I will admit, I do love news and politics. Before God called me to preach His Gospel I was very interested in running for public office. That’s all changed. I still love to engage in dialogue and am very opinionated, but God has transformed my heart.
I also hesitate to add my voice to a swirling vortex of opinions in the world, but I also know remaining silent is a greater sin.
When news of the Ferguson shooting of Mike Brown broke and the protests started many days ago, I thought, “This happens all the time.” In fact, as a society we’re pretty good at protesting and riots. However, what I was hearing on the mainstream media was very polarizing. Naturally, you’ve got CNN on one side and Fox News on the other, right? But the narrative being woven there is very distorted. So I began digging, and what I’ve seen from people (not affiliated with media outlets) who happen to have a camera and a network connection is unsettling.
The media tells us this is about race and police brutality – I’m sure there are elements of truth to both. I know there are looters and vandals capitalizing on the chaos and outside agitators trying to get it crazier. I am glued, like millions of others, to LiveStream feeds on the ground and what I have seen is nothing short of evil.
As I write this the Twitterverse is exploding with News that the police in Ferguson just burst into St. Mark’s Missionary Church, which was providing treatment and medical triage to injured folks. The police department stormed the church and took all the supplies with no warrant. The other night I witnessed a police officer clad in battlefield gear point a shotgun in the face of a journalist who was standing in a parking lot…well here’s the video. I witnessed the police force ALL the media to leave the area in a blatant violation of the Bill of Rights and then watched news reports of protesters being killed and there was conveniently no media to bear witness. I have seen videos and streams of police firing tear gas (which is actually banned by the Geneva Conventions) at children and the elderly who are in their own yards and completely innocent just trying to go about their day. Just Google “Teargas in Ferguson” and click on the ‘video’ tab for some very disturbing scenes that includes all the aforementioned people.
I don’t come to you as a minister or anything else but a human being when I implore you to stop this madness! Don’t you see what is happening? This shouldn’t be! Is this the United States? Since when was it OK to shred the Bill of Rights and the Constitution? Since when is it OK to use chemical weapons on our own citizens? Since when is it OK to bring an iron curtain-style media blackout. Since when can people not gather and protest peacefully (I get the minor % that’s trying to cause trouble)? Since when can you bust in a church without a warrant and steal humanitarian supplies. Since when did the police become a standing army?
Here’s the thing. This not a black versus white issue. This is not a Republican versus Democrat thing. This not a race, gender, socio-economic issue. This is a humanity versus tyranny issue. This is a good versus evil event…and good always wins because God is good. Let’s unite and stop fighting. Let’s help and not Hurd. Let’s build up, not tear down.
Why Ferguson matters is this: you are witnessing first-hand the shredding of the US Constitution and the removal of all the rights and freedoms we hold dear. But here’s what’s even scarier…this can happen anywhere. It will be at your neighborhood soon. What we see is the the infection of sin on the world. What we see is people being treated unjustly. What we see is evil. What we see cannot be unseen. It’s a painful reminder that we’re not home yet, but in the midst of all of the chaos, hatred, and injustice, there are beautiful deeds of kindness going on…and to me, that alone is worth fighting for.
I never thought I’d see the day that a humanitarian crisis would happen in our nation. So what’s the solution? I don’t know. I do know that remaining silent is a greater evil than anything else. I do know that as a Christian I am to stand up and be a voice for the voiceless, to call out injustice, and to expose evil wherever it appears. So I appeal to you, don’t just sit there and watch. Do something. Do what? Pray. God is the only one who can stop this. Lord, we need you. We don’t know the answers. Please, help us. Amen. If you are able and in the area bring aid supplies like water, and bandages. I urge peaceful, non-violent action. Don’t contribute to the problem. Be the solution. Pray. Pray for peace. Pray for God’s Shalom…God is already saving the world…sometimes…we just need to get out of the way and let Him.