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Posted by on Mar 4, 2019 in Culture | 0 comments

Millennial Monday: A Christian’s duty to advocate for the oppressed

Millennial Monday: A Christian’s duty to advocate for the oppressed

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I am not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I am not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I am not a Jew.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

—Martin Niemoller

I am reading “The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler.” If you are a big fan of history, especially with the time period of WWII, this book is a must read.

I am 75 percent of the way through the book, and last night as I read, a quote from one of Bonhoeffer’s esteemed colleagues made me stop and put the quote in a note on my phone.

Maybe you’ve heard the quote before, I know I had, but as I read about the gross injustice that was the Holocaust, I see eerie similarities with our world today. Even people who proclaim themselves to be Christians, have turned their backs to the gross injustices going on all around them. This was something that Bonhoeffer struggled with as leaders of the Church blindly joined the Reich Church under Hitler’s leadership.

The same goes for today. There are people groups that are under constant persecution that I won’t specifically name just for the reason of leaving politics 100 percent out of this blog post, because I don’t think this is a matter of politics. I think it is a matter of humanity.

Just as the Holocaust had aspects of politics involved, it was not just political. It was 100 percent a crisis of humanity.

Have you ever asked yourself the questions “how would I respond if I were living in the time of the Holocaust?” or “How would I respond if I were living in a time where slavery was accepted?”

Unfortunately, our world today mirrors the world of the past that allowed such atrocities to mankind. Do you find yourself advocating for the victims of these horrendous sins?

Bonhoeffer said,

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.
Not to speak is to speak.
Not to act is to act.”

I challenge you today, friend, that when you see injustice to your fellow man, speak up. Don’t think that if an issue doesn’t pertain to you that it won’t affect you or even your children in the future.

James 1:27 says this, “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (HCSB)

Proverbs 31:8-9 says, “Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed. Speak up, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the oppressed and the needy.” (HCSB)

When I was growing up, my mom would always say “Delayed obedience is disobedience” taken from the scripture Psalm 119:60 which says, “I hurried, not hesitating to keep Your commands.”

He commands us to take action and speak up for the oppressed, without limits. He doesn’t say speak up for the oppressed who were only born in America or look like you. He doesn’t say speak up for the oppressed when it’s most convenient. He doesn’t say speak up for the oppressed only when it won’t put you in danger. He says speak up for the oppressed, period. Have you done so lately?

About The Author

Emily Howsden
Emily Howsden

Emily Howsden is staff writer and digital content coordinator for the Baptist Messenger. She is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma and an active member at First Moore Baptist Church where her husband Casey is the college minister. Together they have a son, Silas Dean, who was born in 2018. In her free time she enjoys spending time relaxing with her husband and son, spending time with her big family, photography and going to Target.

Emily Howsden has blogged 107 posts at wordslingersok.com

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