Leading a Just Cause

On 1 November 1872, Susan B. Anthony walked into a polling station , demanding to be registered vote. She voted in the national election. Two weeks later a US Marshal arrested her for “voting without lawful”. The judge wouldn't allow a jury trial. Her sentence was to pay a fine and the cost of the trial.
“Your Honour,” declared Susan Anthony , “ I shall never pay one dollar of your unjust penalty .”

Susan had long been familiar with the controversy and conflict of reform movements.

Years later, she had worked for the American Anti-Slavery Society. She regarded slavery as evil and un-Christian. She published the first women's newspaper and organised the first women's union. Now Susan was at front of the National Women's Suffrage Movement, working tirelessly for women's voting rights.

The work was often discouraging. The press mocked her. She was denied entry into meetings. She was attacked by angry mobs. But these persecutions didn't stop her. She lobbied Congress and organised petitions

In 1929, her efforts helped to change the law, making sure that everyone had the right to vote regardless of their sex. But Susan never had the chance to vote. She had died fourteen years.

Those who lead movements for justice usually suffer ridicule, persecution, and sometimes death. Read in Matthew 23:34-39 what Jesus thinks about those who presecute the prophets of God.

Bible Texts
Matthew 23:34-39

34KJV:Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35KJV:That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36KJV:Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
37KJV:O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38KJV:Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39KJV:For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Questions to Consider
  • Why do you think people fear and persecute leaders such as Susan B. Anthony and the ones Jesus describes?
  • When has your unpopular stance caused you to suffer persecution?

Motion Points
  • Reading through one of the prophets of the old testament such as Amos, trying to understand why his messages were ridiculed and rejected.
  • Listening to leaders who have differing options, keeping your mind open for truth -even if it's uncomfortable.

Hymn for Today

Further Study
  • Ezekiel 20:13-20
  • 2Timothy 3:1-9
  • Jeremiah 3:11-13