As I sit down to write about the heartbreaking, shocking death of George Floyd and other African Americans whose lives we recently learned were taken, many thoughts and emotions are stirred.
While it has been of some help to follow news reports and social media commentary about each of these individuals, it has been even more helpful to reflect back on conversations I have heard and had with pastors whom serve in predominantly African American churches.
In Oklahoma, we are blessed with many wise pastors from whom I’ve learned much. Pastors Walter Wilson, LeRon West, David Hooks, Daryl Hairston, Anthony Scott, Teron Gaddis, Prophet Bailey and so many others I could name, have taught me so much about how racial reconciliation and racial justice are interconnected with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Some things I have learned and been reminded of by listening to biblically-rooted perspectives are:
- We, as the Church, cannot sit idly by and silent while injustices take place.
- America sadly has a long history of racial injustice, particularly toward black people, and we must do our all to root it out.
- We are all made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27) and have worth.
- We can pray more, speak up more, demand more.
- We unfortunately live in a time in which inflammatory debate is common, but Christians can rise above this.
- We can unite under the banner of Christ to pursue justice, righteousness and liberty.
The famous novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” is a stirring and controversial tale of the staggering loss of lives that occurred in World War I and how it can be easy to grow too numb toward death. When the main character, “Paul,” is dying in battle, it’s just one more death among millions, so ordinary that it still seems all is quiet on the western front.
As we emerge from the Coronavirus crisis, these tragedies—which can be looked at one at a time and as a whole–serve as a sober reminder that all is not quiet on the American front. We can and should call for justice, all while we love our country, support good law enforcement and work toward a better justice system. God help us…