I am sitting on my couch next to my wife, watching the Charlotte police department endure the irrational and illogical protests from the people they have sworn to protect. As I watch this unfold, my heart breaks for my country. I am the son of a police officer, and my dad is the kind of man who would just as soon die before letting a bad guy harm anyone. I do not share that for any other reason than to say, the thin blue line runs deep! But I am more than just a cop’s kid, I am also a pastor, and I am really struggling with how to respond to this growing tension in America.
On the one hand, my heart hurts for the families who have lost loved ones. Whether guilty or not, the death of a loved one should never be celebrated or shrugged off as if deserved. If you believe in the sanctity of life, you believe in the sanctity of all life. On the other hand, I struggle watching the media rake a police officer over the coals for discharging his/her firearm while protecting the peace. Is every cop justified? Certainly not, but there is no doubt that police officers have one of the most difficult jobs possible, and mistakes will happen. That said, the vast majority of police involved shootings are justified (click here), and in recent years many Grand Juries have dismissed charges on officers for fatal shootings (Ferguson and Baltimore). What is left is a growing tear in the fabric of America.
Then there is the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM). I can honestly say, outside the Nation of Islam and New Black Panthers, the BLM movement is the most despicable organization being given relevance in the country right now. “What do we want?” “Dead cops!” “When do we want them?” “Now!” To any reasonable way of thinking, this certainly cannot sound like a productive way of handling problems… and the tear grows larger!
So what are we to do? Do we point out the glaring fact that individuals stuck in the inner city have, in a form of self-fulfilling prophecy, sealed their fate by “settling”? Do we cast blame on the lack of dads in the home (click here)? Do we continue to address the symptoms being manifested… and the tear grows larger.
What is the role of the church in these troubling days? Certainly the desire should be to see justice for all involved (including wrongly accused officers!!!). Perhaps even a desire for peace between all people, since we are all created in the image of God? Maybe the church can even hold a prayer vigil supporting #p4p (pray for police) and the community at the same time; that would be nice. However, change will not happen until the church begins to look beyond the symptomatic problems being manifested through growing racial tensions in our great country and begin addressing the root of the issue – sin!
Growing up I remember singing the song, The Lord’s Army, and I remember thinking how exciting it was to be a soldier for Jesus. Then we would read Paul’s words to the church at Ephesus, “Put on the full armor of God!” In my innocent 3-year-old way of thinking, I was prepared for war! Have I lost that zeal? Have I become complacent in waging war on sin? As a leader in the church, have I done my job to combat the heinous effects of sin on the world? Church, the issues our country is facing is not racial, it’s not about the good guys and the bad guys – it’s about sin! Until the church comes to this complete reality, our country will continue to see devastating riots couched in 1st amendment language; we will continue to see blood spilled on the streets; we will continue to see jails and prisons at capacity; and we will continue to see anger… the tear will not heal.
The only remedy for this growing tear in the fabric of our great country is the shed blood of Jesus and the hope of His glorious return. Jesus came to seek and save the lost and commissioned His church to do the same. The saving blood of Jesus and the life change that happens through the power of the Holy Spirit are what can mend this tear in the fabric of society. Church, regardless of what friends and family will say, will you stand with me to combat the effects of sin on our country? Will you serve your country by obeying THE King?