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The Quest for Justice

In my opinion, Bishop TD Jakes spoke from an extremely wise and balanced perspective concerning the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman case.  Many people across America are asking questions about the verdict, and are demanding that justice be served.  Bishop Jakes gives a wise perspective to the difference between revenge and the quest for justice, and the fact that injustice to anyone is an injustice to everyone irregardless to ethnicity.  He also speaks to the definition of suspicion, and how it affected how and why Trayvon Martin was approached.  Recently, President Barack Obama spoke on the subject as well, saying that he could have been Trayvon 35 years ago.  As an American citizen and woman of God I have prayed about this matter, and believe that it gives us a great opportunity to address issues of race and utilize this time to draft a new future that is brighter not only for African Americans, but for our country.  I also believe that the issue at hand is as much of a spiritual issue as it is a matter of race.  I'm reminded of the story of Cain and Abel, when Cain killed his brother Abel, and Abel's blood cried out from the ground before God.  When God confronted Cain about what he had done, he replied, "Am I my brother's keeper."  The point is that we are our brother and sisters keeper, because the Bible says many things about the kind of love that we should have one for another, as well as about how when righteousness is exalted a nation stands strong, but sin and injustice is a reproach to any people.  (John 13:34-35; 1 John 4:16; Proverbs 14:34)  All of the answers and principles for a strong healthy society are found in the word of God, and we can move forward as a nation, but we must embrace the word of God, establish our judicial process upon its principles and live by it.

When such an enormous opportunity to bring change for the better and healing to our communities presents itself, if Christians as God's people fail to respond it is a failure of everything God's word stands for in terms of freedom, justice, and equity for every human being.  If you rob a man of his dignity, you have robbed him of his right to be human.   Let us pray and ask God for His wisdom and divine intervention concerning the matter in its entirety.  Let's also pray for our nations leaders and judicial branch of government that God will grant them His direction and wisdom in regards to creating laws that are just and fair to everyone.  There are several  passages of Scripture which stand out in my mind, that I believe are very appropriate to this subject.   They are in the book of Isaiah 59:14-19 (NKJV), Proverbs 14:34, and 2 Chronicles 7:14.

v. 14, Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter.  v. 15, So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.  The Redeemer of Zion then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice.  v. 16, He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.  v. 17, For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.  v. 18, According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, recompense to His enemies; The coast lands He will fully repay.  v. 19, So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

Proverbs 14:34, "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people."  (KJV)

2 Chronicles 7:14-15, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place."

I believe that we must turn our whole heart to God, and pray for our nation and our leaders, but not let that stop or negate our presence in the process of change.  We also must get involved in the process of positive change by peaceful non-violent means of having dialogue and forums of discussion with one another as well as those who have authority in the judicial systems to help make changes for the better of all of us as American citizens.  This can be an incredible time for healing, restoration and recovery of everything lost, stolen and forfeited if everyone can recognize the opportunity as it has presented itself.   Perhaps, it is the greatest hour in the history of this nation to heal the racial divide, and for the Church as the body of Christ to reflect His image to the world.

After you have considered what has been said, and after you have viewed the following interview with Bishop TD Jakes on Praise 103.9, "Philadelphia's Inspiration Station", I want to invite you to share your comments on our Community Blog, and please pray for America everyday.  Please share this blog and message on your social media page(s). This is a forum for positive thinking and constructive dialogue with one another on matters of importance in a peaceful non-threatening manner.  Above all, please pray for Trayvon Martin's parents and family.  Thank you so much for being a part of the process and God bless you.

32 Comments to The Quest for Justice:

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Katrina Madden on Saturday, July 20, 2013 11:14 AM
I'm glad that you posted this blog. The question I have been asking is "Where is the justice in this?" I have been watching the protests across our nation and it is people of all nationalities protesting this injustice. I believe as Christians we sometimes fear getting involved, according to Isaiah 59:14-19 we must get involved, God saw that there was no man that stood up for justice and wondered that there were no intercessors. Reading this shook me and reminded me of my role. As men & women of God we have to decide what role are we going to play in this.
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Saturday, July 20, 2013 11:45 AM
Katrina, thank you for taking time to respond to this very important issue, and for sharing your thoughts with us. What you said is precisely what is a great concern of mine, and that is the passivity and almost no expression or response from many of God's people. It's a travesty when those who profess to have the power of God do to greater works remain silent and non responsive when the demand for a response presents itself. The Bible says that the fearful and cowardly cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven, which means those who are fearful cannot make a difference, and therefore can't help manifest the power of the Kingdom of God in the earth realm. We must let our light so shine that men may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven. God bless you.

