Darren Patrick and the folks at The Journey church have done us a great service by posting a multi-racial interaction regarding Ferguson. From the TGC website:

We learned [Monday] night that Darren WIlson, the police officer who shot Michael Brown, was not indicted by the grand jury. Multiple businesses have been looted and burned, and our city—St. Louis—is trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces and move forward. Leading up to the grand jury decision, we wanted to prepare our church, regardless of the verdict, to rightly respond to the issues this case has unearthed.

Over the last few months, the elders and other leaders at The Journey have been encouraging our church and the wider community to let their guard down and step into hard conversations about justice, privilege, and race. To further equip our church, we gathered together several members of our church from different backgrounds with different cultural and political views for a roundtable discussion. We believe the way forward must include these kind of discussions with people who don’t share our skin color, preferably around a dinner table.

Pray for an open heart and mind, and then take about 13 minutes and sit around the table with these folks...

AuthorMatthew Molesky
CategoriesEthnic Harmony

My African-American brother, friend, and pastor, Thabiti Anyabwile offers his take on the findings of the grand jury in Ferguson. While I may not fully agree with all of his proposed solutions, they are thought- and conversation-provoking. And his exhortations are Godly, winsome, biblical and helpful.

An excerpt:

...here we stand amidst smoldering flames, armored vehicles, television lights. Almost everyone angry–whether it’s the anger of riots in the streets or the quiet riot of the human heart. The question still remains: How shall those who believe in and love the country’s ideals respond?
Three broad courses are possible, only one righteous.
We may turn the television and turn our heads and continue the unusual business of business as usual. It’s an unusual business for anyone who claims to believe in American ideals, especially those who believe those national ideas at least resonate with deeper biblical ideals. Indifference is no option for the righteous.
Or, we may declare the matter resolved and proclaim from the burning rooftops, “The system worked.” It seems to me any robust measure of “the system” must include more than the verdict reached, but must also take an accounting of fair process and even the system’s response to its verdict. Even if we think everything happened as it should, that doesn’t mean our work is done. For that system needs nurturing and strengthening. It needs explication, inculcation, and protection. Our civic ideals require we remain involved in an open, honest discussion about what worked and what didn’t so that what we cherish isn’t slowly eroded by our inattention. That inattention is no option for the righteous, either.
The only course forward for all of us is that active engagement that applies and seeks to live up to our highest ideals. The debate about what constitutes “justice” is part of the process. The review of our systems and the amendment of laws is part of our highest ideals. The righteous must work to keep the foundations from being destroyed. They must walk by faith and they must do the good deeds that lead to life.
In this instance, I am a firm believer that Lady Justice miscarried. She lost the baby of righteousness in the first trimester, in the 100 days it took a grand jury to fail to find “probable cause” and the one hour it took a prosecutor to mutter his way through chastising television and social media on the way to prosecuting the evidence. Nothing about this situation seems just to me–from what we know of the shooting itself to last night’s verdict and riots. Nothing, except that we do have a legal framework and process and officials in that process sworn to uphold justice.
This means that from the miscarriage life may still spring. There’s recourse–even if historically it hasn’t always been offered to African Americans. There’s a way to honor our best ideals and to seek the elimination of similar situations, to seek a more life-protecting and just society, especially from its elected and commissioned officers.
What would that look like? Here are my first thoughts, admittedly offered in the groggy fog of a long night watching everything happen that should not happen. Feeling that strange sense of disbelief while knowing this would be the outcome. Here’s how I wish the President had ended his comments and what I pray the remaining movement in Ferguson, New York, LA and other  parts of the country would commit itself to.

Read the rest...

AuthorMatthew Molesky