In the aftermath of the events in Ferguson, Missouri, surrounding the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson and the subsequent decision by the grand jury not to indict the officer, I feel a few comments are in order.
First, for a thorough analysis of the situation from a Christian worldview perspective, I would recommend listening to Albert Mohler’s briefing from 11/25/14, which you can find at albertmohler.com.
Second, since most of us know little to nothing about the facts of the case, less talk and more prayer is the wisest response. As I watched things unfold with the grand jury announcement and saw the reaction of the parents of Michael Brown, my heart broke for them and I began to pray that somehow, in the midst of the anguish, Jesus would meet them and help them through this terrible season. But I also realized that Darren Wilson and his family need prayer too. I can only imagine what it must be like to mentally relive the incident where you took another person’s life, especially when it was an unarmed teenager. I have friends in law enforcement who, in the line of duty, have taken the lives of dangerous criminals, and even then, they have had to wrestle through the reality of taking another person’s life. How difficult would it be to look back on a situation like this one and second-guess everything you did? Darren Wilson needs our prayers as well, not only because of what I’ve just mentioned, but also because there are those who, regardless of the facts, have already condemned him and would perhaps seek to take the law into their own hands and bring harm to him and his family.
The whole community needs prayer, and that’s something we Christians can do irrespective of where we live. But I would especially encourage prayer for the churches in the region. The gospel is the only real hope for healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation in St. Louis, and the churches have a unique opportunity to step up and show the way forward through love, patience, mercy, understanding, and grace. Pray for the church to come together as one for the healing of the community.
Finally, let us not forget that although sin is an ever-present reality that every person and every community lives with, we by God’s grace can work to overcome the effects of sin. Racism is a reality in our culture. The denial of that on the part of Christians of any skin color is not helpful. Whether racism played a role here or in other similar situations, I don’t know. But, we shouldn’t dismiss the feelings of large numbers of Americans, especially if we’ve never been in the shoes of a minority. The African American community has suffered discrimination both from the culture and the government. This issue is of the utmost importance for Christians because we, more than anyone else, know that all men are created equal.