Dr. Stanley D. Williams on Saturday, July 20, 2013 11:43 AM
Today as I write this response to my wife's exceptional Blog I am so introspective. I have listened to the conversations of many people both black and white and in my observations I have seen the divide that many people say doesn't exist. Travon Martin's death and the subsequent trial only uncovered a fault line that has always existed between two races in America. However, it must be remembered that when a problem is uncovered it is not always totally bad because it also opens up the opportunity for discussion on ways to heal and ways to correct inequities in our systems. Whether it be our Judicial system or our Government systems we have a great opportunity here. Black people should not be denied this opportunity to speak out about what they feel. On the other hand while it is difficult for our white counterparts to understand because they have not faced the same experiences they should be able at least to empathize and dialog. In the midst of these discussions we can make tremendous progress if we open our hearts and our minds to the need for change. A young man walked to the store to buy some snacks on the last day of his visit with his father and ended dead. He had no weapon and had done no crime, he was followed on the assumption that he looked suspicious. The events that occurred on the evening of Travon Martin's death are now history but until justice is served they will never be forgotten. The inequities do exist and long after this case is forgotten if it ever is the fault line will still exist and upon the next crises will be revealed again, we might as well deal with it now and trust God to fix it. In the mean time we need seek God and pray for His divine intervention because the ultimate blessing would be that God heal this often ignored fault line. Is anything to hard for God!
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Dr. Bethtina Williams on Saturday, July 20, 2013 12:20 PM
Apostle Stanley, thank you so much for joining the conversation. We need to have leaders who will respond to matters of importance as great as this. I believe that Bishop Jake's' statement was wisely spoken, because he said that there are thousands of young people who die everyday, but there are times in which God will cause one injustice too many to get everybody's attention and galvanize a people, not just for one race, but for everyone. We realize that there is a serious problem with crime in the African American community, but whenever and wherever injustice takes place, it is a matter that concerns everyone, because the very fabric of a civil society is woven in its system of justice and equality for all of its citizens irregardless to race or background. Apostle, thank you once again for sharing your comments with us. It's extremely meaningful!

Candice Mimms on Saturday, July 20, 2013 12:13 PM
TD Jakes comment regarding the Travon Martin and George Zimmerman case focused on the ongoing issue with the lack of love and respect for one another throughout this world. On a daily basis we see individuals being killed coming from different races, genders, and age groups. I believe the most important issue to focus on is the lack of love and the lack of respect shown towards one another no matter the race or gender and no matter their beliefs or age. The truth of the matter is that people of the same race kill one another every day and there’s something wrong with this just as there’s something wrong with someone killing an individual based upon assumption and suspicion. I’m thankful this case has been placed in the spotlight for others to have a perspective of the wrong doings that has been going on for years. This case and the verdict in itself have created a lot of frustration and anger in people. I pray people understand it is important to fight for justice with words and not fight for justice with violence. Violence is not the answer, but the problem. Violence among other things is the reason this case came to existence. Love and peace is the answer. This is what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed and dreamed about. He had a dream that people of all races would come together in love and peace. He was truly a mouth piece for God. God desires for mankind to love one another. On the other hand, the devil comes as a thief, taking away life. The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy (refer to John 10:10). May God bless His people in this time of hurt and pain. May God remind us of who we are in Him.
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Saturday, July 20, 2013 12:58 PM
Candice, thank you for sharing your insightful comments with us. Your dialogue is on point and well spoken. I enjoyed reading it, especially your remarks about the fact that your prayer is that "people understand it is important to fight for justice with words and not fight for justice with violence. Violence is not the answer, but the problem. Violence among other things is the reason this case came to existence. Love and peace is the answer." Your mention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jrs., dream for "people of all races would come together in love and peace," spoke volumes concerning the opportunity for our generation to do something about injustice to ensure that we create a better environment for our children to grow up in. God bless you Candice, and thank you for your contribution to the process.

