An Open Letter to the Problem Solvers
Are we seeking justice or revenge?
Like everyone else, I have been sickened by watching the extreme disunity and disregard for life demonstrated in full view of the watching world. But I am also wise enough to withhold my judgment and my words until my emotions settle, and I can judge and respond rightly, with all facts and perspectives taken into account.
Reacting out of emotion makes us look like fools, especially when the whole story is released, which contradicts our original perception.
Be quick to listen, slow to speak & slow to anger. (James 1:19)
Whitewashing the actions of one side or the other is also supremely idiotic and only leads to more division. There are never excuses for wrong actions, but context is an essential component that should guide our judgment.
If we are not willing to recognize all wrongs in a specific situation, we have no hope to move forward. Everyone will just continue to DEFEND.
They will defend their perspective (pro-cop vs. anti-cop), their politics (republican vs. democrat), their social stance (black lives matter vs. all/blue lives matter), and even their race (black vs. white). But these attempts at justice are one-sided and will only lead to more division, rioting, and uneducated rhetoric (of which both sides have become experts).
People are crying for justice; at least that is the word people are chanting and writing on posters. But there is a funny thing about justice, it exposes ALL of the uncomfortable truths that society likes to ignore.
If we open ourselves up to justice, we will see the ugly underbelly of our enemies, but we also invite the world to gaze at our own shortcomings and glaring inconsistencies as well.
Justice acknowledges a police officer’s brutality as well as a criminal’s destructive choices. Justice exposes the WHOLE truth, not just the “convenient truth” that supports a particular narrative. Justice is blind and knows no favoritism, neither for state nor citizen. But justice takes time, because instant justice is uninformed and imbalanced and therefore not fair.
Revenge is what people are really calling for. Vengence is what the mob desires. Their justified anger has led them to this desperation.
But, We must beware of the consequences, because vengeance will leave this country in ruins. But justice will establish her as a light to the rest of the world, declaring that: “all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That is what we collectively believe.
[UPDATE: In a side note, I want to acknowledge that there are many peaceful protesters who are exercising their constitutional right and are actively seeking change without seeking vengeance, but they don’t get the media coverage.]
“Do not take Revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge, I will repay.’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
Unfortunately, justice is currently an unattainable goal because we have excommunicated its companion (truth) into the heap of irrelevant cultural ideologies.
In our modern cultural worldview, there is no absolute truth. Everyone is seeking “their own truth.” No one acknowledges the existence of any moral law that applies to all of humanity. This is the root of the problem.
Americans desire to control their destiny and never to allow anyone to judge their actions or motives. This insistence leads us to the place we find ourselves today, Spiritual Anarchy.
Even though our nation began with a moral albatross around our necks (slavery), we also were given a structure in the Constitution that, if utilized, would give us the opportunity to right our wrongs before they destroy us.
Instead, we have used this structure to expand our individual freedoms, often compounding our abuse of others. History reveals, however, that as we have rejected any form of absolute moral truth, our abuses have grown more and more injurious both to individuals and our nation. If we are to reverse this trend, we must return to some shared ideas of right and wrong.
If we agree that we must return to an absolute view of right and wrong, that necessarily leads us to a need for a Lawgiver because we have proven that when we make laws in our own image, we lean towards favoritism and abuse.
It is time for us to reconsider our Biblical roots in defining right and wrong. Then,”Let justice flow like a flood.” (Amos 5:24)
Since we are being honest and speaking of justice we must acknowledge that the church has not always been truthful in their administration or interpretation of God’s commands.
Dishonest “Christians” purposefully misinterpreted the Bible to support their desire for slavery in the deep south, while sincere Christians used a correct interpretation of scripture to free the slaves in Great Britain and to lead the way for Civil rights in these United States. Great care must be taken, and there must be room to dispute the status quo. Moral law should never be corrupted by political rhetoric.
The time has come for American Christians to lay aside their lesser allegiances to party, race, or ideology and devote themselves to the New Testament fulfillment of the law.
Anything less is a blatant disregard for our Creator’s expectations of His people.
What should be done about past and current abuses? The current trend of apologizing for the sins of your ancestors by posting platitudes on social media is uneducated and self-serving. This is not a real solution to our problems, and it will not bring opposing opinions to a place of unity. This is just a way of passively choosing sides without exposing yourself to real consequences.
Reparations and defunding the police will never happen and are simply tools of political miscreants who are profiting (politically and monetarily) from this dark page in our countries history. These ideas are simply used to stir up hatred and deepen the divide, thus making the optics more profitable.
Are apologies justified? In some cases, yes. But in other cases, they are counterproductive, and they confuse the narrative with false confessions.
Let me give some example:
When a government, organization, or service provider acts outside of civil or moral law, they should apologize and make the necessary changes. Very few would dispute that.
But what do we do with the innocent who are grouped in with the guilty? Should they also be held accountable? I’m not talking about people who turn a blind eye to injustice or abuse; I mean the good guys who are living right and helping people, the ones who are rejecting abuse with both word and action. Should we punish them too? Should we force them to apologize?
I have pondered these things intensely over the last few weeks. And I have been silent, because I prefer to be judged by the content of my character, not the gotcha factor of my tweet.
I have been searching my heart before God. Have I done wrong? Have I mistreated anyone because of their race? Do I think my black friends are less capable or need more help to be successful than my white friends? Do I owe an apology to my black friends?
After weeks of contemplations, my answer is no.
Though I am guilty of many sins, I am not guilty of this one. I have NEVER thought poorly of someone because of their skin color or mistreated someone because of the amount of melanin their body produces.
Therefore, I have nothing to apologize for, and I will not be manipulated into seeking forgiveness for something that I have not done.
I will support those who are hurting and stand up to cases of injustice, but my apology would be false testimony. An apology is a recognition of wrongdoing. When hundreds of thousands apologize publicly for racism, it changes the narrative and makes it seem like racists are hiding under every rock, which is not true.
Apologizing for a whole race of people and virtue signaling may make the poster feel better about themselves, it may make the slighted feel justified, but it does nothing for the real problems.
All of the mistakes that led us to our current circumstances need to be openly discussed-giving fair judgment by airing the truth and dealing with the reality of every sin and each ensuing consequence.
The fight for racial equality will be won, and justice will be served by problem solvers, not revenge seekers and rabble-rousers. We all feel the injustices in our society; it is encoded into our souls; we recognize these grievous acts of inhumanity.
I have yet to hear anyone say that what happened to George Floyd was anything less than murder. The question is, what do we do? What changes can be made to improve race relations in America?
Expressing your feelings (anger, sadness, disgust, etc.) is a start, but if the conversation never goes beyond your outrage and social media reaction, the change will never happen.
I would like to hear from you. Don’t get bogged down with politics, propose real policy solutions. Suggest changes in the law, changes in police procedure. Tell us what parents should be teaching their kids and how churches should be leading their congregations.
I look forward to hearing your ideas. Who knows, we may just find some solutions.