I participated in my first protest the other day. New experiences, new conundrums and new emotions all unlocked in an ever-increasing phenomenon worldwide. During this protest, I find myself wondering whether I am on the right side of this fence. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be called a protester, to be part of a generation who is standing up against injustice and the decay of moral values, but doth we protest too much?
Imagine a herd of holy cows, grazing peacefully on the fields of the poor man. All of us might feel different about this depending on which side we stand, but those of us who are enraged with injustice would certainly mobilise some sort of action to address this.
Generally, we would hoard in all our numbers around this field and sing and dance war songs, or chant freedom phrases in our attempt to raise support for this cause. This seems more than appropriate in the circumstance, but you would agree with me that none of this is the cow’s fault… they are merely going about their business in the place they were put to do their business. Surely, the person accountable is the owner of the holy cows, whoever that may be. So irrespective of how much we protest, if we do not address the owner, nothing will change.
This sounds somewhat obvious, so what am I getting at? What we constantly protest against, be that animal abuse, poverty, low wages, unacceptable working environments, state oppression… we always protest against people.
The assumption we falsely advocate is that some people deliberately make bad choices. Dale Carnegie addresses this extensively in his book, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ where he states that no man is deliberately wrong, it is just that they do not know any better.
With that in mind, the Bible says; ‘For our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, principalities and dark forces of this world.’
So often I think we make people the enemy, instead of the deception a person has fallen prey to. All people are inherently good in my view. Is our job not to help them identify and rectify the cause, the deception? Is that not what love would look like?
I do not suggest that I have the answer to the world and the universe (apart from 42:)). What I am suggesting is that maybe we have gone about this the wrong way. Maybe all people really are on the same side (Christianity certainly holds this view) and we will only conquer this monster if we rise and fall as one.
This is a call to action against selfish ambition, individualism and the lack of love for our fellow-man.
This is a call to the Bride of Christ.