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Country Divided: Hands Up, Don't Shoot!

I am jumping off a bridge in ... 3 ... 2 ... 1...

I'm going to write about some very controversial things; the nation has recently been in an uproar and quickly becoming divided (perhaps the fault lines are just being exposed) over the recent deaths around the country at the hands of the police. It has been underscored by it's racial tensions, as many of the prominent deaths have been of African Americans at the hands of Caucasian police. It has incited riots, looting, and more chaos and injury throughout the country, even outside the areas that the incidents took place.

I'm not here to make any commentary about what I think about the particulars of the Micheal Brown case (or any other case recently), whether the police officers were in the right or wrong or whatever. What do I know? I wasn't there, and thank God I wasn't.

I'll tell you what I do know: in Christ there is neither Jew or Greek, slave or free, BLACK or WHITE, for we all one in Christ (Col 3:11; Gal 3:28). So what does that mean for you Christian? It means don't stir up further dissension! Instead we should join the One we say we follow and work toward peace and unity, while living justly with those around us (Mic 6:8).

And while Christian's not stirring up further dissension, discord, envy, hatred, or fits of rage (Gal 5:19-21) may be somewhat obvious, it is quite challenging to live out. Especially when our emotions are involved. When we ourselves or someone we love are wronged or oppressed, it can be very difficult to actually live out our faith and not retaliate and leave our cause for vengeance and justice to the Lord (1 Cor 6:7; Rom 12:17-21). And how can I possibly relate to many of the oppressive things that African Americans still go through in this country, much less what they have been through historically in this country. And while hatred, racism, prejudice, and bigotry is a human trait and common to all (not just one particular person or set or persons) it is something that we must continually fight against, resist, and repent of as those of faith in Christ. For there is no room for favoritism (racism is simply a form of favoritism) in God's kingdom (Rom 2:11). And praise Him for that!

But there are perhaps other questions that arise for us as Christians in these types of situations that are not as easily answered; like what is our role in society towards injustices (perceived or real), how do we help bring about the peace in individual's lives that can only come through Jesus and His Lordship, and to what extent should we go as Christians in our advocacy of the oppressed?


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