When Rosa Parks fused to give up her bus seat back in 1955, she was protesting injustice nonviolently. Dr. King once said, “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. It is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.” The Bible does not give us explicit directions on how to protest injustice, but it is not silent toward those who take advantage of others, especially the poor. We read this in James 5: “Look here, you rich people… Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies… You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.” Of course, not all wealthy people are unjust. Yet in protesting inhuman conduct by those who are greedy, James advises God’s people to avoid violence. He says to God’s people, “Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.” God calls all of us to be fair in our dealings with others, and to work for justice on behalf of those who are mistreated. But even as we work for justice, we use nonviolent methods, for Jesus said: “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9)
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