Toiya Moffatt on Sunday, July 21, 2013 12:02 AM
After reading this community blog and the responses that were posted, I agree that prayer is essential in this hour. Especially considering the level of injustice that is being demonstrated throughout the nations, not just in this particular case. I agree with Ms. Madden that we as Christians must step up our roles and become active intercessors. I will add however the fact that we must become proactive or pray from an offensive standpoint continuously. A great deal of times the devastations or tragedies that occur take place because someone was not praying when called or was not watching and praying. This is not simply about justice in the courtroom but rather people turning to the truth which is only found in God. The courtroom will not be established as a place of justice until the hearts and minds of man have turned away from sin.
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Monday, July 22, 2013 10:13 PM
Toiya, your comments are very insightful and true. It is not until people turn their hearts from sin and turn towards God that justice can be served throughout our nation and our communities. Prayer is essential in seeking the wisdom and heart of God on matters that are extremely important. When God's people neglect to pray proactively from an offensive position the wicked one kills, steals and destroys, but when God's people begin to pray sincerely and in faith God intervenes and causes everything to work together for the good and justice is served.

Robert Watson on Monday, July 22, 2013 7:07 PM
It is evident that the values in which this country was founded on (In God We Trust)does not exist in our justice system. This country has gotten so far away from the foundation in which it was built upon. If you remove the foundation from any structure it will fall. Removing God and Prayer from public areas in this country is a sure sign of disaster. This nation must turn back to God and put Him in His rightful place in order to receive true justice.
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 8:53 AM
Pastor Watson, thank you for sharing your comments on our Community Blog. Your statement is so true. Whenever a nation forsakes the standard of God's word as its foundation, it also loses its moral compass. I am praying earnestly that America will return to God soon, because without God's divine wisdom and direction we are putting our future in jeopardy. It is impossible to have justice without the God of justice! God bless you Pastor Watson. We look forward to hearing from you again.

pam wright on Monday, July 22, 2013 8:41 PM
Reading the blog is so in line with what I been thinking and feeling in my spirit. We got to turn back to God and get things right because the next generation is going to need this. I'm talking grandchildren and great grandchildren. As peoples of God we got to get things right.
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 9:00 AM
Pam, your comments are absolutely true! We must get things right with God, because the future of the next generation, of our children, grandchildren and beyond are dependent upon the foundation of God's word, prayer, and presence that we maintain today. Our deviation from the truth will cost for many generations to come. What this present generation fails to do will be extremely costly in the future, and truthfully we can't afford it. I pray that God's people will begin to make a great change and pray for our nation for God's divine intervention and healing according to 2 Chronicles 7:14-15. God bless you.

Latoya Watson on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 2:23 AM
In the ancient world many Christians were cruelly tortured and killed by the Roman rulers for simply being Christians. It is sad to say although we live in the 21st century certain individuals today are still targeted in the same way; such as those as Trayvon Martin. Trayvon has become a modern day martyr (one who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, CAUSE, or principle.) without evening know it. It is easy to see how his dying a horrible death has opened up a long needed forum in this country to address the oppression of the innocent on a grand scale. Trayvon in this hour is like a type of Samson who did more to fulfill the Will of God in his death than in life.
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 9:18 AM
Lady Latoya, you have shared an incredible viewpoint about what has become a movement for better legislation and justice in our country. The Trayvon Martin cause, irregardless to who believes in it or not, has become a vehicle by which we can begin to reexamine our policies and principles to ensure that justice and equality for all is maintained across the nation. Thank you so much for sharing and God bless you.

Latresa Lawson on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 8:51 AM
As people of God we must pray. We must bind the spirit of racism and injustice and pray for unity and love for one another. Our God has promised us if two or more pray agreeing touching anything then it shall be done for us. It is important that we don't lose faith and hope because of what it looks like or because what is said or what they did. Always know that God is in control and He will keep our minds at peace whose hearts are stayed on Him....Blessings.
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 9:22 AM
Amen Latresa, you have spoken so well and your words are precisely what is needed. Prayer will affect and impact everything, and keep our hearts in perfect peace. Whenever we see things happen that are not necessarily in alignment with that which is right or just, it is very important for us to cover everyone that is involved in prayer and maintain our position as intercessors and prayer warriors on behalf of the land. Thank you for sharing your comments with us, and God bless you.

