The Mess We’re In

The scenes across America over the last few weeks have been horrific, from the death of George Floyd to the reactionary violence that has ensued. Many people have offered a response to these terrible developments, including Southern Baptist leaders who issued a joint statement on the death of Mr. Floyd and the continued presence of racism in our culture (http://www.bpnews.net/54877).

While the political overtones of these events have been highlighted by the media, let’s not forget that the fundamental problem and the ultimate solution is spiritual.

The perspective and response of the unbelieving world on these matters is understandably different from that of the disciple of Christ. While the world tends to see the product of the problem, we focus more on the root. Simply stated, the root of the problem is our alienation from God because of our own selfish rebellion. We are lost, without God, and without hope because of our sinful nature and decisions. Racism and hatred are a real problem in American culture, and this reality is because we have chosen our own way rather than God’s way. The remedy for this social problem is the radical work of the Gospel in a person’s heart to redeem and reorient toward God’s truth.

We also need to remember that while the world tends to see the negative side of most issues, disciples of Jesus Christ have the ability to see the silver lining. We have this ability because we are grounded in hope that sees the power of God and the potential for Him to work for good in those who love Him. Our hope is anchored in Christ and fueled by our faith in the victory of the resurrection. This perspective allows us to see possibilities in the midst of the problems, and this positive posture prompts us toward love and grace.

Finally, the world is bent toward anger and hatred, but Christians should be characterized by love. John affirmed that God is love and those who belong to Him will love others (cf. 1 Jn. 4.7-11). This statement stands as a challenge to love beyond race, cultural differences, and even spiritual condition. No reason exists that white people and black people can’t love and respect each other, because Christ has removed all such reasons through His death on the cross.

The bottom line on these issues is that this world is in a mess. Racial inequity, moral disintegration, family breakdown, and spiritual confusion are reigning supreme. We Christians understand these issues to be symptoms of the deeper problem that we are in need of reconciliation with God. Our responsibility is to love all people with the love of God and share the message of Christ so that He might set people free from racism, sexual hedonism, materialism, and short-sighted selfishness.

God can use the mess of this world to build a monument to His grace, and He is calling His followers to be His agents in the work. Don’t miss the moments He gives to make a difference!

The author may be contacted at simpletruth@mbcb.org.