Use Your Voice: Ferguson and Our Future

What happens when the stimulus doesn't match the response? What happens when the punishment doesn't fit the crime? Could it be that we don't have the right information, or that we don't know the whole story, or that we are blinded by the narrowness of our own experiences?

Many Americans think that Officer Wilson deserved punishment of some sort for taking Michael Brown's life. Many Americans think that Michael Brown deserved punishment for stealing cigarillos and assaulting an officer of the law. Many Americans think that rioting and raging is the appropriate response to their perceived injustice. Many others think that the only meaningful and effective response is peaceful demonstrations and discussions. Still others think that there is nothing at all to talk about.

No matter where you land in this spectrum, it is undeniable that there is unrest in America today, and that unrest is about much, much more than the rounds that one white police officer pumped into one black man on one August afternoon. Ferguson has only pulled back the curtains on the tensions that have existed in America for years.

The truth is that this is our inheritance. We aren't responsible for the sins of our fathers, no we aren't. But we are reaping the harvest of what our fathers have sown. Strange fruit has withered and died and fallen from many trees into the soil of our society, where its seeds have taken root and grown into new trees, bearing a different kind of fruit that is no less deadly but is, alarmingly, much less visible to the dominant culture.

So what can we do? What can we do in the face of such longstanding, deep-seated tension? What do we do with this harvest of Distrust, Prejudice, Misunderstanding, Confusion, Fear, and (at best) Voluntary Segregation?

I don't know. I don't have a pat answer for you. Because I'm not YOU. I'm me -- with my own life experiences, my own history, my own family, my own neighborhood, my own job and coworkers, my own roommates and friends, my own fiancĂ©, my own church, my own grocery store, my own positions of influence and power, my own story. But this much is true: Each person can only lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him. God has established and instituted our authorities. Our hearts make plans, but each of our steps must be brought forth by the Lord. And although we may not hold the position in our culture that we desire, we know that God's grace toward us to give us the life that He has chosen for us is not in VAIN, but is to demonstrate His wisdom and power. By the grace of God, I am what I am.

So what can we do? Each of us, in whatever circumstances the Lord has placed us, can take steps each day to tear down the wall of hostility. I'm in my neighborhood, you are in yours. But we will face different moments of decision each day, moments where we can deny our prejudicial inklings; where we can stand up for the cause of justice; where we can refuse to comply with our dominant culture's practices of apathy, indecision, and passive, tacit approval of the status quo. These are moments where we can willfully step outside of our own perspectives, where we can ask questions and engage in conversations with people we normally wouldn't, so that we can become students of what the American experience truly is. These are moments when we can kindly confront someone who is spewing vitriol and senseless hatred and urge them to pursue the path of love and peace. These are moments when you can use your voice -- the voice that the Lord ordained for you to have, for the people the Lord ordained to hear it -- to stand on the side of Justice and Righteousness. Speak for truth. Speak for love.

But the one thing we cannot do -- the one thing that will absolutely, without question, irrevocably cause the most damage -- is to do nothing. To sit idly by while hatred and injustice and division wins. To apathetically let the moment pass us by, to forget about the the seeds that are being planted, to ignore the harvest that will be coming.

America, the trigger has been pulled. We have been asked to see, to learn, to seek to understand, and to change.

How will you respond?

Hate evil, love good, 
and establish Justice in the gate. 
Let Justice roll down like waters, 
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. 

Let it roll.

1 comment:


    Does the Bible teach that men need to repent of original sin? No, it does not. The Bible does not even mention original sin. Original sin was invented by men. The promoters of the doctrine of original sin claim that Adam sinned and therefore all men are born guilty of sin because they inherited it from Adam. They teach that all men are born with the sin nature of Adam. The question remains how would it be possible to repent of the sin Adam committed? [ NOTE:Adam was not even the original sinner. Eve was the original sinner. 1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.(NKJV) Also see: Genesis 3:13]

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(NKJV)

    The apostle Peter was not telling those on the Day of Pentecost to repent of their original sin that they inherited from Adam. How can men repent of the sins of others?

    Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned---(NKJV)

    Death spread to all men, BECAUSE ALL SINNED. Men can repent of the sins they themselves commit, but they cannot repent of the sin Adam committed, nor are they guilty of Adam's sin.

    Luke 13:1-3.....3 "I tell you no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.(NKJV)

    Was Jesus telling them unless they repented of the sin Adam committed they would perish? Of course not, sinners are sinners because they sin, not because someone else has sinned.

    The teachers of the doctrine of original sin believe that in order to be forgiven of Adam's sin and have Adam's sin nature washed away, unbelieving babies and adults must be baptized in water to wash away the guilt of Adam's sin. Where is the Scripture that teaches that doctrine?

    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.(NKJV)

    Is the Lord waiting for men to repent from the guilt of Adam's sin. Of course not. Men need to repent of their unbelief, and commit to turn from sin and turn toward God.

    There are no Scriptures that mentions "ORIGINAL SIN".

    There is no Scripture that states unbelieving babies should be baptized in order to wash away the guilt of Adam's sin.

    There is not one verse of Scripture that states that sin can be inherited from, Adam, Eve, nor anyone else.

    A question that goes unanswered. If original sin in inherited, then how can an infant inherit sin from Christian parents who have been washed by the blood of Jesus the Christ?

    The doctrine of original sin is a man-made doctrine.

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