There is a lot of angst, anxiety and anger in certain segments of the country, and a lot of people are participating in protests. As a part of a religious group named after protests I think I can give some suggestions to those who want to exercise this right. Martin Luther was a protestor who went up against the greatest power on earth and rocked it. He may give us some good ideas about how to do this right.
1. Before you protest on the steps of the cathedral (courthouse, Whitehouse, Congress) or on the streets, work earnestly from within the organization to change it. Luther spent years inside the church trying to implement changes and correct injustices before he went public.
2. Do your research – know what you are protesting. Luther had a well thought out position on the things he felt were wrong. He could express himself when someone asked him why he was unhappy with the system.
3. Stay focused on the real issues. Luther could have protested many things but he focused on a few prominent issues he felt were most important to reforming the church and getting her back on track to function in the way she was supposed to function.
4. Don’t be a coward. Luther did what he did in the open and in the daylight. His associations with people were not secret. He wasn’t funded by people who had an interest in tearing down the church. He mailed his protestant opinions to the leaders of the church and he nailed them to the door of the church.
5. Be of good cheer and be FOR something. This is the most important point of all. Protesting has almost exclusively become something we do AGAINST things and it is done with a lot of anger. Luther was not angry. And the movement he led was actually Pro (for) Testament (witness) OR for the witness to the truth that Jesus and the Bible were the true witnesses to the nature of God. When Luther discovered the truth of the gospel he was overwhelmed with it and it made him into a happy man, not an angry one.
These principles could really help make some of what is going on much more productive instead of having people in the streets who can’t explain why they are there, funded by people who have something to gain through their anger, unfocused and bitter, looting and diluting their message through crime and unwilling to come in to the table to work on real solutions.