When a young black teen, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida, only two miles from my office, our community fell into turmoil. The black community felt that the man who shot Trayvon was being let off because he was white (earlier it was determined that he acted in self-defense, then charges were brought and a jury eventually acquitted him). I saw up close and personal the deep hurt in the black community over this perceived injustice.
I also saw what happens when the Christian community takes a spiritual stand and intervenes.
All this preceded incidents that have since happened in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, Cleveland, and then, tragically, what happened this week in Louisiana and Minnesota.
And now, as everyone should be aware, a sniper shot and killed five policemen who were overseeing a peaceful demonstration expressing concern about the two shootings this week. Seven other policemen were injured, as well as two civilians. Early this morning, our Charisma News service posted two very meaningful commentaries by Michael Brown and Alveda King. However, other Christian leaders are speaking out.
Here is a synopsis of a few:
Evangelist Alveda King – "My Uncle Martin Luther King Jr. said in his 1967 Christmas message: 'When we truly believe in the sacredness of human personality, we won't exploit people, we won't trample over people with the iron feet of oppression, we won't kill anybody.' As many of my friends weigh in on the unfolding issues and death counts in Louisiana, Minnesota and now Dallas, I'm encouraging everyone to step back from violence, reach out to Heaven in prayer, and act to break every chain." Read Alveda King's entire commentary here.
Dr. Michael Brown, radio host and author, Charlotte, North Carolina – "Americans, we must come together and declare that 'All Lives Matter,' regardless of color, ethnicity or social status. Every life is precious in God's sight and must therefore be precious in our sight as well. Together, we must condemn all acts of cold-blooded murder. If a police officer with malice aforethought kills someone with no possible just cause, he or she must be found guilty of murder, regardless of his badge and uniform. And when it comes to the sniper killings in Dallas, no civil-minded person can possibly condone the targeted, intentional, planned murder of other human beings, no matter what animosity they hold towards officers of the law." Read Dr. Brown's entire commentary here.
Tony Evans, Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, Dallas, Texas – "Gone must be the days of only pointing fingers at others to fix what they may never fix. Our nation's ills are not merely the result of corruption or racism, although these are evil. Our troubles can also be traced directly to ineffective Christians. One of the real tragedies today is that the church as a whole has failed to advance God's kingdom light, equity, love and principles in our land in order to be a positive influence and impact for good in the midst of darkness, fear and hate. We must do better. We must unite. We must stand together and commit to one another that we will usher in a wave of change, justice, life, safety, rightness, equity and dignity for all. And above all, we must not let fear nor hatred divide us. Peace, unity, love and non-violence should be our rallying cry and the catalyst for change in our nation.
Bishop Jim Lowe, Birmingham, Alabama – "Everybody is crying out for justice. Have we forgotten? Justice is defined and demanded by God! When will we learn, we will never experience justice as long as we seek it outside of His ways and without His guidance? Take comfort and let the word go forth. Justice will be done! Almighty God will exact justice on all of those who shed innocent blood. Black or White, no matter religious preference, or privilege each will experience the full wrath of God. God has no love for those that shed innocent blood."
Darrel deVille, Shekinahtoday.org – "With a heavy heart I am compelled to say. Last night's tragic news in Dallas is a bitter foretaste of what God has been warning our nation and His people about. Greater civil unrest, calamity, chaos, lawlessness, blood and war in the streets is the path our nation is on because of the rejection of God, perversion, greed, corruption, and flood of blood of the unborn. This is WHY God is saying: 'You cannot just promise them a Great Awakening, I need you to warn them for Me. They need to understand what's coming if they do not listen to Me. You must do it with a sense of urgency, like a state of emergency!"
Ryan Bomberger, Chief Executive Officer, The Radiance Foundation – "Every agonizing death is one too many. Last night I heard from those who've lost loved ones to senseless violence, which were mostly the result of black-on-black crime. Yes. Black homicide victims' biggest threat is not those in blue, but those with black skin. Of the 3,021 blacks murdered (single victim/single offender), 90 percent of the murderers were black. In a shocking episode of rhetoric-turned-reality, four cops were assassinated in Dallas because the "pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon" BLM crowd and liberal news media waged their war. Now, they must own the casualties. This isn't the first time cops have been targeted and killed by BLM rhetoric and gun violence." For Ryan's entire article, read here.
Fighting Powers and Principalities
We abhor the violence. We don't condone police brutality in any way. Yet, we also support the police and we are deeply saddened about this escalation from peaceful protest to these savage murders.
As Christians, we must take authority and pray over the principalities and powers that are at work in our nation, in the lives of those who are calling for violence or who are perpetuating violence. We saw in Sanford that we could come to a peaceful outcome when we took authority in the spiritual realm.
Secular people don't understand this, but those of us who believe the Word of God know that "our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." (Eph. 6:12, MEV).
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