"so little voice"

In a recent discussion about protesting at churches, one woman said, "I'm just not sure if a desperation to be heard justifies such an action." Good insight. I replied:
I understand that it is difficult to have "so little voice," but isn't that the right place to be as followers of Jesus? And [someone else] keeps talking about not being "given a microphone," but is that really what we need? Did Jesus need a microphone?

I think you're right that desperation to be heard is not the best motivation, yet I think that's behind a lot of "radical" action, and contributes to the ways those actions are often disrespectful, angry, and unloving. We're frustrated and upset, so we resort to less-than-loving methods so our voice can at least be heard.

I've done this also at times, and even recently thought about protesting at my own church. I was quite upset over the use of "church discipline" that pressured one family to the point where they left the intentional community (with pretty limited ability to support themselves). I didn't think the family was innocent, I just didn't think they should have been pressured to the breaking point. As the situation was developing, I spoke out in public. I said it would be harmful for the whole community. I pleaded with the leaders who were pushing the issue, and suggested an alternative. I used my "voice" as adult Sunday school teacher to argue that Jesus never told us to use social pressure to discipline in that way, that the more mature among us should accept wrongs from the "weaker brother" rather than punish them socially or economically. People got angry.

But in the arguments I realized that my voice as the teacher was a form of power over the others that some of them resented. It wasn't just the truth upsetting them, but that I was "forcing" them to listen to it. So I gave up my position as teacher (and occasional worship leader). I had much less voice, but that made me trust more that if it really was the truth then God would back it up and make that truth known. I could have no voice myself because God's voice was the only one that mattered. And no one could silence that voice. Everyone would have to listen eventually.

Jesus didn't need a microphone for the same reason. Matthew quotes Isaiah in describing Jesus: "He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will any one hear his voice in the streets..." (Mt 12.19) He didn't need a microphone because it was never in question whether justice would come. God would bring justice. Jesus could speak with a small voice and without desperation because he had faith that God would back up his words with all the power of the Almighty.