A Moral Obligation

A Moral Obligation

The Apostle Paul is known for providing direct and concise direction to the Church by means of his doctrines. I would challenge anyone to find a more direct, straight to the point piece of literature in any of Paul’s writings than the words penned to the Church of Rome, in Chapter 15:1-2.

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (Romans 15:1)

There is a lot of conversation about the nature of the Church and the role of Christianity in the world. Think of the trends like, the “Missional Church” the “Emergent Church” and the “Social Justice Church…” The Heart of Christianity is unveiled in the two verses of Romans 15:1. Listen to what the Spirit is saying to our society today: “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” The choice of words, by Paul is very relevant in our contemporary society, post Donald Trump. “We have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak and not please ourselves.” An acceptable translation would be “we have a moral responsibility to carry our brother or sister regardless of their shortcomings instead of exploiting them for our own gain.” We have been conditioned to think “every person for themselves” but Paul is writing to this Church in Rome and explaining to them that “selfishness” and “individualism” is ethically unacceptable. Think about it like this: Those who live in Beverly Hills has an obligation to those who live on Skid-Row. Or, those who live in the security of prosperity has a moral responsibility to carry the disappointments of those who still call the projects home. Those born with silver spoons have an obligation to those born on welfare. We often hear that “God helps those who help themselves” now this is a popular saying and may be traced to Aesop’s Fables but to the disappointment of many, these words have never been found to have been scribbled on the papyrus of any ancient sacred texts. It is a man- made philosophy seeking to protect the self-interest personification of a troubled society. God helps those who cannot help themselves case in point He died on the Cross to accomplish something for me that I could not accomplish in my own strength or by my own wisdom. God helps those who cannot help themselves and he uses us, as instruments of his peace as St Francis of Assisi teaches. So as we think about the divide that has taken place in many cities. The future divide sure to come as a result of the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. As we ponder The disaster of Gentrification. The tragedy of Mass Incarceration of African Americans. The shame of subsidizing the lifestyle of the rich on the backs of the poor, let us remember God has placed a moral obligation on each one of us and never lose sight of the reality that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. Urban Renewal, and other racist and discriminatory practices has created a weakening of the Black community. There is a moral obligation placed on humanity by the Creator to come along side the weak in pursuit of a strong “whole” society.

Dr. Willie J. Keaton Jr, Founder- President & CEO of Restorative Justice For America