- My idyllic life on Lincoln Street is very different than the struggle for existence on ______ Street across town.
- So far, my reasons for needing the police in my life (to protect and serve) are not the same as the reasons many folks need them (to correct and intervene). Who makes me to differ? It's all grace.
- People in certain neighborhoods know the officers by name. They're there a lot.
- If you mess with the police (run, hide, generally be stupid), they don't like it.
- People call the cops for, um, less than important things.
- I learned how to profile! Cars, people, not racial profiling. Some cars are begging to have their plates run and be pulled over.
- Driving fast, lights on, siren blaring, and people getting out of your way is fun.
- I don't think I've heard as much profanity as I did last night since playing soccer in high school and a year in college (not, by the way, from the officer I was riding with).
- If there's a police car behind you there's a good chance your plates are being run.
- Juvenile detention is not a place you want to go.
- Not every kid who goes there is a complete jerk. Some might actually ride peacefully the whole way with no need for handcuffs, might say thank you to the officer who bought him a soda and m&ms, might listen respectfully to that officer encourage him to rethink his life and the choices he's making, and might listen and respectfully respond to a complete stranger sharing the gospel from the front seat.
- There are still good cops out there.
The other day, I did one of the most interesting, fun (and probably some other adjectives) things I've done in a long time: a ride along with a Warsaw Police Department officer. He used to be my neighbor and one day asked if I'd like to come with him on one of his shifts. Of course, I said yes! And so on a Thursday evening from 5pm-10:30pm or so I got to go on patrol in a WPD squad car with one of Warsaw's finest. Here are a few miscellaneous observations from the time. (I loved it, by the way.)
Racial discrimination is not imaginary or a fabrication of the media or politicians. It is a fact. It may well be exacerbated and exaggerated by selective, inflammatory media reporting and camera hungry politicians, but it is not created by them. Racial discrimination comes out of proud, sinful hearts of men. (If you think it is imaginary, travel somewhere in our country or to another country where you are in the racial minority and see how it feels to have certain things assumed about you because of the color of your skin.)
Given this reality, should the church say anything about race and racism? It is the work of the church to proclaim the truth of God's Word. So, does God's Word have anything to say about the issue of race? The answer, of course, is yes. Quite a bit, actually. Here are a few examples. (This is NOT an exhaustive list. All references are from the ESV.)
Here are a few thoughts. They are not the only or the final thoughts or the thoughts to end all others. They are just some thoughts that I hope will be helpful and not hurtful.
First, scriptural principles regarding race we can draw based on the passages above (and others).
Now, a few thoughts on how to apply these principles.
Some miscellaneous musings from Pastor Aaron.
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.