The gospel is what brings true heart change and lasting hope for these types of issues in our city.
Many of us don’t want to think about or discuss the touchy topic of police and minority relations. I ask that you take time to read through this next series of blogs and do so with an open, humble mindset because I think this issue is very complex and people’s experiences and hurts need to be taken into consideration. I will explore ways to biblically approach situations we consistently hear about on the news and in social media regarding police and minorities. This goes beyond officer-involved shootings or the shooting of police officers but includes stereotyping, racism, fear, unfair treatment, disrespect toward authority, the pressure of dealing with intense and evil situations, as well as many other feelings, thoughts, or actions that minorities and police officers experience. I want to be clear that not all minorities and officers are at odds with one another. But as I minister to gang members and their families I do realize this is an issue that is on the forefront for many individuals. If we are going to love our neighbor, including police officers and minority communities, we must dedicate the willingness and time to biblically learn how to respond to those involved.
We're All Sinners
First, when it comes to the hostility we hear about between law enforcement and minority communities, at the very root is the reality that we’re all sinners. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fall short of God's glory. Since we’re all born with a sinful nature, sin will be evident in authority positions and in our communities. Sin is a universal problem and no one is exempt from it. Because we’re living in a fallen world, the authoritative systems of law can perpetuate sin. We must be careful not to think that just because policemen are in an authoritative role in society that automatically they are above wrongdoing. Our communities are plagued by sin as well. One can easily read about all the crime and realize how fallen our communities are. No one on this earth has escaped sin’s grasp. That is why hostility, stereotyping, disobedience to the law, violence, racism, hatred, and other sins are evident on both sides.
As we process through these issues regarding cops and minorities we have to remember that our world, systems, neighborhoods, and each individual are infected by sin. What is needed is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is what brings true heart change and lasting hope for these types of issues in our city. Faith in Christ’s gracious sacrifice on the cross for our sin is what brings redemption and salvation. As believers, even though we’re in a fallen world, we can look to the hope of eternity with God where there will be no more pain, suffering, sin, broken authoritative systems, or broken communities. The church should be a group of people who recognizes these sin issues and offers hope. Our law enforcement and neighborhoods are full of sinners but God’s grace is far greater. Let us not think that one group is worse off than the other or one is above reproach. Instead, let us see how the gospel speaks into the brokenness and can offer hope when unfortunate situations occur.
Danny Neiditch is the founder and CEO of Prodigal Sons, Inc. Born and Raised in LA, Danny is a diehard Dodgers, Lakers, and street tacos fan. You can find him on Twitter @dannyneiditch.