Dr. Cleophus Marshall, III on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 7:47 PM
Apostle I had the opportunity to read your in depth response regarding the Zimmerman verdict. Your response was very well thought out and you made very good points especially in the scriptural context. God always has a way of bringing forth a greater good even out of great human tragedy. As a lawyer, I cannot say that justice was served, but as a Believer I know in the end God's purpose will be served!
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 8:19 PM
Dr. Marshall, thank you for sharing your comments on our Community Blog from your position of legal expertise. Your contribution is deeply appreciated and it is very encouraging to know that you have taken the time to read my thoughts and have responded so well. God bless you.

Travis Mimms on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 9:24 AM
What the devil meant for evil, God meant it for good… It appears to me that this national televised case is meant to bring more division to an already divided nation. We know from scripture Matt 12:25 "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand." This issue has exposed the weaknesses in our judicial system. Whenever you see something for face value, you can make the necessary adjustments to correct the error. Although this is a tragic moment in our African American culture and in a nation as a whole, this is a perfect opportunity to unite and demonstrate that yes there are differences in color and race but we can come together and establish common ground towards the vision that was originally established for the UNITED States of America. “One nation under God with liberty and Justice for all…” Thank you for posting this blog with your thoughtful words and encouragement… Love, Peace, and Soul
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Saturday, July 27, 2013 11:15 PM
Travis, your contribution to this special community blog is greatly appreciated. You have presented a balanced perspective to a tragic issue. Although I believe that the burden of racial reconciliation lies within the confines of the body of Christ, because we are suppose to be lead by the Spirit of God, and the Bible says that "God is love, and he that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. This is why I believe God inspired me to write this blog; to encourage Christians to be an example of Christ's love, unity, and righteousness before the world. I believe when the body of Christ begins to demonstrate His wisdom and unity the world will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. Thank you for your contribution, and God bless you.

TRACIE FIELDS on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 9:58 AM
I have to agree with Min. Travis. This case along with many others has exposed the weakness in our justice system. It is not a perfect system but we serve a perfect God. It is not merely enough to talk about these weakness. As people of God we are called to make a difference and we should seek wisdom from God to find out what we need to do to make a change in our governmental systems. These types of injustices affect us all regardless of our race or background. Wherever God has placed us we must use our sphere of influence in that area to create change as we seek God for which direction we should go. We know that all things work together for good to those who love God to those who are called according to His purpose. We must look at this horrible situation as an opportunity to implement a much needed change in a flawed system.
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Saturday, July 27, 2013 11:22 PM
Tracie, thank you for sharing your comments and perspective on our community blog. This natural system will always have its weaknesses and flaws, because as human beings non of us are perfect, but it can be improved just like we can grow and become better people. I thank God that He is perfect and His word is true. When we rely upon and make God's word the bedrock of our judicial system, it will be fairer to everyone and entail a more balanced perspective. As people of God we must understand the difference our voice and our presence makes as we represent Godly values and standards throughout our nation and the world until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, when Jesus returns. Again, thank you for your contribution. God bless you.

Marsha Wilson on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 5:54 PM
I would have to agree with Minister Travis and Elder Fields, as I watched the news reports, some of the trial, listened to comments from people in the media, within our local communities, and on FB one thing kept rising within me above everything else and that's where's our focus? Yes, what happened was a travesty no doubt, but where's our focus? Have we been moved to just complain about the system and hurl insults back and forth at one another...God forbid! As I was reading the blog 2 sentences caught my attention and stood out the most and that was " Let us pray and ask God for His wisdom and divine intervention concerning the matter in its entirety. Let's also pray for our nations leaders and judicial branch of government that God will grant them His direction and wisdom in regards to creating laws that are just and fair to everyone". Prayer and the wisdom of God which enables us to know what to say, how to say it, which direction to go in, when to go, and who is to go with us, is oh so important.
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Saturday, July 27, 2013 11:40 PM
Marsha, thank you for taking time to give attention to this month's blog. You have captured the precise purpose and reason behind the focus of the blog. We need to pray and seek God's face for His wisdom and direction as a nation of people. America has become a nation that has by in large turned away from every semblance of God, and we are seeing the results. Whether a person is African American, White, Asian, Hispanic or Indian in this country, without God there will continue to be a racial divide, but if as a nation we return to the foundation of faith in the living God through Jesus Christ, America can become a better place to live for everyone. 2 Chronicles 7:14-15, says, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place." The Church has the greatest responsibility to repent and return back to God fully, and lead the way for the nation to be saved, and the land to be healed. Thank you for your contribution, and God bless you.

