The Christian Protest
If you want to think less of humanity, I would advise reading comments posted online from articles of sticky subjects. I would personally advise staying away from the comment section for the next several weeks. Let’s face it: the comment section online is no place to air out your dirty laundry and it’s especially not a place where you can change someone’s point-of-view. Maybe you can be the lucky one to converse with an open-minded individual without name calling and potentially sway them in one direction or the other, but by and large, this will not be the case for 10 out of 9 people (that statistic is 100% accurate and verified by my uncle Ricky). The question begs to be asked: can a Christian protest? While there is no silver bullet response to this question, I wholeheartedly believe we can venture to create a Christ-like response.
A vital part of this protest that I believe is missing, which I think Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with and definitely Jesus as well, is prayer. People want to see a change and I believe this is the default position of most people who truly believe in their protest. Sure, some hop in and protest for the story or notoriety, but I believe there are some out there who want to see some change. Though I don’t agree with their protest, I wholeheartedly support their freedom of speech.
How does change occur? I saw someone post online (I won’t share the source here for various reasons) and this individual said: “change doesn’t come from presidents—change comes from large groups of angry people…” Anger is an emotion that can motivate for change, but if you think about it, our tempers have placed most of us in some situations we didn’t want to be in to begin with. Our anger causes us to say and do things that hurt others for our benefit. Our tongue is like a small match—though it’s very small, it can create a lot of damage. No one ever lit a match and placed it in their dresser drawer thinking fire wouldn’t occur. Can we be motivated by anger? Sure. Human trafficking makes me very angry which motivates me to give to organizations that specialize in helping stop this travesty. I think if we’re honest though, anger never got most of us anywhere. Prayer is what we truly need. Ephesians 6:12 says that we ought to pray at all times in the Spirit. Our country, leaders, and citizens as a whole need prayer. That was true before January 20th and it’s still true now.
The apostle Paul instructs Timothy to pray for all of those in authority, who were in some degree hostile to the church. Even though those in authority were hostile to God’s people, Paul instructs them to pray even so. Paul even says that “this is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God, our Savior (1 Timothy 2:3). A lot of times we confuse our meaning here on earth and we exchange the glory of God for a few bucks or shiny gadgets. What if we existed to glorify God and make him known in light of the darkness around us? Imagine what life would look like if instead of hurling insults on Facebook comments or going to the extreme and destroying cities, we became a people of prayer. Imagine what life would look like if we gathered around our city officials, police, and all over our communities to simply pray. Some people won’t understand, but that’s nothing new, people didn’t understand Jesus and his followers but that didn’t stop them.
Let’s sing a different song than what’s currently being sung. Let’s change things up and pray for one another, and pray hard.
So before you ask if it’s okay to protest something, first ask yourself if you’ve prayed and prayed hard on the subject. Prayer is a crucial step and shouldn’t be skipped over. Prayer changes things and can change entire nations. Let prayer be your song and sing it out like no one’s around.
Ephesians 6:12 / 1 Timothy 2 / Matthew 6:9-13 / Colossians 4:2 / James 5:17-18