I Will Not Suffer For Christ

**Disclaimer: As you all know, Lost in the Sauce was created with Millenials in mind. In light of the conditions of our world, we have switched gears a little. We are still here for you and writing for you, Millenials. Instead of advising you on how to navigate through the murky years of college and post college, we are now compelling you to take a stand for justice. What better way to figure out what you want to do in life than by advocating for change? This blog in particular is written for Christian Millenials. However, if you’re not a believer, please read. Okay, now that I’ve got that out of the way, clear your mind and hear me out.

I have never suffered for Christ.

It hurt to type that, but it’s true. Growing up in the Bible belt south, Jesus is right before family and (in some households) after football on our priority list. I am as vocal about my beliefs as I am about my stance for justice. However, I’ve never been unfriended or persecuted for speaking about my love for Jesus, but recently I’ve been unfriended by several people for speaking out about my love for people—especially people of color. I don’t plan on moving out of the South anytime soon or out of America where there is freedom of religion. Therefore, I probably won’t suffer for Christ in my lifetime, but I will suffer because of the color of my skin.

I remember the Columbine shooting. I remember watching coverage on Oprah with my mom. I sat on the living room floor baffled as to why someone would want to shoot *innocent* children. We didn’t know much about the Columbine kids. All we knew was that they were shot. We mourned for them. We mourned for the black child and the white child. We didn’t say they deserved it because they had cheated on their tests. We didn’t say they deserved it because one child was a bully. We didn’t say any of them deserved it. Michael Brown was the same age as some of Columbine shooting victims.

But..

Michael Brown deserved what he got.

It hurts when my Christian “friends” justify Michael Brown’s death. Since life and death lie in the power of the tongue, whenever I hear or see “he deserved it,” I can feel Michael Brown being shot over and over again. If God loves all children, I’m sure he also loves the defiant ones. He loves those who kill and steal. Have we forgotten that Jesus was beside a thief on the cross? He allowed him entrance into heaven.

But..

Michael Brown deserved what he got.

I can’t understand it, saints. Sure, I can understand your view that if you defy authority, you run the risk of  possibly being injured. I can wrap my head around that. However, I cannot wrap my head around a Christian denying the fact that there are hurting people. There are oppressed people in the land of the free and the home of the brave. There are people in this country who are brutally murdered with no remorse from their killer or their peers. There are families mourning sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Yet, from the mouth of those who say that they love Jesus, they also proclaim that these lives do not matter. They do not grieve for the dead or for their mourning families. On Sunday, these people lift their hands to worship the same God that I do. They sing praises to the Savior of the world and with the same mouth they praise the death of a young man.

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. – Isaiah 1:17

Didn’t we sing “red and yellow, black and white, they’re all precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world” in Vacation Bible School? Didn’t we sing “He’s got the whole world in His hands?” Does that mean He only has pieces of the world in His hands? Are my people in His hands or are we just gripping His wrists, hanging on for dear life because we do not matter as much as others? When one of us falls out of His grasp, do you even notice? Does it matter to you?

So I ask you, Christian Millenial, where do you stand? In the church, we’re few in numbers as it is. Studies have shown that Millenials are not fond of church. We don’t attend because we aren’t forced by our parents anymore. We do not have to ride with our parents to service on Sundays. We can drive now and we choose to drive by the sanctuary. I speculate it’s because we feel like we don’t fit in there. The church isn’t relatable to us anymore. We’re tattooed and outspoken, which is perceived as rebellious and disrespectful. So to get us to stop in, they’ve baited us with coffee, loud worship music, dance ministries and singles ministries to name a few of the young folk gimmicks. We latch on to the bait, but they’re not quite sure what to do with us when we get there.

We thrive outside of the traditional church walls. We go on mission trips inside and outside of the country. We street evangelize. We unapologetically talk about our faith to anyone who asks and even those who don’t. We  don’t mind laying in the street staging a “die in.” We protest without hesitation. We want our voices heard and we will do what it takes to make sure that we are heard.

I do not believe that Christ wants a racial divide. I do not believe that He wants the church to be silent during this time. I do not believe that He made us different colors to isolate us, but to unite us. Yet, Sunday is the most segregated day of the week.

I marched with four other Millenials today. We stood for justice. We staged a “die in.” We chanted. We protested. We were the change. Though we were all college graduates with full time jobs, people rolled down their window and spewed hateful comments. We combated hate with love. We deflected hate for justice.

Today, on the corner of Meridian Drive, we were the change.

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We are the change, Millenials! If He’s really got the whole world in His hands, then we’re in there, too. The God that I serve and believe in is a protector. He is a supporter of justice. He is an advocate of action. If we really are all precious in His sight, why not stand for justice for all of His children? You will lose friends because of Christ. Why not lose a few more for the greater good of all people?

For God shows no favoritism. -Romans 2:11

Change will come, but we can’t give up. We have to band together. Since we are the church, we need to be the church. It’s a proven fact that Millenials care about our world and our people. So, I ask you, believer, do you care? What do you think God thinks of the condition of our America and our world?

Since, faith without works is dead. Are you praying and acting?

We need your productivity more than your prayers.

We need your faith more than your fear.

We need your solidarity more than your silence.

I haven’t suffered for Christ, but I will suffer for His children. I will suffer for a cause. I will suffer for justice.

I am the change. Are you?

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. – Amos 5:24

-Tashara

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