Monday, December 8, 2014

Racial Fault Lines

It seems like every week brings out another story of a white cop killing a black man.  Accounts of the stories often vary, and sometimes vary wildly.  In Ferguson, some say that Michael Brown was gunned down in cold blood, while others say that he was on the verge of killing the cop.

In Cleveland, a 12-year-old with a fake gun failed to heed warnings from the cops, and he was shot.

In NY, a man selling untaxed cigarettes fought for breath as police used special holds trying to get him to cooperate.  Apparently his last words were, "I can't breathe."

Many declare that these cases are merely the tip of the iceberg.  Police routinely, they say, treat black men with undue harshness.  Stories by the dozens or hundreds or thousands are being told now, about blacks stopped by cops for no apparent reason.  White citizens even call in complaints about suspicious black people in the "wrong" places.

It seems like we have discovered a fault line in our culture.  Well, maybe the discovery is only for people like me.  To others, the fault line has always been obvious.

And there is plenty of fault to go around, too.  So often, these situations occur when bad decisions by one party are compounded by the reaction of the other.  It seems like sinners keep encountering sinners.  It sounds like real life in this fallen world.

We need changes of attitudes, which will change behaviors.  What we really need is a change of heart.  Only Jesus can change the heart.  He specializes in working with sinners, and it's a good thing.

Enter the Church, preaching the gospel.  Jesus takes sinners and transforms our hearts.  He died on the cross for the sins of rebellion and oppression, for the sins of indifference and prejudice.  He rose again to bring life to all who will receive him.

May he bring life, peace, and healing to our nation.  May those who belong to Christ rise up with love and truth.