Ferguson, Eric Garner, & Us.

By Matt Dawson

If you’ve watched the news or any kind of TV in recent weeks, you’ve undoubtably heard and seen the racial tension that’s currently rising throughout America.

I wanted to share some thoughts that border on the topic of this tension in Ferguson, New York and other places in our country specifically over the past several weeks.

My aim is not to provide my opinion or tell you what you need to think.

The last thing we need is another opinion on racism, court verdicts, and unjust police actions.  There are so many truths floating in a sea of opinions over this, that I think sharing my own will only muddy the waters more. I do, however, want to share what the events over the past several weeks have pointed me to in my personal time with God. 

On occasion, when I’m just reading the bible – I will read the MSG paraphrase.  It’s a fun read and I personally really enjoy how Eugene Peterson phrases some passages.  I also think it breaks me out of my normal study rut, and helps breathe life back into the Word of Life.

I re-read this a couple of weeks ago, right after the riots started back in Ferguson:

Romans 8:3 MSG

“He (God) didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all.” 

This is one of my favorite passages.  It reminds us that God did not deal with our problem of sin as something remote or unimportant, but through Jesus, He entered into our disordered mess.  By choice.  Incredible.

There really are no better words to describe all of the issues we are facing.  The court’s rulings in Ferguson & New York.  The protests.  The loss of life.  The emotional division about the actions of some law enforcement.  The reminder that fallen men and women simply do not treat others with compassion.

Our fallen condition dictates that we naturally drift towards racism, prejudice, & anger; or in other words, a disordered mess.

Jesus came as the solution.  Yes, He is the ultimate solution for SIN and DEATH and delivers HOPE to everyone who accepts Him.

But He’s more than just a FINAL solution – He is the solution for you and me, moment by moment, day by day, as we encounter the disordered mess of a broken world, fueled by our broken hearts that have yet to surrender to the full power of the GOSPEL.

What exactly is the Gospel? Read this:

Romans 8:3-4 NLT

The law was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.

The Law cannot save us. What does that mean?

More rules won’t fix this.

Militarizing police won’t fix this.

Guilt won’t fix this.

Over-turned court rulings won’t fix this.

These are all just band-aids on a wound that needs deeper healing.  We don’t need to double our own efforts, because they have already failed us.  We need to trust that the Spirit of God is at work in us and move with compassion to showing love to every man, women, and child!

God has given us HOPE and declared us FREE over sin’s control of our lives through Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins.

Right now, we might only see the disordered mess that lies in the wake of past few weeks.

That’s okay.  That’s our reality.

However, Jesus knows how to enter that mess and, through His power, set it right!  There is NO OTHER SOLUTION to trust in other than Jesus.

Before you share your opinion with someone else about what the “real” problem is, and what is the “best” solution for it, remember Romans 8:3-4.

Read it a few times and take the opportunity to humbly point everyone you talk to about this to the absolute HOPE that is JESUS!

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