral questions sprang up such as these: What’s happening to our nation?  Where is justice in all of this?  Where is GOD? How can he let this happen?  Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 12.07.32 AM
We knew church services that weekend needed to help people understand how we should respond and manage our anger, grief, and posture towards God and others. How do we make sense of these senseless murders with a Christian Worldview?

In clamorous times like these, we should always look to Scripture for wisdom.  For me, these scriptures come to mind in dark moments of injustice.  
  • Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed.  Isa 59:14
  • We growl like hungry bears; we moan like mournful doves. We look for justice, but it never comes. We look for rescue, but it is far away from us.  Isa 59:11
  • Death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our fortresses; it has removed the children from the streets and the young men from the public squares.  Jer 9:21
There was a time in the Bible where the craziness all around us now resembled very much what the people of Israel experienced during their time of exile and injustice.  The people were crying out for relief because their brothers & sisters, sons & daughters, family & friends were dying all around them.  

The most important question in all of this is, “What do we do when we are in the midst of these horrendous acts?”  

Thank God, the Bible isn’t silent on how we should proceed in dealing with our emotions. The Prince of Peace has given us examples of how we should respond by 1) Lamenting our frustrations, 2) Worshipping our Lord, and 3) Seeking Peace with others.  

It’s ok to Lament (grieve) and cry out to God.  We can always tell him, that “This isn’t right.  We don’t like what we are seeing in the world. This makes us angry!” Did you know that over 1/3 of Psalms come in the form of lamenting?  God teaches us through his Word how to grieve well.  Here are some verses that you can cling onto during moments of distress:

  • I called to the LORD in my distress, and I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears.  Psa 18:6

There’s an entire book in the Bible that teaches us how to grieve when we don’t like what you see that’s happening around us.  The prophet saw his nation being pillaged right on front of his eyes, and he laments with these words:

  • I have cried until the tears no longer come; my heart is broken.  My spirit is poured out in agony as I see the desperate plight of my people.  Little children and tiny babies are fainting and dying in the streets.     Lam 2:11
But, isn’t it a great promise when we know that our father will always hear the cries of his children?
  • You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, Psa 10:17
  • I sought the Lord’s help and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fearsPsa 34:4

After we cry, we need to Worship – taking our eyes off the problem, and refocusing our eyes back on God.  We run to other believers (the church) and find emotional and spiritual relief.  We then ask God for our next move.

  • Job lost everything in one day.  First he grieved, then he fell down to the ground and worshipped (Job 1:20).
  • King David was sickened by the death of his baby and the first thing he did was he went to church and worshipped the Lord (1 Sam 12:20).

But our part is not yet done, because God commands us to seek Peace with others.

  • Turn away from evil and do good.  Search for peace, and work to maintain it.  Psa 34:14
  • I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.  John 16:33
  • I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.  John 14:27

Practically speaking, we want to actively voice anything that promotes reconciliation and remove the toxicity of animosity.  When the world wants to retaliate, we, “Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.  Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone,” and we leave revenge to the “righteous anger of God” (Romans 12:17-19).

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.
Feel free to add / comment below.  I’d love your feedback.

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About Kevin Nguyen

I am a Vietnamese-Texan Who doesn’t love both Pho and BBQ? And this is where I shall start… Introductions to Kevin Nguyen. Let me go ahead and introduce myself as best I can. My “Called” Name (what you go by): Legal name: Anh-Khoa Nguyen. Nickname: Kevin. Personal family name: Khoa (qua) Nationality: Vietnamese-Texan Kevin was picked up when I was trying to order pizza from Pizza Hut while in Texas. The guy asked how to spell my name. I mean, how hard is it to spell “K – H – O – A”, right? Those are not hard letters to hear over the phone. After several attempts – I couldn’t take it anymore — “Dude, my name is Kevin”. Finally, I can have my pizza. READ MORE here... http://nextgenerasianchurch.com/2012/02/01/i-am-a-vietnamese-texan/

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