I’m an old guy. That might come as a shock, but I have been around the corner and back. I grew up in the Sixties and Seventies. I attended integrated schools before that was a thing. It was just a fact of our neighborhoods and our Junior and Senior High. My Mom and stepdad were civil rights activists and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the south. As I went through high school, some old classics on the race struggle like Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin and The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison were in the curriculum. During that time Dr. King was murdered and cities erupted in flames, rioting and looting.
When I went to college, race was a big issue and the Black Panthers were an up and coming presence. In addition, we had campuses aflame with both anti-war protests and race protests. I was in D.C. for an anti-war protest that turned ugly when the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society–Communists actually) took over the rally and police in full riot gear dispelled the crowd.
Today’s crisis is like deja vu all over again. What do we tell our children?
  1. We have an enemy that is conducting a conspiracy of hate and destruction (John 10:10; 1 Peter 5:8).
  2. The ends NEVER justify the means. No matter how moral you think the ends are, nothing justifies violence and looting, burning of private property and covering up one’s own evil with lies.
  3. God loves every person and has endowed them with unimaginable dignity when He created all peoples in the image of God. We need to respond with proper respect for each person.
  4. The vast majority of ALL law enforcement are trying to serve their community well and keep people safe. Are there corrupt departments? Sure. Have some officials failed to police their own police? Yes. How else do we explain someone like Chauvin still being in uniform after having multiple charges against him for similar discrimination and brutality? But these failures are a long way from the lies that say, “Police are committing genocide against Blacks every day.” These kinds of statements need to be condemned. They foster hatred and fear. And visibly look for ways to honor those on the front lines trying to protect our community.
  5. Racism does exist. I learned from my classmates that no matter how many books I read, I could never understand what it was like growing up Black. I think this is still true today. The manifestations of racial bias are very different. But people are still judging people by skin color rather than character. And that goes both ways.
  6. Never Stop Loving — No matter what God commands us to love one another and to lay down our lives for each other. He also tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. In times like these when you are automatically judged to be a hater — love the other person anyway. Speak love into the calamity.

In a video I watched last night Bishop J.D. Jakes said, “When reasonable people are silent, unreasonable people take over.” Let’s pray for a way to be a voice of reason, to speak truth into an environment that seems taken over by lies.

I found these verses in Proverbs interesting as I went through my quiet time this week:
  • Prov. 24:23-25
  • Prov. 11:10-12
  • Prov. 14:31
  • Prov. 15:18
  • Prov. 17:15
  • Prov. 18:2
  • Prov. 18:5
  • Prov. 18:19
  • Prov. 21:13
  • Prov. 21:15
  • Prov. 22:2, 22:22-23

God’s blessings, Christopher

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