Caught Between Two Worlds

How To Make Sure “All Lives Matter”

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I have resisted writing this post for various reasons…the question raised “Don’t all lives matter?”  It is an offshoot of the Black Lives Matter movement that is storming the country.  It in some cases has angered many, causes confusion for others and skepticism by many others.  At the heart of the issues are the underlining questions, “Don’t black lives matter?”  If so then stop the attacks on black people by the racist’s establishment.

So the other side will argue it’s not just black lives that matter, all lives matter.  When people express this sentiment, the claims of racism fly in their direction.  It matters not who tries to make that point; the rage is coming.

The problem is we are asking the wrong the question.   Do black lives matter?  Of course, they do.  I would hope so since I am black.  It is not the right response to say all lives matter because of course, that should be true as well.

The correct question is, “If we value the existence of every individual, how do we fix what’s obviously broken in our society?” If all lives matter, then we need to pay attention to the broken systems in society that plague every person.  It all lives matter then every voice needs to be heard.  Every circumstance that impacts the quality of life addressed.  Every life matter whether that is the black person living in poverty.  Or the elderly person whose social security makes it impossible for them to make ends meet. Or the unborn baby who we say have no rights.  If all lives matter then we need to deal with all peoples quality of life, their pursuit of happiness, they’re achieving the American dream.

I ran across a blog this past week debating the whole black lives matter movement.  To look at this issue from a fresh perspective, here is a quote from a black blogger about the issues.

“For almost the people commenting about “all lives matter,” or “every race matters” you’re completely missing the point…. If all lives matter, then there should be more people who are angered and active about every life taken at hands of police involved murders, protesting police brutality, actively fighting against white supremacy, and not turning your back to acts of discrimination or racism of any sort. The phrase “all lives matter” itself is another means of telling us (black people) that our claims of racism are petty and we should stop protesting. This phrase is insulting to the movement, and is nothing more than superficial propaganda for white supremacy.” Cliff

What is missing in all this again is real solutions to a broken system.  A broken system that leaves some people behind.  Whether those left behind are black, white, red, it doesn’t matter.  No one is listening to their situation.  This quote by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose work revealed the atrocities of the Gulag.  The Gulag was the Soviet Union’s forced labor camp system.  He provides valuable insight for us today.

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousandfold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age; we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” ― Aleksandr SolzhenitsynThe Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

The crisis that was created over 200 years ago has never really been addressed.  Yes, we have passed the Civil Rights amendment, and we should have been able just to move on.  Right?  But laws do not change hearts.  Laws do not repair the past wrongs; they only are designed to prevent the same future mistakes.  Laws cannot go back and say I am sorry and how can I help.  The law is intended to correct errors, not to fix problems.  Only a heart turned toward God can do that.  What we need are more people of faith letting their light shine in the midst of the darkness. The more followers of our compassionate Savior being salt in a bland world that has lost it saltiness.  The problem looks impossible if we try to fix it overnight.  It is too big, the hurts too dark, the chasm too wide, but like any big problem we need to take small steps.  One new authentic relationship at a time.  Hang in there; the relationship is worth the effort because all lives do matter.  All relationships are worth saving.

Other posts in this series worth reading.
https://revheadpin.org/2016/08/16/do-you-want-to-walk-in-my-shoes/
https://revheadpin.org/2016/07/19/fearfully-made
https://revheadpin.org/2016/08/09/sorry-you-just-not-black-enough
https://revheadpin.org/2016/08/02/its-time-church-to-stand-and-speak-out
https://revheadpin.org/2016/07/26/its-time-to-heal-the-racial-divide
https://revheadpin.org/2016/07/12/how-guilt-feeds-racial-divison/
https://revheadpin.org/2016/06/07/diversity-in-the-church/
https://revheadpin.org/2016/07/05/dealing-with-race-in-america/
https://revheadpin.org/2016/06/21/how-to-see-beyond-color/

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28 thoughts on “How To Make Sure “All Lives Matter””

  1. Great post, Keith, and I agree with everything you say top to bottom. Sadly, I am a skeptic and believe that we are getting close to the return of Christ, meaning things will only get worse. A better society at this late stage of history will never occur, but will become a reality when Christ establishes His kingdom on earth. Having said this, I do believe, as you imply, that every believer in Jesus Christ should be doing all he or she can to improve this world God has placed us in. Thanks for you very thoughtful and well-stated post.

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  2. I have said the words Lives matter but I didn’t mean to take anything away from anyone and i definitely didn’t mean to offend anyone. Great post it needed to be said.

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  3. Thank you for writing this. I myself have asked “don’t all lives matter” so I appreciate your helping me understand why that’s a hurtful response. Like you, I am saddened by the hatred I see in our world and by all acts of violence toward any age, race, or gender. I am especially saddened by the disregard I see toward the lives of the unborn. I will do my best to make sure I am shining my light. May you have a blessed day.

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  4. I really like the way you write about this issue, Keith. It is always so well balanced.

    Hearts can change, though, through the power of our indwelling by the Holy Spirit. Some of us take a little more working on than others, but heats can be changed.

    I may have shared this; I am not sure. If not I shall again, as it illustrates that hearts can be changed.

    I am sure you know, I serve in a small, conservative country church in SE Arkansas. Look, the truth is that Sunday morning is the most segregated few hours in this neck of the woods. It is what it is. I think the last time there was an African American member of our church was shortly after the Civil War. Not, only that, but I know that some would simply find this idea abhorrent. Again, it is what it is. They are my church family and I love them.

    Anyway, onward to the actual point here. Vacation Bible School this year was the single biggest moving I have seen in our little church in the going on ten years I have been there. Just an amazing week. We had young people, and even entire families come forward to either profess salvation or request to be joined with us in fellowship. In on week, our attending membership increased by over 10 percent. Crazy for sure.

    Again, on the the actual point and sorry for the ramble. One of the young people was a young African American girl who had come to salvation during the week. She came, with her guardian, on the day of closing program to ask to join with us. Frankly, I was nervous.

    Eh…God is great, and my fears were ill founded. The motion and second to accept her into fellowship after receipt of a letter from her current church came almost instantly, and the motion was answered with a hearty “amen” by the congregation. One could tell by the volume of Amens that there were no dissenting minds. Or, if there were, they were drowned out by the rest.

    Jesus changes hearts, my friend, even hard ones.

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  5. Great post Keith! You give great insight. My concern is that with the attitude we see from BLM and knowing they are funded by radical people I don’t see progress for blacks. I see racism increasing by this. How can we as Christian men & women come together to present Christ as a better way when there is an ever increasing racist attitude growing. Should we just go about living our daily Christian life, sharing this way of life as we opportunity arises? What can anyone outside of BLM do to change this feeling. I hear we need to talk this out, but really, can it be. The attitude I see from BLM does not include any kind of compromise, only the demands they want. What happened to MLK, which we all love, and non violent protest? I hate to say this, but do you really believe that even if we did give BLM everything on their list things would change? I don’t think so. So it is time for Christian Men and women of all colors to come together and start this discussion. Thanks for you insight and love my brother!

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  6. The cultural pendulum that swung so far in this Nation as to rob people of their God-given personhood, is swinging back in the other direction. Black lives have to matter. Until every black life rediscovers the fullness of their worth in Christ. Of course, there are plenty of other races and classes of people that have been robbed of their value in similar ways. They matter to. This is our calling as followers of Christ, to enter into His ministry of reconciliation. This is what it’s all about! To restore justice and mercy to groups of people that have been systematically robbed of it by generations before.
    Another great post, Keith. Thank you:)

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