“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 needy.”
June 2, 2020
As believers in Christ, we must be unflinchingly committed to the flourishing of all of God’s creation. We will not refuse to see the plight of another simply because it is not our plight. (Proverbs 31:8-9) In Epic, we express our belief in the interdependence of God’s creation by standing in solidarity with those whose position is one of vulnerability. We choose to take on the cares of our brothers and sisters and share those concerns when we enter places of influence or change. (Micah 6:8)
Several weeks ago, Epic leaders helped draft a statement against anti-Asian racism which was heightened by COVID-19. Now, we have watched as black Americans like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have lost their lives due to racial violence. We condemn this racism and the ways our country has failed to affirm the worth of Black lives. (Proverbs 17:15) Seeing images of an Asian American police officer standing nearby fills us with anguish and, for some, confusion and deepens our commitment to every Asian American student. We work so that students and faculty who are involved in the Epic Movement experience holistic transformation as they yield their lives to the God of love and the God of justice, thus becoming agents of peace and unity in this broken & polarizing world.
For any of us, particularly for those of us who might be seeing the pervasive nature of racism for the first time, our bodies and minds can struggle to process what we see as we watch violent incident after violent incident. The pain and the resulting anguish it produces in us can be motivation to turn away, or to look for an underlying cause beyond our country’s history of oppression. Instead of turning away or becoming frozen in inaction, we want to turn our hearts toward the Lord and to pray for God’s spirit of perfect justice to indwell us and our communities. (Isaiah 58:6-9) In order to be committed to antiracist thought and action, we have to be supported by a strong spiritual base. Without taking time to cultivate our connection to God’s indwelling Spirit, our commitment will fade and we will be sapped of strength, rather than renewed.
Martin Luther King Jr. observed the way that God created human beings to be interdependent when he wrote,
“In a real sense all life is interrelated. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.”
We in Epic commit to working for a world where all people are honored as image bearers, and we acknowledge that our hope is ultimately found only in Jesus Christ, God’s perfect bearer of truth and justice.