Summary: It is the responsibility of the church community and individual believers to help oppressed people from their violent oppressors. If you can’t do anything else to help; Start Snitching!
Elder Clarence Weaver
"But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman's hand” - Ezekiel 33:6
In 2004, a campaign was launched in Baltimore, Maryland to influence criminal informants to stop “snitching” or to prevent them from informing law enforcement of crimes that they personal witness. The media outlets and public officials say that it is a movement used by criminals to frighten people with information from reporting their criminal activities to law enforcement. Not only did the criminals threaten the live of the criminals ‘informants, but they made a DVD that threatens violence against potential informants “Snitchers,” Rats, or what other names the young folks are saying today. The publicity of Stop Snitchin DVD even highlighted the appearance of NBA star, Carmelo Anthony.
As Christians, God has called us to get involved rather than turning our heads away from violence. “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” – 2 Timothy 1:7. What good is a church in a community that does not do anything about violence especially when it has crept upon the door post? In this topic, we begin by first looking at the Biblical obligation to preserve life; our own lives and the lives of other people as it relates to violence in our community. Contrary to popular belief, the Bible’s narrative is not the corrective to the horrors of the world, though its message is. Instead, violence fill the narrative pages of the Bible, at times so disgusting that even today they create a nauseating sensation. However, the Bible declares, “The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates everyone who loves violence.” Psalm 11:5
My goal today is to fame that testimony in the larger content of the “stop snitching movement” or witness intimidation. We have an obligation to deliver people out of the hand of the wicked in and help prevent violence and strengthen the livelihood in our community in a message I call “Start Snitching!”
In our text the prophet Ezekiel is called to be a watchman over the house of Israel by God. His name means God will strengthen because much of what he wrote is set to happen in the present, and the future. He is obligated to warn sinners of their misery and danger, and warn the wicked to turn from their way, that they may live. Now I know many of you are thinking that Ezekiel is nothing but a nosey neighbor. Well there are different types of nosey neighbor but I would classify them into two basic categories: The “Snoop Doggy Dogs” and the Chitty – Chatty Gossipers
Snoop Doggy Dogs
Snoop Doggy Dogs routinely observe everything that happen in the neighborhood with hopes that no one sees them. Life to them is like watching Reality TV. They couldn't care less about making conversation with you or reporting their findings. They are likely to routinely peer at you and your loved ones through their blinds, opening a small section just big enough for their beady little eyes to see out of. They have a passive personality because they avoid direct contact with you. But guess what? They will call the police in a minute especially during the middle of your Super Bowl party because they thought from all of the shouting they heard that you were in danger.
Chitty- Chatty Gossipers
Then we have what I call is the Chitty- Chatty Gossipers. They are not ashamed to let you and everyone else knows that your business is their business. They sit or stand outside of their homes, watching every move that everyone on the block makes. They are the first to complement you on your new car, how long you left the water on when watering your lawn, and how long your conversation with the mailman lasted. In times of trouble if you really need help; this person can potentially be a lifesaver. But guess what if they do help you; they will act like a news reporter with some breaking news telling everyone else the blow-by-blow details in the neighborhood how they helped you.
Start Snitching: Ezekiel 33:6
But you see my brothers and sisters, the differences between nosey neighbors such as “Snoop Doggy Dogs” and Chitty - Chatty Gossipers compared to the prophet Ezekiel is that he is called to be a watchman for the Lord. A watchman had to see into the spirit what God wants him to see and take authority over forces of spiritual darkness that hold people in bondage to sin and darkness. The watchman is called to see. He peers into the distance and can foretell danger from a distance, or can sense imminent danger. No, no, no…. He is nothing like your nosey neighbors because God has given him an assignment, a vision and revelation to sense danger before it happens. The person who is a watchman is called and anointed by God to fill this role. All Christians are called to a life of prayer, and are allowed to intercede for anyone, but the function, role, training and behavior of the watchman are different from simple intercessory prayer in the following ways. The watchman was given his assignment by God, and was held accountable to God for the completion of it and told to report what he saw. If he answered correctly, God told him what to do about what he saw.