Nikki Godbolt on Sunday, July 28, 2013 12:32 AM
It is truly a serious hour that we are living in and prayer is essential! When I heard the verdict I was totally in awe. My heart goes out for Treyvon's family and I pray their strength in the Lord! One thing I have learned in life is that prayer changes thing. Its not a time for hate but we must pray for one another and our nation leaders and legal system.
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Monday, July 29, 2013 3:18 PM
Nikki, thank you for sharing your comments on this month's community blog. Prayer is what we must do first in order to pave the way for meaningful dialogue and to create and establish laws that protect the rights of everyone with equity and justice. Without effective praying things cannot get much better than they are, because it is God's divine intervention and guidance that will ultimately make the difference. God bless you.

Dr. Bethtina Williams on Thursday, August 01, 2013 2:34 PM
Dear Sir/Madaam: Thank you for connecting with us on our Community Blog. It's good to see that you have gleaned something from it, and that it has inspired you. God bless you.
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Brian Brewer on Sunday, August 04, 2013 1:25 AM
Thank you Dr. Williams for a very timely and insightful message about the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman case. This case, in many circles, had been divided along racial lines. Many gun activists are using this to secure their right to bear-arms, and to protect laws, such as the “stand-your-ground” law. But what I believe most people have not addressed is that there was a senseless loss of life that could have been prevented. There were choices made that escalated this unlikely encounter to a tragic death of a young youth. All my life I have been taught that you are accountable for the choices you make. Do to loop-holes woven throughout our judicial system, accountability goes out the window in many instances today. With that said, there is only one thing we have that is just and true-the word of God. He calls for us to pray for governmental leaders that we might have a quiet and peaceable life (1tim 2:1-2). He holds the heart of the king in His hands, and He alone can turn it any way He desires (prov 21:1). So the conversation from my perspective turns from what should we do to make a change, to what should we do to allow God to evoke change through us. Thank you and God bless.
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Tuesday, August 06, 2013 7:14 PM
Brian, your insight and perspective to our community blog is tremendous. I particularly your final statement which said, "So the conversation from my perspective turns from what should we do to make a change, to what should we do to allow God to evoke change through us." That statement alone is where we need to truly focus our attention, because as we allow God to work within us and "evoke" or produce the change that we want to see, it will have a great impact everywhere we go, and communities, laws, ordinances and nations can be changed for the better. Thank you so much for sharing your comments with us.

Tracy Fields on Tuesday, August 06, 2013 5:52 AM
I too believe that an injustice was carried out in the verdict of the Zimmerman trial. It is true that many of the rules within our legal system are flawed. However the problem as I see it is as a society we tend to be an emotionally reactive when something like this hits home. The problem is so many people are just not educated to the laws we are being guided by and have very little desire to learn about them until something terrible like this happens. Just like many people chose to live an ungodly life style until something terrible happens in their life. As I see it, it is a matter of mind set. My heart truly goes out to the Martin Family. I'm sure no words can express enough sympathy to comfort them for the loss of their son. Until we as a society have a change of heart and a change of mindset, and laws are corrected to prevent or at least bring justice for actions like this we will continue to see this type of results. Again my prayers go out to the Martin Family, and God Bless all who read this.
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Tuesday, August 06, 2013 7:21 PM
Tracy, thank you for sharing your heartfelt comments with us on this month's community blog. Your understanding of the issue at hand , and emphasis on the importance about being informed is greatly appreciated because my desire is to produce a forum and platform via the blog where people can contribute their perspective from an informed position. It's true that nobody knows the lost and pain which the Martins have to endure unless you have been there personally and experienced it firsthand. It is for this reason that I sympathize with them, and pray that God Himself will comfort and heal their hearts. God bless you.

Noleg-gioautoaroma on Monday, November 25, 2013 9:51 PM
Excellent written post. thanks for sharing with us.Your style is so unique compared to other people I've read stuff from
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