There are moments in life when a nation views the grotesque depth of the sinfulness and darkness of the human soul. When these moments come, you never recover from the terror of it. The effects of what you have seen stay with you. White supremacy, bigotry, and violent hatred erupted and played out yet again on national TV in Charlottesville.
I want to say two things. The human heart has unspeakable darkness inside of it. Too many of us have forgotten how dark it is. We can not trust the human heart to solve the problems of our communities. As our nation secularizes, many trust in the human heart to establish truth, govern law, and provide liberty. The human heart is too dark to be our place of confidence.
Human institutions like government must challenge the darkness instead of being neutral or even endorsing it. Governments should follow God’s moral law: ““Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
Governments should condemn the evildoer and reward those who do good. Our government has a long history of participating in the evil of racial hatred. America’s deepest and darkest wound from our inception has been racism. The nation has slowly taken steps to attempt to repent of the hideous sin. These attempts have been deficient more often than aggressive. Oppression continued unabated by our government and was legitimatized long after emancipation through segregation, extreme injustice, and outright hatred. America stands at a place where the wound has been opened. Tensions are at an extreme level. The day of social media and open communication has given all of the darkness an ability and platform to express their evil, gather followers, and amplify their hate. Our black brothers and sisters have endured a lifetime and generations of all of this sin against them. Continued ignorance, indifference, and naivete by many people including national leaders prevent needed healing. Into this theater stepped our President last week. His words could have brought healing, clarity, and confidence in our populace. Instead, they brought deeper pain, shock, and despair.
This week has reminded me that the church is the institution that must take the lead in our society. The church has the solution for sin, Jesus Christ. The church knows the truth. The church is the people of healing and redemption. I love serving among a church that embodies the powerful healing grace of God across a racial and social divides. Let freedom ring in the church and then into the communities.
The heartbreaking news spread quickly yesterday in central florida–two officers gunned down in the line of duty in Kissimmee. The assailant, according to early reporting in the Orlando Sentinel, was a mid-40s male former active duty Marine struggling with mental illness who had recently posted on social media about the KKK and responding to the hate. He murdered two fathers, honorable men protecting us. Our city mourns today. God comfort the city broken again.
As Christians and citizens, we must respect and honor our law enforcement official. The Bible calls them ministers of God in Romans 13. They serve, protect, and minister to our city as a 100% volunteer force. As the nation wrestles with civil unrest and violent crime, may we all pray for peace, support our police, and pursue justice.
The nation needs peace. The wounds need healing. The community longs for hope. There is only one way and it is Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.