Loving Christ. Loving One Another. Loving The City.

One Pastor’s Perspective

“Justice for Floyd” is the cry of the vandal who tagged our church sign. Vandalism is wrong and a counterproductive response to pain. Vandalism perpetuates victims rather than promoting healing. We should grieve vandalism of all varieties, from the tagging of our church sign to the tearing apart of God’s design through pre-mature deaths of people created in His image.

The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other African Americans have opened a wound of racial injustice in our country and community. We must not allow vandalism to drown out the voice of peaceful protesters representing a collective cry for justice. To show Christ-like compassion for our neighbors we must interpret the voice we hear through a Biblical rather than political or economic perspective.

Jesus showed compassion by crossing racial divides to care for people who were crying out. Jesus healed a Samaritan leper (Luke 17:16), used a Samaritan as a model of neighborliness (Luke 10:30-37), and inconvenienced Himself to reach Samaritans with the gospel (John 4). The early church had zero tolerance for racial injustice, too, highlighted most clearly in Paul’s rebuke of Peter. (Galatians 2:11-21)

God hears the cry for justice and so should our church.  God heard the cry of the first unjust murder in history (Genesis 4:10) and the cries for justice from Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 18:20; Ezekiel 16:49) Jesus hears cries for help throughout His ministry (Mark 10:46-52) and uses a cry for justice as a paradigm for disciples to pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1-10)

Our God is a God of Justice (Isaiah 30:18) who practices justice (Jeremiah 9:23-24), loves justice, (Isaiah 61:8) and commands His people to seek justice. (Isaiah 1:17) God shows His love through giving His life to satisfy the justice required from the vandalism of our sin. (Romans 3:23-26) Those who receive His grace should use our lives to show His love to our neighbors crying out for justice.

We must grieve the vandalism but not give it power to drown out the voice of our neighborhood. Vandalism is wrong but so is ignoring voices of people crying out for justice. Please take time to consider the word and work of God as the primary lens of interpretation of this socially difficult season. Please join me in lament, pray for peace, and (should the Spirit lead) pray for the participation of Christ-like, compassionate care for those crying out for justice.   

May God’s Kingdom come and His will be done in our city as it is in Heaven.


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