The Nation's Cry for Peace and Justice

This article appeared on The Light Breaks Through and has been published here with permission.

As you try to process all that is going on in our country, here are some thoughts. Do not let your opinion about the riots exploding around the country taint your opinion of what happened to George Floyd. Notice I called them riots and not protests.

But it is not just the George Floyd case. It is also the death of Breonna Taylor, an EMT who wanted to be a nurse. Late at night on March 13, Taylor was fatally shot by police in her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment. The officers were investigating two people suspected of selling drugs, neither of whom was Taylor, according to USA Today.

And the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Ahmaud Arbery.  He was killed while jogging. His death has also sparked national outrage after his family released a video of his death. His case also went months with only a limited investigation; it wasn’t until the video went viral that the two white men involved with shooting were arrested.

The anger erupting in America is because there are many more stories that never make the national news, because there is no video.  I see two things happening here simultaneously. You have people who are genuinely upset and hurt by what happened to Mr. Floyd, and countless other nameless victims. To those people who are peacefully standing up for him and others, I support you.

Then we have rioters who are destroying our grand cities, burning down the future of those who invested their lives to build. They are tainting the memory of a man who died too soon and through a senseless act of violence. You are not only destroying his memory, but you are also destroying any possibility of seeing the nation move forward, and any possibility of unity. You are not members of the community you are destroying, and we need to seek justice for your actions.

Stay Focused!

What do we need to do as a nation and as Christians? Keep focused on the actual issue. Our country has a wound created by sin and a history of unresolved conflict. We can’t fight this spiritual war with human efforts. We need to fight it with the weapons of Ephesians 6.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

As we watch America burn with hatred and violence, we could forget this world is a spiritual battlefield. It is not us vs. them. It is us vs. HIM (Satan.) He is sitting back smiling as division, anger, resentment, fear, and violence run rampant. We as believers need to stay focused. Satan wants nothing more than to bring defeat, for his main aim is to steal, kill, and destroy.

The Apostle Peter reminds us, “Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you. Be clearheaded. Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith. Do so in the knowledge that your fellow believers are enduring the same suffering throughout the world.” 1 Peter 5:7-9 Common English Bible (CEB)

God has a plan for our lives, and Satan has a plan for us too. Which voice are we going to listen to and follow in this crisis? We are not alone, nor are we powerless. God has given us his Word and the Holy Spirit. Our God is powerful and our message true. We fight the lies of the Evil one who would divide us with the truth of God’s love. Love destroys hate. Compassion brings healing. Lord, give us the wisdom to use the tools of faith to stand against the enemy. Use the Word of God and keep speaking words of hope and healing.

We Seek Justice

“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” – Amos 5:24.

I like many, desire justice to be served, but I want a fair trial. What a fair trial not driven by race will do is possibly uncover a deeper systemic problem. When we have trials where the outcome has been predetermined by the court of public opinion it is injustice. We don’t get at the heart of what was going through the minds of the defendant. The truth gets lost and we never learn how to change whatever the underlining issues that led up to this horrific loss of life.

What is at the heart of the racial tensions in our country?

Well, it starts as most offense does with sin. But beyond that is there a deeper issue here. What is causing people to see others as less than human? As people unworthy to live and be disrespected? Is it something being taught in our schools, in society, or the home? What is the root cause? Until we dig deeper and figure this out, we will continue to watch more videos of more tragic deaths, which will lead to more riots. Hopefully, from this time in our history, we can get to the truth, and then we can move forward together in truth and justice. Join me in praying for peace and healing.

 Healing takes time and effort and can only be accomplished as God changes our sinful human hearts.

Seek answers to racial tensions

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Written by

Keith Haney

Rev. B. Keith Haney is Assistant to the President for Missions, Human Care, and Stewardship of Iowa District West. He has been an ordained pastor for twenty-seven years and has served multi-ethnic urban congregations in Detroit, St. Louis, and Milwaukee. He is the author of numerous devotionals, including One Nation under God: Healing Racial Divides in America. He is married to Miriam (Bickel) Haney, and they have six children and one grandchild.

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