Back in Nov 2020, on the radio program, Top of Mind with Julie Rose, Pastor Oscar T. Moses, from Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City,Utah, USA, shared his background as a police officer in Chicago, what it meant to receive a call to ministry, and perspectives on race and faith in the time of Black Lives Matter.
On the show, Pastor Moses describes his experience in the PD, including witnessing people who were treated as if their lives didn’t matter because of the perspective coming from the police officers. Some of these officers came from war, and they viewed citizens in a similar way, as the enemy.
He discussed that there comes a point when you have to speak up, for if you have a voice and you don’t speak up, you become complicit.
He relates the modern affliction and devastation that many face today to the ancient judaic roots of the human family saying,
“From the biblical perspective, I see the scriptures from a harmonudic perspective. The lenses of those who have been marginalized. I can relate to the children of Israel coming out of the flesh pots of egypt.Moses, 2020
“We are preaching in the midst [of many who are suffering from all manner of ailments]. Christ was in the midst of poor people, hurting people, those who didn’t receive equal distribution of wealth or power. I preach to the gospel that comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comforted.”
The challenge today is finding unity amongst diversity of beliefs, backgrounds, goals, and desires. Martin Luther King Jr., described the end result if our goals are approached with hatred and anger when he stated,
“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? , 64-65
Loving others is not easy. Pure religion, as described by James, who is writing to the 12 tribes of Israel (James 1:1), aka us, is this, “To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (1:27).
How do we move forward during these times of tribulation, calamities, and a spectrum of illness, trauma, addiction, and affliction especailly when the way we associate has changed?
Robert D.Hales once advised David A. Bednar with these words, “When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most.”
What does this mean? Search, ponder, and pray. I believe it is different for each person, which would require the ability to receive personal revelation from the Lord. He will guide you. Believe He is guiding you. Trust that he will guide you. This is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.