An Alternative Response to Ferguson

Freguson

Last night Norma Jean and I watched the events unfold in Ferguson, Missouri.   We live on the other side of the state, 237 miles away, but it seemed like it was happening in our back yard.

Following three months of hearing witnesses and evaluating evidence, Prosecutor Bob McCullough announced the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. 

Columnist Cal Thomas correctly predicted, “There will be two responses to this: one emotional, the other legal.”   Very soon we witnessed both. Attorneys and talking heads were dissecting the decision and discussing the legalities of the issue.

While Michael Brown’s family issued a statement of disappointment, they called for peaceful protests. In part, they said, “answering violence with violence is not the appropriate response.” Regrettably their call for calm was ignored.

While there were peaceful protests, a fringe element of thugs and opportunists took advantage of the situation to riot and steal.  I awoke this morning to learn that 25 separate fires were set, 12 businesses were burned down and many stores were looted and damaged.

As I reflect on the chaos in our country, may I suggest a third response–A spiritual response. For those of us who call Jesus our Lord and Savior, let us be careful not to engage in unkind emotional responses, ugly epitaphs or unfair stereotypes. Let me suggest three spiritual responses

(1) Lift up your voice in prayer.   More than ever our country is hurting. Violence, crime and sin are  filling our land. There is division, discord and disrespect from many quarters. We need to pray for peace.   Paul’s exhortation has never been more appropriate.

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” (1 Tim. 2:1-3)

(2) Be a peacemaker. Preachers, pastors, religious leaders and all Christians need to “pursue the things which make for peace” (Rom 14:19). Jesus said, “blessed are the peacemakers.” James wrote, “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (Jas. 3:18)

Our attitudes, actions and words should promote peace. Encourage peace. Advance peace. Be wary of those who rub emotions raw, inflame anger and incite rebellion.

(3) Practice the second great commandment. Jesus said the first and great commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matt 22:37-39)

God loves all people. Regardless of our social standing, economic status or political persuasion, God loves us. Color, race, or ethnicity does not affect God’s love, mercy and grace for all of us. Our attitude should emulate that of our heavenly Father.

This morning Jeneé Osterheldt wrote in the Kansas City Star, “I understand that the jury has spoken. And it wasn’t exactly what many people wanted to hear. But we cannot heal through riots. We cannot heal through white fear or black outrage or the big blue badge of aggression.”

“We have to see beyond the bad. Not all protesters are looters. Not all white people are racist. Not all black people are thugs. Not all cops are bad. We’re all humans, and we must come together and create change.”

In the final analysis, our greatest problems are not political, social or racial. They are spiritual. When God’s Word is disregarded, and principles of righteousness are ignored, there will be lawlessness, discord and human suffering. The admonition of our 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, is especially appropriate today:

“We do not need more material development, we need more spiritual development. We do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more government, we need more culture. We do not need more law, we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen.”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

20 Comments

Filed under America, Racism

20 responses to “An Alternative Response to Ferguson

  1. John Berlin

    Good thoughts! Thanks Ken!

  2. Thank you Ken. I couldn’t agree more. As a fellow preacher we need to realize the power of our word. We can use this time to cause further harm by inciting angry, prejudicial responses, or we can use them to bring this nation together. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.” This was not a suggestion, but a way of life demanded by God. As you said, let us look for ways to bring peace to this broken nation.

    • You’re welcome!  Thanks for your kind words and encouragement Ken Weliever 400 NW Highcliffe Dr Lee’s Summit, MO 64081 Home Phone: 816-600-5001 Cell Phone: 813-507-1726Church Office: 816-761-2659preacherman@weliever.netweb site: http://www.weliever.netblog: http://www.ThePreachersWord.comChurch web site:  http://hickmanchurch.com/            From: ThePreachersWord To: preacherman@weliever.net Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 8:01 AM Subject: [New comment] An Alternative Response to Ferguson #yiv7476457612 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7476457612 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7476457612 a.yiv7476457612primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7476457612 a.yiv7476457612primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7476457612 a.yiv7476457612primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7476457612 a.yiv7476457612primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7476457612 WordPress.com thepreacher4103 commented: “Thank you Ken. I couldn’t agree more. As a fellow preacher we need to realize the power of our word. We can use this time to cause further harm by inciting angry, prejudicial responses, or we can use them to bring this nation together. “Blessed are the” | |

  3. Dave

    I sure needed this today! thanks

  4. Harry Downing

    Ken,
    Your alternative reply, is “THE ONLY REPLY” as I see it.
    America is in real trouble.
    Harry D.

  5. John Mulligan

    Ken,
    I genuinely appreciate your response and the principles you brought to our minds. While it is easy to “curse the darkness”, it is much more difficult to respond as you called us to do—respond as “children of light”.
    Thank you,
    John Mulligan

    • Thank you, John!  I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment.  Thanks for your kind words. Ken Weliever 400 NW Highcliffe Dr Lee’s Summit, MO 64081 Home Phone: 816-600-5001 Cell Phone: 813-507-1726Church Office: 816-761-2659preacherman@weliever.netweb site: http://www.weliever.netblog: http://www.ThePreachersWord.comChurch web site:  http://hickmanchurch.com/            From: ThePreachersWord To: preacherman@weliever.net Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 9:56 AM Subject: [New comment] An Alternative Response to Ferguson #yiv6903742990 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6903742990 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6903742990 a.yiv6903742990primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6903742990 a.yiv6903742990primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6903742990 a.yiv6903742990primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6903742990 a.yiv6903742990primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6903742990 WordPress.com |

      John Mulligan commented: “Ken, I genuinely appreciate your response and the principles you brought to our minds. While it is easy to “curse the darkness”, it is much more difficult to respond as you called us to do—respond as “children of light”. Thank you,John Mulligan” | |

  6. Larry Ray Hafley

    Ken, Great response! I’m glad you also found a quote from a president who, like you, knew the right things to say. Hey, to Norma.

  7. Pingback: An Alternative Response to Ferguson | Lee's Summit CARES

  8. Kat Voght

    Uplifting words at a time when there seems so little hope for our society.
    Thank you.

  9. Hey there! I’ve been following your site for some time now and
    finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out
    from Humble Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good
    job!

  10. D Taylor

    Very well laid out and true. May God continue to bless you my brother..If people would love their neighbors as themselves and stop stereotyping one another this world would be a much better place…

  11. William Mikell

    Proverb 2 would be some good advice/ wisdom

  12. Pingback: Will There Be Justice? | ThePreachersWord

  13. Reblogged this on ThePreachersWord and commented:

    Although posted just a month ago this post obviously resonated with readers, as it has received the most views for all of 2014. As racial tensions continue in the aftermath of recent events, the thoughts offered are more relevant than ever.

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