My heart is broken for the family who lost a son, for the city of Ferguson, and our nation as violent protesting seems to continue to spread. I am praying and will continue to pray for all those affected by this crisis. This post is not taking sides or pointing a finger or casting judgement on anyone involved but rather taking a Biblical look at how the church should respond in times like these.
I don’t pretend to understand all the complexities of the issues that drive the crisis in Ferguson. But I do believe this simple outline is the way Jesus would expect any one claiming to follow him to respond.
I believe the church has been called for such a time as this. We can make a difference, we are called to make a difference, and God has anointed us to make a difference.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King Jr.
How should the church respond to the Ferguson crisis?
How should we as individuals respond when we face racism, hatred, and chaos.
(Before I go any further I want to say the root of ALL problems is sin. And the only solution to sin is Jesus Christ. We must display and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all. Jesus came to save us from our sin. He is a loving , caring, Saviour who gave His life on the cross so that all those who believe on Him could have eternal life. THE ANSWER TO SIN IS ALWAYS JESUS!)
Six ways the church should respond during a crisis such as the one in Ferguson.
1. Humble. We must realize these types of situations are bigger than us. We can not fix or even manage them in our own strength but they are not bigger than our Mighty God.
Matthew 5:3-5 NKJV “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
2. Peaceful & Merciful. We are called to show mercy. We must show love where love isn’t deserved. Remember how Jesus loves you. We must seek and pursue peace with all.
Matthew 5:7, 9 NKJV Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
3. Let our light shine through good (serving others) works. We the church should be the first to respond to those hurting and in pain. We should be the first willing to lend a hand to help in whatever is needed.
Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
4. Repent of any anger that would try to take root in our hearts. And do everything in our power to be reconciled to the one who has offended you or you have offended. Forgive!
Matthew 5:21-26 NKJV “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
5. Go the second mile. Be willing to sacrifice for others. Be Jesus to a lost and dying world. Abound in giving & serving.
Matthew 5:38-42 NKJV “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
6. Love your enemies. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who despitefully use and abuse you.
Matthew 5:43-48 NKJV “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
In closing I want to encourage you in responding to events such as Ferguson and acts of violence, hatred and racism against you or others. We the church must be united, the vision of God from the beginning has always been oneness and unity. God restored oneness to the church on the day of Pentecost in (Acts 1 & 2) people from every tongue, tribe, and nation gathered together through the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. And everyone gathered together heard and proclaimed the workful works of God TOGETHER. That’s the Father’s heart for His church. One mind, One accord, One place, not hatred, division unforgiveness and bitterness.
The Bible tells us to not be ignorant of the plans or tactics of satan.
II Corinthians 2:11 NKJV Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
If satan can cause you to begin harboring hatred,unforgiveness, and bitterness he has won. If he can cause you to see someone’s race as a reason to not like them. He has won. Much more could be said on this subject but church let’s not be ignorant of the devices of satan. God will work through a church just as he did in the book of Acts (signs, wonders, miracles, real apostolic anointing) But there’s a unity and oneness that is required. If we claim to be filled with the Holy Spirit and harbor hatred, and bitterness in your heart. We must find ourselves at the foot of the cross repenting and asking God to give us a new heart and clean Spirit.
Church we are in War, and it is not with another race or any other person, but it is with satan. We must be aware that satan is trying to cause division.
Psalms 133:1-3 NKJV Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing— Life forevermore.