One pastor asked another on a 9Marks site: “How do I respond on Sunday to my congregation in the face of George Floyd’s death?” George Floyd’s death sparked a conversation amongst pastors as to the treatment of “black” people by law enforcement officers, especially during lock down (and, in this case, in the USA). How does a pastor explain this situation and the resultant riots that followed?
I don’t want to address the riots. We experienced this in our country during apartheid and it still happens, both in our country and throughout the world. I don’t agree with rioting and looting. I feel this is serious rebellion against authorities and the law. Sometimes, however, without condoning what people do, one understands that rioting and looting tend to be the only method of being heard and getting a message through to the authorities. Rather, I want to talk about the underlying issue.
To me, this situation seems to carry an element of “racism” … if one could label it like that. Is it possible to call something racism? In this case, four “white” police officers were dealing with a young “black” man. One police officer in particular seems to have caused the death of George Floyd. You might have seen the actual incident on TV news as we did.
Are there black, white, brown, yellow and red people?
Evolution says different “races” evolved. One branch of thought says the coelacanth fish ‘walked’ out of the sea and started mammals, which then became man. Different “races” evolved, and this is the reason we have black, white, brown, yellow and red “races”. Yes there are many other thoughts of how different “races” evolved.
What does the Bible say about man’s origin?
The Bible (not scientists, clergy or church) informs us that God created everything that exists, out of nothing, in a six day period, with each day being 24 hours long. Nothing evolved. Man did not evolve. Man was created and, as the Bible tells us, there was one man and one women through which the human race commenced. After the flood, God repopulated the race through Noah, his three sons and their wives. So, the human race comes from Adam and Eve and our common descendancy comes through Noah! There is no evolution and no such thing as “races” since we all come from the same human source!
What produces different skin colours in the human race?
Melanin is a skin pigment that gives skin, hair and colour. Melanin is produced by skin cells when exposed to the sun. The more sun exposure, the more melanin, the darker the hair, the skin and the eyes. This supports the creation account of mankind. Melanin only produces the colour brown in shades from very dark to very light, meaning that no one is “black” or “white”–we are all just varying shades of brown.
So, what is the real problem that causes aggression between people, especially between ethnic groups?
Friction, hatred, anger, prejudice, superiority and the like have been around from ancient times. We see in ancient Biblical history how one people fought against another, treating those captured in the most inhuman ways–even brutal death! Women were raped and murdered with their children. Throughout the years up until today, ethnic violence, prejudice, hatred and superiority flourishes! Often, the treatment of minorities (such as in the USA) and the treatment of majorities (such as in the RSA) certainly falls into this category. But … what is the problem? What is the reason?
The real issue, although denounced by most, is sin. Sin is the root cause of every interpersonal, interethnic, inter-people and inter-nation problem. Sin sticks its ugly head out and says, “I’m better and superior to you!” My personal opinion is that it is prudent for politicians and governments to keep the “race card”, the “black and white card” to perpetuate discrimination because it suits political and power agendas.
Another problem area caused through the sinful heart is that it is far too costly for “the many” to rectify the prejudice and discrimination of the past. Few open their hearts and pockets to do something to turn the thinking of people to support the idea explained in Galatians 3:26-28 and Revelation 5:9-10:
Gal 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Rev 5:9 And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
It seems that because of sin and rebellion against God, “racial profiling and systematic police brutality” will remain … and only change when people of whatever ethnicity come into a real, intentional relationship with Jesus Christ!
Dear God, forgive me for every instance of prejudice and discrimination against people of other ethnic groups, women, children, wealthier or poorer people. Help me to understand that all humans are one race. Help me to love and respect all people, seeking to get the Gospel to them so that many will repent, believe and inherit heaven. Help me to love Your people, irrespective of their nationality, ethnicity, language, economic status, education or place in society. Thank You, Lord, that in heaven there will be a return to true paradise and all Your people will live together in total love and harmony. Amen.