Hero? Saint? Do not falter and look back!
After treating you to the rank obscenity of those parodies of virtu, those Americans grinning and giggling over corpses of the dead, after showing you a child roasted alive in our name, I needed to find an example of something that surely seemed noble and in accord with the will of God, lest we--me included here--fall into utter despair.
We should know when we are persecuted for doing justice, we should only, no--we can only fight back harder, louder--relentlessly. Do not look back; you know better:
When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, ‘Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or else you will be consumed in the punishment of the city.’ 16But he lingered; so the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and left him outside the city. 17When they had brought them outside, they said, ‘Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, or else you will be consumed.’
This is not counsel to run to Tahiti--there is no geographical place sheltered from the reign of Babylon and beyond its reach. Flee rather to the Mountain of God, flee rather to the Kingdom. God's reign is here, among us, now, where and when we stand up and do His will regardless of the cost.
4Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you do not take part in her sins, and so that you do not share in her plagues; 5for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
The costs now are very light given our crimes as a people; we are not being martyred. But just wait--are you ready? Go ahead and count the cost, Christian. What if what is now going on in France were to erupt here, say? What if we have three or four more 9/11s? Do you really think after seeing New Orleans, after seeing the smiling faces of our young soldiers, that there is any depth to the moral quality of our society? The costs of standing up for Jesus could rise astronomically very rapidly--pray that they don't. Please pray that they do not--I hardly think our churches and denominations are ready.
Pray rather that it is for us as a people as it was said to be for Nineveh in the story of Jonah. It is not for us to say whether we will pay for our injustice with blood and fire; what was possible for Nineveh, what was possible for the USSR, what was possible for Eastern Europe, for India under imperial rule, for South Africa, even for the Jim Crow American South is certainly possible for us here and now. The arm of God has not shortened between 1964 and now.
The Spirit has worked in the plain sight of all, disintegrating our mighty and sinister structures nonviolently when we had feared blood and fire. The same can be true for us as a people, if we will only heed, if we will only be led by the Spirit in nonviolence--having witnessed these things, how can we doubt the power of God over Satan, the power of his Light in the darkness of our world?
But for that we must flee, flee for our lives, flee to the mountains, flee to His Kingdom. There is no staying back, lingering, looking over our shoulders. We cannot count on being swallowed by whales; we cannot count on God raising witnesses for Truth from stones. You were not raised from stones; you will not be swallowed by a whale. You were born of woman, you are flesh and blood and that should be enough for God's love to become incarnate in you, in your words and deeds.