Are All Christians Called To Activism?
I used to struggle a lot with the idea of activism and never really understood what it entails or who it’s meant for. In my Christian journey, I never considered that being an activist was something I had to be. I knew I had a duty to stand up for what was right and have the courage to speak up in those small and significant moments of injustice - to engage in quiet but courageous solidarity.
What of community outreach? I know a lot of people take up this role and volunteer for causes that they believe in. In the book of James 1v27 there’s reference to ‘taking care of orphans and widows in their distress’. This to me is a pure and undefiled call to faith. The act of helping and alleviating the pain of the vulnerable in society is a process we are commanded to strive towards. Does this attitude and active choice to make a positive difference in others’ lives embody the essence of community activism?
What might activism look like in a professional context? This involves assessing the characteristics of your profession and asking how you can be salt and light in the role. Even if you feel like your profession isn’t a space in which you can make a difference, there are ways that you can be an activist - even if it’s just the way in which you go about your business. I genuinely believe that you can inspire change in your attitude, your approach to tasks, the way you speak and even your smile. The way in which God has made you, allows you to do these things in a way that makes a difference. Is this not activism?
Of course, on a broader scale there’s activism on a global level. Some people may never want to engage in this type of activism because of its difficulties (persecution for example), but if God is calling you into this sphere – go prayerfully and uphold those in this domain. Then there’s the activism of lifestyle - practical ways in which we can still be activists on a global scale like recycling, buying fair trade, writing to MPs, signing petitions, volunteering our time, prayer and fasting. These conscious actions feed into the global narrative.
Are all Christians called to activism by virtue of their faith? Perhaps not directly, or even consciously because every day in the life of a Christian is a form of activism, reflected in the choices we make and how we make them.
However you define yourself be courageous, seek justice, love mercy and act in love.