Saturday, May 30, 2020

Christians Can’t Be Silent No More

Image: Source: Nijalon Dunn / Courtesy of Resurrection Houston
through Christianity Today

I read an article today on the George Floyd incident - the senseless killing of a black man by a police who kneeled on the man’s neck, ignoring the plead by both the man and his companions. I watched the footage of the incident, and was very disgusted by the police officers in the video.

The author of the article is a Chinese immigrant, and he calls for the Chinese immigrants in the US to stand up for the black community. The author’s reason for such a call isn’t just because Chinese/Asian Americans have widely become the target of hate crime due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The author writes, “the ultimate benchmark for the assimilation of the Chinese (or any ethnic group) in the American society should be the identification of the American value: all men are born equal. Only a goal of this level is worthy of people of all ethnicities to strive together for.” (Translation mine).

I was very touched by these words, “all men are born equal. Only a goal of this level is worthy of people of all ethnicities to strive together for.” Matter of fact, “all men are born equal” is not just an unspoken value that is agreed upon in the American society, it is a part of the US Declaration of Independence. It reads, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights...”

This American value is the reason why American Christians so proudly call their country a Christian country. And this American value is influenced heavily by the Christian belief - all men (“men” as human beings, not as a gender pronoun) are born equal, because all men are created in the image of God. And so all men are co-image bearers of God, whether they so realize it or not. This, to the Christians, is what gives the sanctity, dignity and value to the human lives. Therefore, disrespecting the life of a co-image bearer is disrespecting the image of God. And to protect and stand up for another co-image bearer of God is the manifest of reverence to the Creator God.

This is why the discrimination and police brutality to the black people is not just a matter to the minorities in this country. Christians of all ethnicities - both the majority and the minority, should stand up against such disrespect and mocking to the image of God. We can’t love God with only our lips, we need to be doers of our faith. If we believe God is true and real, then our words and deeds should manifest our beliefs.

At the scene of the George Floyd incident, there were actually 4 police officers. While Derek Chauvin was kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, all the other 3 police officers remained silent. Maybe those 3 police officers were not as bad as George Floyd, but their silence condoned the killing of Floyd. As the famous quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. says, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Christians can’t continue to condone this kind of violence and cruelty by remaining silent.

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