COVID-19 How to live in uncertain times
(66 - George Floyd)
See part 1 of this series here.
There is so much to say on this very sad situation. I’m sure we have all heard about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, U.S., at the hands of police officers, one of whom seems to have suffocated him by placing his knee on the back of his neck.
Christians everywhere— everyone everywhere— need to condemn racism. We are all created in God’s image and are worthy of dignity, respect and protection. We are of infinite value because of whose we are. We are blessed by ethnicity which is God-given, both in the church and in the world.
The Bible tells us that the gospel, no less, is about bringing people of all races together into the kingdom of Jesus, by faith in him. All kinds of people will be saved through Christ’s death.
Look at this glorious vision of Saint John in his book of Revelation. He is describing a vision of heaven:
‘After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne of the lamb.’ Revelation 7:9.
Put your hope in God
Christians can sin by not exposing injustice as salt and light and not loving our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12:31). We need to act where we can as individuals— whether that is challenging behaviour or listening to people’s stories. And I think we need to listen to brothers and sisters who experience racism and learn from what they tell us.
Let’s be clear, racism is sin and needs to be dealt with as sin. The world does not have the answer.
Only through the gospel can people be made one and injustice removed, because only in the gospel is sin dealt with. Do we love the gospel enough to believe that? I think it means saying as Christians, both, ‘this is wrong’ and ‘Jesus is the answer.’ He is creating the most diverse community that no institution or movement can replicate: the world- wide church. Praise God that more Anglicans (a movement which began in England) are now Nigerian than any other nationality. We thank Jesus for their godly witness to the world.
And yet, the local church and its institutions, having not always got things right and should repent where needed. I have asked the Lord to show me areas I need to change.
Do everything you can and repent where you need to.
Jason Roach sums it up well when he says: ‘Christians should have been outraged at this for a long time.’
It is possible when we see things only through our lenses, we don’t see what others go through. We need to hear the stories of young black brothers who have been numerously stopped and searched by police, when that has not been the case for white contemporaries. See here: https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/crime-justice-and-the-law/policing/stop-and-search/latest. That is very uncomfortable to read. I don’t have the answer to this, but I’m not going to ignore it either.
Ask, speak, act and engage from love and not fear
We need to be honest that there is a tremendous pressure with all issues, to say the right thing, post the right thing and be on the right side of the debate with social media.
Christians can also sin by only speaking to be applauded by the world on social media. Virtue signalling is a pharisaic sin, whereby we identify with people, issues and causes, merely to be applauded by the world and I think there is a lot of that going on, including among Christians. Let’s not descend into that which stifles discussion and is not truly loving.
May Jesus strengthen us as Christians to show the gospel in action in these days. And may Jesus build his multi-ethnic church both among us, and for eternity.
This was a helpful interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqRcZ-YFzQU
During these strange and testing times, we hope to post encouragement for you here each day. As ever, if you would like to speak with a Minister, please get in touch through our contact us page.