What George Floyd's loss of life ought to remind us of justice and the gospel
Photo credit: © GettyImages / Fizkes
Here we are again. After the country saw a shocking video of Ahmaud Arbery shot in Georgia a few weeks ago, a video has now been released showing us how George Floyd dies with the neck of a policeman in the neck and protests: "I can not breathe . "
The officers involved have been fired and protests are ongoing as one nation asks, "How can this go on?"
As with any other issue here, the underlying issues must be addressed to both conscience and institutions.
The future powers have biblical responsibility to be exact how they exercise the lawful use of the law. That is why John the Baptist, after being repented and baptized by sin, said to soldiers and tax collectors: "Do not collect more than you are allowed to do" and "Do not extort money from anyone through threats or false accusations" (Luke 3: 13-14).
Why was this aimed at tax collectors and soldiers and not at the general population of the Jordan people? It was because they were the ones responsible for making those decisions. Decisions that vulnerable people could wrongly exploit.
In our governmental system, this responsibility ultimately rests with all citizens.
Does this mean that in any case we know how to ensure that racial injustices do not occur? No. The Samaritan probably had no thorough understanding of how to take good care of the man beaten on Jericho Road. This does not mean that like the priest and the Levit, he could take his eyes off.
Realize the wrong thing
The first step in doing the right thing is to realize that something is wrong.
This also means that white Christians, along with our black and brown brothers and sisters in Christ, must recognize that racism and impartiality in justice – wherever and however this is a problem – are a problem. Not only for our lives as citizens in a free country, but also as ambassadors for a kingdom of those united under the direction of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
As I have written repeatedly, the obstacles here are not new. Whether in 1820 or 1920 or 2020, there will always be those who say that issues of racism and injustice are "distractions" from the gospel.
Like some with slavery and others with Lynching and others with the Jim Crow regime, there will be those who say that anyone who says "Jesus does not like this" acts as an advocate for "Communists" or the "Social Gospel" is called or a kind of postmodern critical theorist, if in reality there is nothing behind it, but an obligation to the flawed writing.
Answer based on the truth of the scriptures
Scripture tells us:
– that the deification of the flesh is sin (Gal. 5: 16-24),
– this hatred of those who are made in the image of God is sin (1 Jn 3,11-15),
– that it is sinful to abuse people with the judicial system (Prov 17:15; 23:10),
– that it is sin to ignore the cries of the abused (Deuteronomy 23: 14-15; Jas. 5: 4).
And Scripture tells us that this sin brings God's judgment without repentance (Romans 6:23).
This applies not only to those who personally rebel against God's holiness and justice, but also to those who "agree with those who practice it" (Romans 1:32). This is a terrible reality to which those of us in Christ are called to serve as ambassadors who implore, as if through us Christ entreated "to be reconciled to God" (2 Cor 5:20).
Often, those who blame the "liberalism" of people who believe in the Bible, who complain about the ongoing problem of racial injustice, show that there really is a problem with "liberalism" and it belongs to them.
All scriptures are exhaled by God and are therefore profitable. And Scripture speaks on such matters, from Moses through the prophets to Jesus to the apostles to the early Church of Acts and beyond. Avoiding or ignoring such writings is just as "liberal" as those who do the opposite – and emphasize the so-called texts of "social morality" while downplaying those who call for personal repentance and belief, or those who call "personal" Moral."
Sin is not erased by ignoring it
It is the kind of "liberalism" that believes that sin can be wiped out by ignoring it, sanctifying it, or trusting the blind forces of history to go beyond it. The unbelieving world can see this for what it is. Those who grow up in the church can also see it. And the truth is that the conscience of those involved can.
The greatest obstacle for the vast majority of Christians, whether white or black or otherwise, is exhaustion. Again, some complain plaintively and others wearily: "How often will this happen?" For some, the result is deafness, and for others, despair. Both options lead to the same location. However, as Christians under the rule of Jesus, we cannot have any of these.
God, give us wisdom
That doesn't mean that we know every step we should take. Do we have anything? We will need wisdom.
And that doesn't mean we can solve all the problems? Can we do anything? "It will never stop being poor in the country," God revealed to us through Moses.
Does that mean we should give up seeing them then? God forbids (literally). God says: "This is why I command you:" You should open your hand wide for your brother, for the needy and for the poor in your country "(Deuteronomy 15:11).
The first reports of the George Floyd case, like so many others, are confusing. But we know that. A man is dead and we should cry for it.
We know that too. These terrible scenarios keep happening. We know about such things from video recording these days, but God has known about such things all the time.
Some of the tasks ahead of us – both in building our conscience and reforming some of our institutions – can be complicated. We may not always know how to proceed. But the questions before us are real. The questions before us are long-lasting. And the questions before us are not distractions.
Indeed, the distraction is that we shouldn't ask such questions at all.