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Alton Sterling, Shootings, & Bringing Unity To Our Nation

To the person who reads this,

 

I know many white families who are heartbroken (and rightly so), speechless (looked like cold blooded murder), and even confused about how to respond to the recent news of another black man being killed by 2 police officers in Baton Rouge (and now a different man in Minnesota).  I don’t need every fact and every investigation to know that something is not right.  What happened to doing everything to keep people alive?  I listened to the eye witness testimony.  Seeing Alton Sterling’s son crying at that podium brought me to tears… I am white & I have a black son.  Many of my close white friends and family are not in denial that there is a fundamental problem going on in America in MORE than one area.  Many just don’t know what to do- and many have chosen to become too busy (indifferent) to offer a lending hand. At the same time… I also know many white people who have given their lives to see racial reconciliation and unity between races (and truthfully some of them have spent significantly more time and effort than some of my close black friends).  This is not to cause division but to call us ALL higher.  Some of these white people have been laboring for YEARS, even way before the news in the headlines and often times out of the spotlight and OFF of social media.  Even before it was trendy to drop a Ferguson, Baltimore, or Trayvon hip-hop single.  I am sharing about white people because I hate to see the media bring division for what I have labored so long to see united!  If you are angry point your anger at sin- it’s in EVERY race. 


At the core of it all is a REAL sin issue.  At the core of my prayers is a deep desire to see REAL UNITY between races.  The only finger Jesus pointed was at sin & then he showed us the cure (and yet we still think the cure has to be something else).  People need Jesus and apart from that no legislation or rally (keep legislating, keep rallying) is going to fix racist cops, bully’s, KKK members, gang members, murderers, thieves, or greedy politicians.  If that were true then murderers would just stop killing people because it is against the law.  I wish I could put my hope in a broken and corrupt system or politician but I can’t.. look at the TWO current presidential options, my goodness.  If we are ever to see cop on black crime stop, white on white crime stop, black on black crime stop, muslim on non-muslim crime stop, black on white crime stop... it HAS to start with a real heart change as people turn from sin and turn to Jesus.  We would be blind to think that cops cannot commit crimes (they need to be held accountable by the law, reviewed often, and screened extensively).  We would also be blind to think that every person being arrested is innocent (this goes for every skin color).  There are 100 epidemics going on right now & I believe they are ALL on God’s heart.    


I will not be caught separating peoples sins or issues to bring more division.  That is what the ENEMY of your soul wants.  If you are passionate about seeing change & cops being held accountable to their actions then get passionate about reaching out to your community as well (it’s all a package deal).  If you are sitting at home in comfort (regardless of your race) just commenting on posts but doing nothing... now is the time to make your life count.  In fact, get passionate about reaching out to someone else’s community, too.  Your community or culture is not the only one God cares about and want's to see changed for the better.  We live life 99% selfish and then expect everyone to jump on board when we get going on something (whatever the noble cause).   


We are living in a secular world that has pushed God out of everything and now we're in amazement that hell is breaking loose everywhere!  It’s so easy to point a finger but we hate to examine our own lives.  Some of the voices (black and white) I hear crying out for a change in one area also STILL listen to and even promote music and movies that constantly glorify murder, drugs/alcohol, violence, & sexual promiscuity.  (They see nothing wrong with it because it’s ART).  Murder is not ART.  And people getting wasted and sleeping together during a one night stand is definitely not ART.   SOME of the people crying out for change are the real deal and their lives match their message- those people I can follow.  You are raising a FUSS…but are you raising the standard of your own life while you call others out?  If so, keep going!  You are raising awareness but are you raising up disciples who will truly LOVE people of ALL races like Jesus?  Love is still the answer.  


To the white people who don’t hear the cries of our black brothers and sisters…it’s time to listen and stop your defense mechanisms.  The media is spinning this thing for division- but the people’s cries are real and genuine.  To the black people who think that every white person is out to get them and doesn’t care, that is simply not true.  In addition, if you are glorifying sin (and destructive behavior) in your life on a daily basis don’t expect people to respect your opinion - regardless of your skin color.  I wouldn’t expect that and you shouldn’t either.  


To my black friends who are heartbroken about what has been coming to light with these cops (that in my opinion are in the wrong line of work), I’m sorry.  I am truly sorry for your hurt- this hits too close to home.  I want to see this change & I am convinced people will need to UNITE in Christ in order to see breakthrough.  Division and fleshly anger (even when it seems justified) never helps progress.  The more we point fingers the more others will just try to defend themselves.  The only finger you will see me pointing is straight to that beautiful Savior Jesus hanging there on that cross! 


We’ve made choices as a country to allow the name of Jesus to be used as a curse word but it can’t be spoken in the public forum.  There are a ton of problems… including…racism, mass murders, disease, drugs, rape, child abductions, sex trafficking, wars overseas, poverty, etc.  Black lives do matter to me and there must be a change in America!  Mexican lives do matter to me and there must be a change in Mexico! White lives do matter to me and for that reason I am going to continue speaking of humbling ourselves before Jesus and crying out to God as the answer.  Then, after we PRAY we must OBEY.  HIS laws and ways are there to protect us and guide us. 


Does that mean we don’t speak up when there is an issue of injustice? No! It means that the voices of truth need to be louder and our lives need to line up with our message.  The gospel is ground level and starts in YOUR community and starts with YOU making a difference after you post online and voice your frustration (me too).  If you are a musician- make your music count.  If you are a filmmaker make movies that spark change. 


I have good friends & family both black & white who are police officers that love God, serve humbly, and genuinely care about people.  I admire these men & women.  They lay their lives on the line every day.  It's clear to see that it's NOT a case closed problem across the board with every single cop or EVERY single white person….(My black cop friends have said this to me over and over again).  It's a SIN issue from cop to cop and person to person.  


Not every white person is just turning a blind eye or a racist cop and not every black person is a drug dealer or violent street thug (that is a ridiculous cycle).  In addition, when we hear black people crying out because another black man was shot by white police that does not mean they don’t recognize how many black on black murders are happening.  They are all too familiar with the problems in their own communities.  It doesn’t help when someone is hurting to glaze over their pain and to point out another fault someone else with their same skin color has.  I know different voices are all speaking in their own way... but what I am hearing from the black community at large is... HELP!  I cannot plug my ears to my friends.


I have black friends & white friends who are giving their lives to see BOTH racism and black on black crime stop.  Now is the time that men and women of God rise up with the only message that can heal, change, restore, reform, and bring hope in the midst of a really messed up world.  If you are black I want you to know I am with you.  If you are white I want you to be inspired to play your part.   


To all of those who have lost family or friends to senseless violence at the hands of police officers, I am truly sorry.  Please know that you are in my prayers, on my mind, and in my heart.  May His love comfort you, give you peace, keep you from fear, protect you, and give you a hope that keeps you holding on for brighter days.  I am confident that your loved ones did not die in vain and that we will see God use this to bring forth the change we all want in this nation.