This is in response to today’s post by Watchman on protest. This response is far from exhaustive. As I was thinking about it this morning, before later finding Watchman’s post, I read Matt12:18-20 and posted 2 tweets from that portion of scripture.
It goes without saying that followers of Christ must respond to oppression. Protesting or not I believe is a matter of faith and spiritual maturity. I tend towards no protest but that means I must be busy doing something else to end oppression and evil and I need to understand why I will not protest.
The scriptures say Christ “will proclaim justice to the nations” yet “no one will hear his voice in the streets…until he has brought justice through to victory.” How come? He deals with root causes, quietly. Noise suggests weakness, not strength. A “protest” suggests powerlessness. If we were mere humans, protests would be necessary but if spirits, who are we contending against? The government or the princes of darkness? Interestingly, I asked my wife this morning, “If an intruder comes to take over my house and I have power to take him out, do you think I will be protesting?” Far from it. I will take him out quickly and quietly, thank you. I will only protest if I am helpless. The last time I checked, we were seated with Christ in heavenly places far above the powers that seem to be. Have those scriptures suddenly become false because we are dealing with societal issues?
I think the reason an Occupy movement emerged at all is because we (Christians) failed. If we were doing the works of Christ, there would be no need for Occupy but we seem to be waiting for Him to return before we take our place as people who have been given authority. We are responsible for what happens in our domains because we are the ones the scriptures say are seated with Christ in heavenly places. We are recreated spirits who have access to the same power and authority Christ has in the spirit world and if we understand that there is no economic or political problem that was not first spiritual, guess who is to blame? If there is a watchman equipped and responsible for safety and there is an invasion, who is to blame? But I believe we will wake up this time.
In “this blog post,” I said, “In the absence of saviors on Mount Zion, the oppressed must attempt to deliver themselves…” I cannot blame anyone for protesting on the streets, if that is all they know to do. I applaud them, because they are using what they know. They are confronted with an unwanted situation and they are not complacent about it. The issue for me is not whether or not we should protest, but what are we doing? You may argue that we are praying in secret but I will have to say like I tweeted this morning, that spirituality without results has to be fake. I am not sure how many people would have followed Jesus if he had no results to show. When we take our rightful place, there must be results. Our rightful place, if we are following Christ, will have to be in quietness and in love for all concerned (including Nigeria’s Boko Haram!) but backed with all power in heaven and on earth.
When you know you are capable, you do not protest, you issue warnings, commands and ultimatums, just like the late Archbishop Idahosa did in the 80s to stop a worldwide conference of witches from taking place in Nigeria. Agreed, those commands must be backed with deep spirituality and with prayer and fasting but when confronting spiritual wickedness and principalities, you had better not be praying but issuing commands from a depth of revelation of who you are.
Having said all that, I think protest is much better than doing nothing in the face of injustice and blatant evil. At least, if we prayerfully protest as opposed to do nothing, God will honor our faith and our disenchantment with evil.
Thanks again Watchman for the post.