Rev. Samuel Rodriguez boldly rebuked any Christian who refuses to stand up for Christ as violence rocks the United States.
“I tell that Christian in the name of Jesus to rebuke that cowardly spirit,” he says. “God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.”
If the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council president’s words sound strong, it’s because he is fed up with complacent Christianity, with believers who won’t step out in faith to fight for justice in light of horrific violence.
But Rodriguez isn’t telling people to pick a singular side in the chaos, like the police brutality that took the lives of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and left Charles Kinsey in the hospital or extremists who hunted down law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, Dallas, Michigan and more.
“Let me be explicit. This idea of creating a dichotomy that you’re either one side of the equation or the other—that’s a false narrative,” Rodriguez says. “I wanna understand the concerns of African-American young men who really are fearful of law enforcement when law enforcement stops them for traffic violations. There’s an angst and I want to address that angst. And with all the power I may possibly have to eliminate and remove that angst.
“At the same time, I wanna protect our law enforcement officers who are some of the best on the planet, and I want to protect and serve their needs. See, we don’t have to be either/or, we can be “both/and, and reject the extremism on both sides and look at reconciliation that comes as a conduit of Christ.”
Social justice cannot be achieved until believers actively pursue the reconciliation required for being a member of the body of Christ.
To reach unity as a country, Christian leaders must come together under the banner of 2 Chronicles 7:14.
“As Christians, we have the answers,” Rodriguez says. “We have the answer to reemerging racial divide, and the angst of political schism taking place in our nation. The church of Jesus Christ is the most reconciliatory, anointed institution on the planet.
“We can bring people together, and we have anointing to bring good news. If we address issues with truth and love, (if) we never embrace false narrative, never embrace a lie, we never sacrifice the truth on the altar of political expediency, but we sign the truth of Christ in every circumstance,” peace will flow through our nation.