Facebook is a community unlike any other. I have friends I have never met. Friends I love not just because we are siblings in Christ, but because I have come to know them from their posts and subsequent our conversations. Saiko and Sharon Woods (and their children) are an example. We've never met in person but they are welcome at my door anytime. I consider them friends and family in Christ.
One of the wonders of having friends you've never met in person is the way it expands your view of the world. I have friends all over this globe that live in different political climes, under different laws and with different perspectives. As believers in Christ it is perfectly acceptable to have a different view of the world as long as we share the same biblical worldview. There is a very distinct difference between the two and too often that difference gets lost when my view of the world looks so different from theirs.
Back to my friend, Saiko, he has a program on Blog Talk Radio titled His Word His Way. He has tackled a myriad of issues, no subject is off limits. He has even invited me on this program to discuss my passion: Biblical Counseling. Saiko and I don't always agree, but we always have the bond of Christ and work through our differing opinions from a biblical worldview.
This would probably be a good time to tell you that Saiko is a young(er) black preacher living in Texas and I am an older white woman who was born in Oakland, California, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area where I worked in Law Enforcement and then Student Development at a Christian University before retiring and relocating to rural Kentucky. We have, by virtue of our life experiences, different views of the world. Saiko often tags me on Facebook to see what my reaction to a particular topic might be. We discuss our view of the world within the context of our biblical worldview. I enjoy these exchanges tremendously. The Bible says we are like iron sharpening iron. Iron sharpens iron because of friction, and both objects are changed in the encounter.
Saiko recently tagged me on Facebook for an opinion on a song done by Bizzle. Yes, you saw that correctly. This woman, approaching 60 much sooner than she would like to admit, has had her view of the world expanded to include Christian hip hop. I actually enjoy most.... ok, some of it, but I digress. I am sorry I wasn't around when Saiko posted the link because it was the subject of his show on His Word His Way. Saiko posed this question: "'Same Team,' Different Lanes? Or Just Going the Wrong Way?" He has been asking questions in his FB posts about what has been occurring in Ferguson, Missouri. If you're reading this post, I cannot believe you are unfamiliar with the events in Ferguson but if so, please do an internet search on your own. I am afraid if I provide you with a link, you will think I selected one that fits my view of the world.
In these United States, some people are of the opinion that any time a black person encounters a white cop they are in danger of losing their lives. This danger is exponentially greater if you are a black man- especially a young black man. It is a racially motivated encounter. If this encounter concludes in arrest or, God forbid, death and/or grave injury, the officer is a racist and should be punished by the law. These people are also of the thought that the problem goes deeper. If any white person has a conflict with a black person, especially a black man, the conflict is racially motivated- no matter how the conflict ends.
In these United States, some people are of the opinion if a black person encounters a white cop and they are detained, shot, injured, or mortally wounded, they got what the deserved. This opinion is amplified if the person encountered is a black man- especially a young black man. They were up to no good. They shouldn't have broken the law. These same people often extend this opinion to any white person in conflict with a black person and for any reason. Especially black men and more specifically, young black men.
These two groups of people tend to hold their particular opinions over the same incident. They cannot both be right. Something cannot be true and untrue at the same time. Opinions aren't necessarily facts. They can be, but they do not have to be. So we have two diverse groups with contradictory opinions. This results in incongruity or conflict. Enter the media. The media only makes money if you give them your attention. To get your attention they are willing to make even small conflicts look large. When there is a genuinely large conflict that results in tragedy, it is received as manna. They media knows they have our attention and they will do anything to keep it. Their manna is salt poured in our open wounds. We react in pain and they receive more attention. The cycle continues until we are too exhausted to care or another tragedy occurs.
How are we, believers, brothers and sisters in the family of God, supposed to react when this cycle of tragedy erupts? With a biblical world view; measuring our thoughts, attitudes and emotions to make certain they line up with the Word of God. We are not to react on the basis of our view of the world. Our feelings are of no value in the search for the truth. Feelings lie. Jonah felt perfectly fine in the hold of a ship going in the opposite direction from what Almighty God had told him to go. "Nineveh? I hate Nineveh and all those mongrel Ninevites. You want me to go to Nineveh?? I am on the next ship to Tarshish." Never forget that Jonah felt fine about getting on that ship and sailing in the opposite direction. He was so at peace with his decision he went and took a nap. He slept through the storm that had the others on the boat afraid for their lives. The events in Ferguson, Missouri and the subsequent outcry and debate among believers is proof positive that most of us will first react from our view of the world and not a biblical world view. And so, my brothers and sisters, we must repent. We are not only sinning against each other, we are sinning against Almighty God.
And for my sweet siblings of color. I know you are frustrated. I am frustrated too. It breaks my heart to have this tension in the body of Christ. I may not know what it is like to be black anymore than you understand what it is like to be white. I don't think we need to focus on that. Our focus should be on the sovereignty of God. Nothing else.
I do not know if "Big Mike" was shot and killed in cold blood. I don't know if he was a thug who died as a result of his choice to go after a cop's gun. I don't know anything except that he was shot dead and it was a white cop who pulled the trigger. One young man sent to his judgement, the other has to live knowing he took a life, justified or not. No matter the outcome of the investigation there will be those who are displeased. What happens then? More riots? More death?
My black brethren, I know that you want to see equality in treatment for the black communities in America. I do too. Perhaps I will write another post about what I see as an obstacle for achieving that goal. Bizzle's song has made me do a lot of thinking and soul searching. It's something that is really on my heart. As for the shooting in Ferguson. I don't have enough facts to glean the truth. However, I do know that whatever the truth is absolutely nothing happened that was not the will of Almighty God. He makes his sun rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45B)
Psalm 115:3 Our God is in the heavens;