Stand still and move‏

Fifty years ago this week, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. For those less well versed in American Black History, this action is often looked at as a result of happenstance. Ms. Parks was tired. She refused to give up her seat to a white passenger simply because she needed to rest that day. The fact that she sparked a massive movement was more coincidental than intentional. But the truth is, this incident was deliberate and orchestrated. Ms. Parks and her civil rights husband lawyer were part of a team that meticulously planned the moment. The events that followed her actions were coordinated efforts of a nationwide team. Some ( think the "fortuitous coincidence" mythology about this moment is sometimes spread because people are much more comfortable believing that Ms. Parks was a docile and unassuming woman. That picture is a lot more genteel. I happen to believe that it plays into our desire to believe things are more likely to be a result of events just "falling into place" – or in more spiritual language – that "God is in control" and things will simply "come about" with little effort on our part. After all, doesn't the Word say to "just stand still and see what God will do" (Exodus 14:13 & Corinthians 20:17)? Isn't that to say we merely must sit back and things will "work together for the good of them that love the Lord" (Roman 8:28)?

We often perpetuate the belief that passivity is an act of faith. However, we forget that "faith without works is dead" (James 2) and it is individual believers that make up the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12). This means that we are the hands and feet – if God moves that means we move! Even the texts that describe "waiting" on God often include having faith displays through action. Trusting is not synonymous with idleness. God asks us to move in accordance with the directions of the Spirit – not going ahead or working independently, but taking an active part of God's directives nonetheless. This means asking the Lord for what to do and doing it. We are not to simply stand by twiddling our thumbs expecting for things to happen. Like Queen Esther, after fasting and praying, we take action.

This translates into our active participation in the execution of justice in our world today. This means looking for opportunities to carry out Isaiah 58:1-12 and Matthew 25:35-40 and James 1:27 and Micah 6:8. This means paying attention to inequities and pain and doing something to correct and alleviate it. How does this apply to the needs of refugees? To continual racial discrimination? To repetitive mass shootings? Your idea about particular solutions may differ according to your political perspective, but undoubtedly, standing on the sidelines is not an option that is congruent with a Christian perspective.

It can sometimes be tempting to not care when these things aren't close to home. And we shroud our apathy with religious language that advocates inaction: "God will take care of it". But "close to home" can turn on a dime. As I got the alert yesterday morning at Loma Linda that my building was on lockdown because of an active shooter less than ten minutes down the road, I began to wonder how many more times this has to happen before we collectively collaborate to do something to prevent these situations. That was too close for comfort and too close to ignore for many in our community. It was, for some, the first time that it felt that way. Have we gotten so used to these things that we have become complacent? Are stories about college students (, elementary children (, health workers (, and countless other situations ( insufficient to motivate actual movement and not just rhetoric? Change won't "just happen" without concerted efforts to bring it about. Christians aren't excused from caring and doing something about the situations in the world because we're looking forward to the Second Coming. We are called to pray, to hear God's voice, and to heed God's voice. And contrary to popular belief, that is an action word.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Those who sit back and say that “God will take care of it in His own good time” often contribute to the laissez-faire and exempt themselves from action. Evil is perpetuated when good men stand by and do nothing.

The institutional church has become both the spokesperson and actor for individuals as it has gradually preempted the arbitrary decisions on doctrinal beliefs; only prodding the members for more offering to continue the work that is centrally planned with the expectations of complacent compliance. The attitude to “let the church do it” will continue unless the membership adopt the belief that only when they take action will the church progress in their area.


My heart is with those who have suffered this violence. All of us can and should do more as institutions and as individuals to overcome this evil with good. Too many people focus on the Second Coming as soon as tragedy occurs to avoid the horror of human suffering. Jesus came into this world to suffer with us and for us. Can we do any less for others? Rene Gale


And how do you propose to do that? If you believe the Bible, you know that “evil men will wax worse and worse.” II Tim. 3:13. That’s certainly what we’re seeing. Ellen White said that God’s Spirit is being withdrawn from the earth, and that’s not hard to believe.

There was violence and bloodshed in the Roman world. What did the early church do to prevent it? They lived and preached the Gospel. And many lost their lives in the process. Should we be expected to do anything different or achieve different results?


“The church must not simply bandage the wounds of the victims under the wheel, but jam a spoke into the wheel itself.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Since home made bombs will be used when guns are not available, we need to jam a spoke into the wheel of ideologies fashioned upon greed, fear, hate, and vengeance. If we continue to view the fight as though it consists of flesh and blood, sticks and stones, bricks and mortar, guns and ammo, then we are only hacking at the branches and missing the root.

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What is the difference between a Christian and an atheist. An atheist cannot simply pray to a god to fix the situation, and feel that that will resolve the situation. They have to do something about it.

Of course, a real genuine Christian won’t just pray and then leave the situation to God. They will be looking for active ways to bring relief to their neighbour.


Bill I totally agree with your comment, and Elaine as usual. But what is a person to do? Stand in front of a Mosque with a bull horn?

Look to see what most fatalities are due to on this REAL TIME USA 2015 fatality link. Mass shooting at bottom. So many people of the world…and the church are sensational-media driven.

Complacency and passivity are just byproducts of selfishness.
Tytler said the cycle starts out with a society in bondage. Then it goes in this sequence:

Spiritual Faith
Then starting over with Bondage

Change the heart??? God is challenged with even 18 million SDA who are lukewarm Laodiceans.

Jer 31, Heb 8 & 10??
Write the laws in their hearts???

Humans = LAW trashing, GOD hating beings…see ROM 8:7

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One of my favorite Onion headlines regarding mass shootings:

" ‘No Way to Prevent This’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens"


“She refused to give up her seat to a white passenger simply because she needed to rest that day.” “This incident was deliberate and orchestrated. Ms. Parks and her civil rights husband lawyer were part of a team that meticulously planned the moment. The events that followed her actions were coordinated efforts of a nationwide team.”

What is your source for those statements? All of those statements are false, if you go by the book written by Douglas Brinkley (the only researched Parks biography for adults that I’m aware of) and numerous other sources. Parks insisted that she did not need to rest. She stumbled into the situation when she forgot to avoid bus driver James Blake, whom she’d avoided for 12 years. She was sitting in the “colored” seating section, so the problem didn’t arise until the white seating section filled up. Other African Americans had refused to give up their seat before she had, in Montgomery and other cities. Her husband was not a lawyer; he was a barber.

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Douglas Brinkley is an excellent historian and writer.