You may or may not know, but I’ve been rapidly reading through my chronological Bible the past few weeks. I hope to finish it mid March. One thing caught my eye–in an unlikely place.

“I myself will set my face against him and will cut him off from his people; for by sacrificing his children to Molek, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name.  If the members of the community close their eyes when that man sacrifices one of his children to Molek and if they fail to put him to death, 5I myself will set my face against him and his family and will cut them off from their people together with all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molek.” Leviticus 20:3-5 NLT

In the OT we’re made aware of the detestable practice of pagan nations sacrificing their children to the god Molek. In this particular passage, God addresses not only the one who sacrifices, but those who stand by and do nothing.

We are called to keep our eyes open to injustice. But when we close our eyes and choose not to intervene, we’re guilty of bystanding without action. Churches today face a similar dilemma when a sexual abuse victim discloses their abuse. The leader can pretend it didn’t happen, worry more about corporate reputation than the soul and heart of the victim, or opt to handle everything in house without alerting the authorities.

When Jesus wanted people to understand what we are to do when someone is bloodied and harmed, he told a story. And he made the hero of the story a hated foreigner–a Samaritan. The religious elite passed by on the other side of the road while the man lay bleeding. But the hated Samaritan did justice. He refused bystanding. Instead, he intervened, inconveniencing himself for the sake of the broken.

May it be that church leadership becomes Samaritan, exchanging bystanding with compassionate, appropriate, justice-infused action! That’s my prayer. That’s the reason I wrote We Too.

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