In the aftermath of the tragic and unjust death of George Floyd, we hear from so many directions calling out for justice on his behalf. The outrage is obvious after video footage showed the clear, extreme abuse of a policeman’s position and authority as a law enforcement officer. Again, the demand for justice to be done in this matter has been very loud and clear.
As we look at the many facets of this tragedy and its aftermath, we are wise to consider some truths behind our nation’s pledge.
“One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” This powerful sentence comes from our Pledge of Allegiance. The entire pledge communicates an idea, a concept that we as a nation have sought to live.
How have we done? How have we as a nation actually managed to live up to this ideal? Actually, we have and still need a lot of prayers. Our nation, from its very beginnings, has needed much help in living up to its creeds and ideals.
By the grace of God, we as a nation have done great things as it has grown and developed. The United States, by the mercy of God, is exceptional in many ways. Yet, we have such a long way to go as a whole.
Today, our nation walks through a very difficult time. We see people rioting and looting in our large cities, supposedly as a response to the tragic death of George Floyd. Some say that the rioting is the frustration of people who have seen and experienced way too much injustice over the years.
Yes, we clearly see injustice at work powerfully and clearly in this sad incident surrounding George Floyd and the sinful, unjust behavior of a law enforcement officer. His cruelty and uncaring behavior are also seen in the other officers who were on the scene yet did not intervene as Floyd cried out.
Time and time again, the world will say “The problem is racism. People don’t get along because of their hatred of people of another color.” Well, is this really true?
Tragically, many lives of young men in the inner cities of our nation are lost weekly, killed, sadly, in large numbers by other young men. And the vast majority of these killings are young men killing other young men – of the same color. Is this “racism”?
Is this not injustice at work? And is this not something that we should react to with passion and commitment to address, just as we rightly react to the killing of George Floyd?
Also, tragically in our nation, large numbers of children have been legally and tragically killed in their mothers’ wombs – murdered. But, since this kind of murder is considered “legal”, this does not generate the same kind of outrage we see today on the news. But this too is injustice.
There are no protests as we witness today for the tragedy of George Floyd’s death. Why? Many are not interested in this particular “justice issue”. It’s one that so many choose to ignore.
A very fundamental reality is this: Rioting, looting, and burning down businesses is not going to fix anything. Those who participate in these make themselves criminals and choose to be a part of criminal activity. So people react to what they deem as a crime with – criminal activity? Does this help anyone achieve real justice in any way?
Human nature left to itself will always arrive at wrong conclusions, wrong reactions, and incorrect answers. Certainly, rioting and looting are not the answer. The response of acting this way makes a tough situation much worse.
God is justice
With a goal of desiring to see some good come from a tragedy such as George Floyd’s death, consider this.
Once again, we must see that our only answer is in God and in the Word of God. God is not simply just the God of love. God is love. And God is not just the God of justice – He is justice.
As we seek God in His Word and seek Him in prayer we come to see His will, His mind, and His perspective. God and His Word help us arrive at true justice. Men, in and of ourselves, simply don’t really know what true justice is or much less know how to fully apply it.
Our nation needs healing and restoration that only God can bring about. Christ is the answer to every problem we face as a nation and as a culture.
“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause,” Isaiah 1:17.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8.
“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream,” Amos 5:24.
What must we, the Church of Jesus Christ, do?
We must stop seeking “selective” justice. We must seek to apply the justice of God to all people and all situations. To black young men, white young men, police officers, to young people who live in the inner cities of our nation, to babies who should be “safe” in their mothers’ wombs, etc.
All of these are each made in the image of God. And all of their lives matter. They all matter to God and they should all matter to us as well.
We the Church of Jesus Christ need to love the world proactively – not just in reaction. We must passionately and faithfully pray for our nation. And we must passionately and faithfully preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the only one that can change human hearts. Apart from Christ, we don’t even have the ability to do that.
The need for us is not to just react for the moment and go back to business as usual. Instead, we the Church of Jesus Christ need to do what God had called us to do – to go into all the world and make disciples.
This means helping people to come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior. Plus it means helping people to come to know how to live for Christ, to walk in love, in grace and with justice towards our fellow man – as a lifestyle.
We need to passionately teach and preach the Word of God that transforms hearts and lives. We are called to teach the wisdom of the Word of God that helps people to know what is right and what is wrong, what is just and what is unjust.
God’s Word helps us understand what honors God and what dishonors Him, in all areas of life. The Ten Commandments are a great tool to use to help disciple men and women and children. Their counsel and wisdom help us to discern how to live a life in accordance to the eternal wisdom of God – a life that can lead to blessings for all people.
Jesus Christ can transform the human heart. This is where the answer lies. And as the Church walks out, and lives the love God, the grace of God, and the justice of God passionately and faithfully – this is how healing and restoration can come to our nation and land. And the Holy Spirit of God is the One who can teach and guide us to correctly pursue true” liberty and justice for all.“
Apart from Christ, it cannot ever happen. So, we the Church, must be about our Father’s business.