Update: in light of the cop killing that occurred in Brooklyn Saturday, I want to reiterate this point- no one deserves to die. There are plenty apparently who have no problem with these officers losing their lives to an apparent sympathizer of the NY police protests. I do hold leaders responsible who rushed to judgment, slammed the NYPD, blamed race, who caried the water of those who did so. Leaders create consequences with the words they say and the positions they adopt. And still lost in it all is the truth that no one deserved to die. It is so disturbing that there are many who feel vindicated by this senselessness.
We’ve gone off the tracks as Christians because we have failed to heed this call.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)
The reason horrible things can be said by those who are supposed to be God’s children is because we now have the opportunity to address our own personal, 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week audience on social media. People who are constantly on stage are constantly performing. We put on the best facade of our worst selves in a moment of emotionality to declare fleeting feelings as absolute truth!
I believe individuals make decisions that lead them to horrible results, even tragic, deadly results. But no one deserves to die. Right or wrong, good or bad doesn’t matter. No one deserves to die. And for anyone to stand tall (figuratively speaking) on social media and declare with such arrogance that Michael Brown, or anyone one else deserves to die, represents the worst of humanity. And it’s only by God’s grace that that person, whomever he or she is, has the breath to say such a thing.
Each of us is worthy of death. However, this truth should never be divided from the declaration that through Christ, each of us can live.
I’m afraid that we have missed the fact that each and every one of us, people of every skin color, has sinned and fallen short of of the glory of God. As such, each of us is worthy of death. But rather than judge that any particular person deserves death, because of Christ’s salvation that I have received, I can declare that each and every person regardless of color is worthy of Christ’s salvation.
But it is hard to see this fact when we look so good standing in our own personal spotlight all of the time. There truly is a way that seems so right to a man. But every one of man’s ways can’t be right, so we polarize ourselves and declare each his own truth, with no hope and no means of escape. And in this message, there is no goodness, grace, mercy, or beauty. Only deadly self-conceit, the fruit of a poison tree that, though it should have been rooted out long ago, has grown to full maturity.
I have a lot to say about the state of race in our culture, and I will be speaking out. But it must began by repairing our bad theology. There is no one righteous. Not one. And we are biting off more than we can chew, hurting the plight of the lost, by pretending that anyone is more saved or lost than anyone else in the world. God help us.