A challenge to Christ-followers to reject the religious “either or” mentality in favor of a more constructive (albeit more complex) “both and” philosophy. Not only is it possible to be people of conviction and compassion, it’s necessary. Not only is it possible to be people who are engaged socially and empowered spiritually, it’s necessary. Not only is it possible to embrace our race, our faith, and our gender identities at the same time, it’s necessary.
I love and honor this country, but I love and honor the truth infinitely more. And it is the Truth of God—not the articles of the constitution—that will judge whether or not we live in a free country.
On Saturday, April 14, 1906, two young black men were lynched in the public square downtown Springfield, MO. Executed for a crime they did not commit. A white couple had allegedly been attacked, the woman raped, by two masked men whom the victims could not identify.
The irony of the shared last name between a black birdwatcher and a white dog-walker in Central Park is not lost on anyone. There was a master-slave contract lingering in the air between them, absorbing every word they spoke.
As I watched George Floyd be ruthlessly murdered on the street by a uniformed police officer, I thought, “My God, this is really the story.” George Floyd is the American story. Black people in America have had a knee on our necks for 400 years.
I believe in justice. I believe in mercy. They are not mutually exclusive. Both are expressed through the cross. We should absolutely stand for justice, but we should stand in awe of mercy.