Started in 2013 in response to separate police shootings of two young black men, the Black Lives Matter movement came into prominence with its use of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. Ever since, the phrase “black lives matter” has been a rallying cry of those who believe there is institutional racism against African-Americans in virtually every aspect of society, but especially in police departments and the legal system.
There is no point in discussing the statistics on black crime vs. the percentage of the black population and/or the numbers of black-on-black murders vs. the number of blacks killed by police officers. For every statistic, there is a dueling statistic and/or a way to reinterpret the statistic. There is no point in discussing the specific cases that spawned the Black Lives Matter movement. The various sides all seem to be rigorously locked into their understanding of the events and the aftermaths. Like most issues connected to race, it appears to be virtually impossible to have a constructive dialogue about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Biblically speaking, of course black lives matter. Blacks/African-Americans are equally created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). In God’s eyes, blacks are equal in value to whites, browns, reds, yellows, and everyone in between. Racism is evil. Some propose the saying “all lives matter” as an alternative. While “all lives matter” is absolutely and biblically true, it fails to address the issue at hand. The Black Lives Matter movement exists because many feel the world needs to be reminded that black lives do, in fact, matter.
How should Christians view the goals of the black lives matter movement? First, they should examine their hearts and ask God to help them get rid of any racist thoughts or tendencies. Second, they should fight against all true forms of racism that still exist in society. Third, they should be compassionate toward true victims of racism and point them toward Christ as the only answer for racism. Protests, policies, awareness, changes to the legal system, etc., etc., will never solve the problem of racism. Racism is the result of sin. Until the sin problem is dealt with—until people become new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)—the problem of racism will never be eradicated.
How should Christians view the methods of the black lives matter movement? Peaceful protests against racial injustice are necessary and appropriate when racism has truly occurred. But Christians should never be involved in rioting, looting, violence against police officers, hateful speech, and/or “reverse” discrimination/racism against non-blacks. Injustice and hatred will not be ended by more injustice and hatred.