The how of rioting in the Bible


I do not know Rosa Taylor Banks except that Advent Review under editorship of William Johnson in 1999 printed her happiness of progress in the North American Division office in matters of civil rights. She said the church has progressed for their “commitment to respond aggressively to issues of human rights, social justice, and other issues of oppression that exist around the world. Advent Review 27th of July 1999 volume 176. Respond aggressively? Makes me think it is seriously time to pull out the apostle Paul who suffered backlash from Greeks, Romans, and anything in between in his days. Surely he will know what is progress on these matters? Case in point: Ephesians 6:10-20. Verse 19 is the manner in which Paul speaks: boldly. It is the Greek word parresia. It means in a good Classical Greek Dictionary freespoken, openness, frankness. It is also used as a license for the tongue. Does freespokenness includes aggressive speaking manners? Does it mean Paul responded aggressively? That is why verse 10 of Ephesians 6 is good to start. We need to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Not the power of the people. Not the power of rioting masses. Not networks or organizations. His [the Lord’s] might. Dressed for the occasion? Put on the full armour of God. Not online shopping for protection gear. Armour of God. Why? That you may be able to stand against the devil. Devil? Not your own defined human devils. Lucifer and his cronies. Why? For we are not wrestling against flesh and blood. Stop. Humans are out. This response of Paul has nothing to do with human versus human confrontation. It is human versus supernatural. Not UFO’s. Satan. The Deceiver and Usurper of this domain called earth. Principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high. This is not against Labor Unions, political parties, activism, or any rioting that you can imagine. Spiritual wickedness. Period. You do not define the wickedness and attach your own definition of spiritual to it and start rioting against. The Bible already outlined that it is Lucifer and his cronies. That is why you need the armour of God, the whole armour to be able to withstand the evil day. Not purchasing hardware in guns to stockpile for that day of reckoning, not building bunkers and militia style outfits. Verse 14 tells you what kind of clothes you need for this enemy: truth around the loins. Righteousness on the breast. Gospel on the feet. Shield is faith not barriers or protection shields for riots. Helm is Salvation and not the head gear they are wearing in riots. The sword is of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, and not guns, bricks, tires, bottles, cocktails, fire, no, it is the Word of God. Already we are in the area of asking Banks supra in Advent Review what progress was made in responding aggressively in the North American Division. What does Paul try to tell us here? Have we somewhere got off the road and making ourselves foolish? Then Paul says that he will open his mouth boldly, speaking frankly: to counter social injustice in our neighborhood? To counter low wages at companies? To counter legal injustice by law enforcing agencies of the government? To counter any injustice against a church or even against Paul? Paul said he open his mouth to make known the mystery of the gospel (verse 19). Now come the example part: even though Paul is in bonds, in jail, he is an ambassador in bonds, that he will speak boldly as he is suppose to speak not watered down messages to fit the circumstances, leaving out adjectives and substitute it with soft ones. A worker of Google online explained how he was fired by them for not be too divers in his actions, not going to a gay parade which Google require their workers to do. Backlash from the left-thinking in powerful engines trying to control the public opinion, their workers’ output and if you dare not to support civil rights activism of any kind, you will be punished. Biblically right is not politically right. There is a difference and we need to know it. Otherwise we are swept away by the currents and news. How do you riot according to the Bible? You do not. Not an eye for an eye. Not Robin Hoodism. Not looting fashion. Not stealing fashion. Not landgrab initiatives. Not protesting. Not civil rights activism styles. Not rioting. Not anti-colonialism pushdrives. Not our might. His. God’s might (verse 10). Pray. Pray always with all prayer and supplication (verse 18). Not by revolting. By rioting. By taking the streets and shouting. Praying with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. For saints. Not for the objectives of mala fide organizations. Pray for saints. As Charles Bradford said, I wish I had a praying church.

(dr. Koot van Wyk, pondering on the riot-fever in some countries and the Bible, 6th of June 2020).