Monday, December 1, 2014


I have not posted on the Ferguson, MO incident because I don't know what to say. I am the chaplain of the Sheriff's Office, and I am also working with black leaders in our community to plant a church in an black neighborhood. I have been building those relationships over the last couple of years, and cherish them. I have received considerable insight into that community from these godly men.

When I was a pastor, I was intolerant of racism to the point that a racist remark was made to me one day, and I was so taken aback that I didn't know what to say or do. At that point I felt like action had to be taken. So I found another older, wiser man from that same Sunday School class as the man who made the remark, and I asked him how I should handle it. And I will never forget what he said. He said, "Jason, you can do what you want, but know that we are all (every man) racist; it's only a matter of degree."

He was right. After all the responses to the Ferguson incident from August until now, all are tainted with a degree of bias. I read statistics this morning about percentages of men, women, blacks, whites, hispanics, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, different age brackets, and different months over the last six, and their perspectives on whether or not Islam influences its adherents to violence more than other religions. By the numbers it was clear, there was bias.

With that caveat, Ed Stezter's latest piece for Christianity today has links to about every response from thoughtful evangelical Christians. If you have time to read them, you will find opinions of how we (the church) should react from lots of perspectives, that draw many different, even opposite, conclusions. I have my bias, you have yours, and all of these writers have theirs, but in the multitude of counselors there is wisdom. Before you act (or react), listen, think, pray.

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