The Common Good
Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at Greater Grace Church in Florissant. Photo by Christia

Justice was a recurring theme as thousands of mourners packed the mammoth Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church on Monday for the funeral of Michael Brown

Sabphoto /

Seeing Justice As Part of Discipleship — and Our Worship of God

We must not just seek justice but live justly. Justice work and just living are part of our discipleship. Justice contributes to our worship of God. Justice is worship.

Driscoll has been an influential but edgy pastor for several years. Photo of his

Controversial Seattle megachurch founder Mark Driscoll will step down for at least six weeks while church leaders review formal charges lodged by a group of pastors that he abused his power.

jorisvo/ and Light Brigading and Shawn Semmler/Flickr

Today, God hears the cries of those in Ferguson and all who are oppressed. As in the story of the burning bush, God sees, hears, and knows their pain.

Photo by Elvert Barnes Protest Photography /

by Rachel Held Evans
Anger is the right and just response to inequity and inaction. When people of color express anger regarding the racism they have experienced, the worst thing white people can do in response is shrug off those stories in an attempt to return to our emotional comfort zone.

adapted from a Creative Commons licensed photo from Occupy Bellingham's Flickr p

The culmination of these knee-jerk responses to societal ills – economic-driven crime rates, drug use, terrorism-induced hysteria, etc. – has created police forces that increasing look at our citizens as the enemy, especially in black and brown communities. And, of course, our communities increasingly see the police the same way – as an occupying force.

On The Blog

  • Over the past three weeks there have been four separate incidents that have led to the deaths of four unarmed black men at the hands of police. ... Each incident serves as a reminder that as a black man in America, my life holds little to no value in the eyes of the general public.
  • Rather than rally together as a family navigating a season of trauma, we have used this moment to divide, stir hatred and misunderstanding, point fingers, and more than anything, view those on the opposite side of an issue as less than human.
  • I would challenge theology that suggests that prayer is a “cure” for any kind of suffering, but the fact remains that my ability to manage my anxiety rests in my relationship with God. Though I do not believe God wants us to suffer, I do believe God makes God’s presence known to us by abiding with us even in our darkest times.
  • A Muslim movement that says, “We are all Christians,” is subversive in the most daring of ways. It taunts the Islamic State and says to suffering neighbors, “Doctrine aside, we see your humanity. You should not be marked for extermination. If they’ve marked you, then we will mark ourselves. If they come for you, they can come for us, as well.”
  • But I thought it would be helpful to share a few thoughts how churches, Christians, and leaders can be engaging the events of this past 11 days in their respective churches – now and in the future.
  • If military action needs to be taken to protect civilians from further ISIS aggression, it should be multilateral not unilateral. American leadership no doubt will remain important, but the authorization for any forceful measures must come from the Security Council.
  • As a Christian I march because of verses like Isaiah 1:17, which instructs us to, "learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow." and Proverbs 31:8-9, which states, "Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy."
  • We need to (re)learn to be more human. And most importantly, remind yourself that YOU are loved. Not just merely by your loved ones but also by the ONE who created all that is good and beautiful.
  • The fact is, violence has not only failed to create stability, in many ways it has acted to exacerbate the situation of instability and injustice which fuels terrorism. Violence does not stop violence, instead it causes it to escalate like a wildfire burning out of control.

In The Magazine

Featured Blog Series

Our newest blog series takes a deeper look at the hymns we sing on Sunday mornings. Do we realize how much worship imagery comes from God's creation? Take a look at our writers' expositions of popular worship songs. Read the series here