Monday, July 11, 2016

Wow, what a week it was and isn’t even over yet!

            Four young Black Men killed by police officers, 5 police officers killed, and at least two innocent bystanders and demands for justice from all sides. In each case there are already accusations that it was about racism, political leaders have made up their minds and are calling for various outcomes. Some will demand the prosecution of police officers that are involved; others will demand stricter gun control.  Some will hide their head in the sand. Across America this same week dozen of people died as a result of violent acts of individuals. Some of it is was self-defense, other was premeditated murder. Regardless of the outcome individuals are dead.

            Before preachers, social activists, and politician, and the guy of the street starts re-acting and saying things that could incite others to make unhealthy choices we need to STOP and ACT,  I believe that there are three things we can and must do using the Acrostic of ACTS.

1.     Ask Question … We will only find the facts when we ask questions, as a Alcohol and Drug counselor I teach my patients there are three sides to every story, your side that you believe is true based on your facts or perception of the event; the others person beliefs based on their perception or facts of the event; and then there is the TRUTH based on a clear overview of the events from a discussion and observation of what happen. 
a.      What happen?
b.     Why did you do what you did?
c.      What did the other person do?
d.     What did you see?
e.      What do all the videos that are available show?
f.       What do the other witnesses say?

2.     Challenge … I have to challenge my thinking, realizing that my pre-determined assumptions of the events may not be accurate.  I remember listening to friends in the past when there was officer involved shootings, the assumption from the minute the news broke was that the officer did something wrong.  No investigation, no facts, no questions, just an assumption. However, let’s be clear there are those on the other side of the fence as well, the assumption that the person being shot did something to deserve it.  Growing up I was taught by my father, a retired Air Force Sargent, don’t assume anything.  “When you assume, you make an Ass-of-u-and me”
It is time we lose the assumptions, and time we rely on the facts.

3.     Talking it out … Several months ago I heard a prosecutor in a case belittle and criticize an officer involved in a shooting of an unarmed black man. Over the years I have had the upmost respect for that particular prosecutor, around where I live. However, that day it went out the window. He watched a video, and has assumed he had as all the answers. He didn’t allow the investigation, he didn’t hear the facts, and he assumed he had all the answer.

How are we going to stop the stereotyping of black men as being criminals and police officers being corrupt and trigger happy. That every white person that disagrees with the African American community is racist, I’m going to step on a limb here.  It is time for the Pastors and other religious leaders of America to quit acting like selfish self-center brats, promoting a personal agenda that is destructive, and step up and be the man of God, you have been called to be.  Sunday morning at 11:00 remains the most segregated time in America, I realize that some communities this is due to the population being overwhelming one group of people. However, have you ever sat down in your community and talked with the other pastors, or are you assuming you know what he thinks.

When the church as a whole steps out of the business of condoning sin; including the sin of racism, only then will we see the heart of America change. When pastors, preach the love of Christ for all mankind then America will have a chance to change the course of our current history.  Some would argue this isn’t a pastors or church issue, and I would argue that clearly it is as throughout history the church has been the moral compass of the nation, how the church goes the nation goes.

There is an old children’s’ song “Red, and yellow, black and white they are all precious in HIS sight” … WE NEED TO STOP THE HATE, ANGER,  AND VIEW HOW PRECIOUS WE ARE FROM GOD’S LOVE.

Reflecting on scripture!

            As I read this morning from Mark 2: 1 – 12; I felt a special sense of urgency.   I was reflecting on the types of people we en...