Justice is turned back,
And righteousness stands far away;
For truth has stumbled in the street,
And uprightness cannot enter. (Isaiah 59:14, NKJV)
“All he wanted to do was play.”
These words are echoed by the family and friends of Corey Jones, a South Florida musician who lost his life in an altercation with a plainclothes police officer on October 18th, 2015. There are myriad questions swirling around the investigation. People around the nation are calling for transparency and truthful answers in the midst of this tragedy.
That Corey was a musician doesn’t greatly impact the investigation, but it does affect those of us impacted by his death. At the time of the shooting, he was on the way home from a gig and was scheduled to play in church the next morning. Many of us reenact that process every weekend.
No matter where we play or serve, we Christian artists must seek ways to heal broken hearts and solve problems in our society. If we share God’s creative heart, we must also share His heart toward justice and equality.
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8, NASB)
When we create, we reflect the truth of God’s order, His character, and His sovereignty over creation. We reveal the heart of the matter to our audiences. We are in the business of telling the Truth.
Therefore, when we confront the possibility of injustice, we must be just as passionate about the truth as we are during our performances.
How should the Christian artist respond to injustice? In the same way our God responds – with action, intention, and a passion to repair what is broken in our society.
God looked and saw evil looming on the horizon—
so much evil and no sign of Justice.
He couldn’t believe what he saw:
not a soul around to correct this awful situation.
So he did it himself, took on the work of Salvation,
fueled by his own Righteousness. (Isaiah 59:15-16, MSG)
Perhaps all Corey Jones wanted to do was play. But we musicians and artists can do more than play.
We can act.
The God that gave us the gift of creativity expects no less.