Dealing with this tragic event from a Christian perspective is one of the most challenging things I have done in a while.
Part of what makes The Ferguson situation so complicated is the large number of factors all coming together at the same time within it. I liken it to a light prism of sorts where any number of colors all emanate out from it but at the root core to be truly understood you have to ignore the various color streams and study the prism itself.
The way my brain works, I tend to be able to easily separate out various issues into their own streams or categories so as to better solve them individually, thus ultimately solving the big picture issues(s), at least when that's possible to do. In keeping with my light streams and prism analogy, we can see many of these streams of light shooting off the core prism in Ferguson. Streams would include things like racial bias from police, media coverage (good or bad), the justice system itself, etc. All of these various factors or "streams" are valid in and of themselves and all of them are worthy of a larger scale conversation about how to improve and better each of them but none of those are the core prism.
Outside of a few retweets on twitter,I will let my contemporaries ramble on about the politics of those various streams and situations. What I will use my blog for today is to expose and bring to the forefront the root cause, real problem and true "prism" that is responsible for all of the other "streams". That core prism is absolutely the fallen, animalistic, fleshly nature of mankind.
As Christians, most of us enjoy at least some level of peace and/or self control in our lives. As time passes, we tend to forget that we are just as human as the next guy or gal. It's so easy to sit back and wag our finger at the screen judging everyone against ourselves. We see fellow humans before us completely unrestrained and free of influence by the Holy Spirit and we somehow believe that we would behave differently if we were in their shoes. We have swallowed such an anti-Grace doctrine of earning salvation through self denial that our Christianity looks more like Buddhism and the result is feeling like we have earned the right to look down our nose at looters, freeloaders and trouble makers. Thus we hide behind the labels like "Conservative" or "Republican" to point at, criticize and belittle others as if we are somehow incapable of doing the exact same thing ourselves.
I have three sons and I would like to think I walk closely enough with the Holy Spirit that I would not completely lose it if one of them got shot by a police officer but the truth be told, without that relationship with Jesus, I would be just as bad as the crazed protesters in Ferguson and in fact, I would probably be even worse. Now, that in no way justifies the breaking of the law or immoral or unethical behaviours but it does bring some very much needed clarity for many of you readers.
Much of the pain and unrest from those not close to the family (especially protesters) stems from misinformation. The media has done a masterful job at setting the wheels in motion for the average person to believe very wrong information. As Christians we need to understand that while the information that causes their frustration and pain is in many ways drummed up and hypersentualized, their feelings are still their feelings and thus very real to them. While we should try to share correct information, we need to be sensitive to the pain of others and I would suggest a good starting posture is to be a bit more concerned about the feelings of those wounded than in trying to convince them that we are right. I know it's a fine line too.. we want to reach out in love without condoning the mass hysteria fueled by a false media narrative. the Holy Spirit will anoint and give the right words at the right time if we simply move in obedience and love for others.
This world is broken, we are all born into sin and we all possess a fallen, animalistic, sinful nature that if left unchecked would reduce us to a wild animal, slave to our own selfish impulses and desires. Next time you hear about Ferguson or the lawless action of those there, remember that they are not their sin. That's not who they really are. Our job as Christians is to love them while using wisdom to help them see that for themselves. We stand against the lawless actions while praying for and standing with the sincere people.
It is impossible for anyone to watch the media and come away with an honest, unbiased opinion about the shooting of Michael Brown. If you are truly interested in real honesty including actual proven facts, please suspend what you think you know now and instead read the evidence for yourself. Not opinions but actual grand jury facts presented in court.
Remember, Jesus doesn't come to take sides, He comes to take over. Accordingly, when we as Christians get involved in this situation, we will be slow to take a side as well instead favoring to protect ALL hearts moving forward. If we help people heal, Jesus will come behind and change hearts.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.