Black lives matter. And the reason black lives matter can only properly and fully be understood through a Biblical worldview. Black lives matter because God has created each person in His very image and imbued them with infinite value. Black lives matter because the God of the universe created them to be His image-bearers, reflecting His glory and to be His likeness, as representatives of Him wherever they are.
Black lives matter. The lives of unborn black children matter. The lives of innocent young African-American kids growing up in poverty matter. The lives of the not-so-innocent who perhaps have even fallen into a life of crime matter. Honestly, the lives of those who are guilty of heinous crimes matter. The lives of those who are faithfully living life, raising families, loving others, matter. The lives of those protesting matter. The lives of those looting matter (black or white). Black life in every shape or form matters—because God matters! And because God cares.
And God has loved (please don’t miss my point) all lives so deeply that He sent His only Son to enter into the fallenness and brokenness of this sinful world, to endure the worst form of injustice ever endured, so that He might make a way for all who would trust in Him to be right with God. That’s how much black lives matter, so much so that the God of the universe would take on flesh, take on a human nature and existence, suffer and die, to pay our debts that we on our own would never be able to pay.
And here’s the thing. It is this very reason that blue lives matter. And the same reason that brown lives matter. In fact, it is for this reason that we cannot continue to separate ourselves from one another by focusing on “color.”
Yes, we need to learn to listen to each other and understand one another’s struggles. Why? Because we are image-bearers dealing with other image-bearers. Yes, we need to fight against injustice in all its ugliness and not only when it impacts us (I want to learn to do this better). Why? Because God hates injustice and He cares about the oppressed. As those in His image, we must hate what He hates and love what He loves.
That means that we can’t be against the horrible deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd but ok with the deaths of the police officers trying to protect us. That means we can’t be for the voices of protesters being heard (which is their right) but against the small business owners whose livelihoods were destroyed. And vice versa! We can be against all these evils and for all forms of justice.
Knowing that every human being is made in the image of God means that we cannot play the game the world plays and wants us to play: reactionary politics, zero-sum justice, “might makes right,” or “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” No, we have to look to the Lord alone, look to His perfect Word to guide us through this mess. Justice cannot be served with extreme pendulum swings, back and forth. It is served with faithful, prayerful, listening and understanding, seeking to serve those we know God Himself says matter.
Justice is not a zero-sum game. For justice to be just, it must be sought for all. To those who are angry with the protests—can we hear the pain of our brothers and sisters and show them we care, that they are not alone? Can we not accept that they have experienced a burden we may not ever understand? To those who are angry with all police officers because of some awful ones—do we think that by devaluing some lives we increase our own value? That’s the world’s way—it is not God’s. God is watching us. He’s already given His answer to injustice—His name is Jesus. How will we respond?