Can We Still Reason ... Together?
As I write, the George Floyd story and its aftermath has dominated the news. Even if the furor dies down, the scar will remain. Violence of any kind is generally repulsive. I realize that there are reasons for it in times of war; but there are not too many other good reasons for it.
One definition of violence is simply: “behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.”
The death of George Floyd was a violent act by an officer of the law who had no mercy for a man who was already handcuffed, and therefore unable to resist custody. He was pleading for his life. He was having trouble breathing. The officer unmoved, did not move, and a life ended before many eyes.
As the video evidence was swiftly shared around the world, rage became the response for many, and the violent act of one officer and his accomplices ignited violent protests around America.
As others have suggested, the country was likely already a powder keg because of the forced isolation the spread of the corona-virus initiated. Another factor is the animosity on the part of many Americans and the media toward the President. The dry tinder awaited a spark, and a conflagration erupted.
Sin is sin, whether it be in the form of racism or jealousy, or animosity, or envy, or hatred, or violence, against a person, or against civil order – name your poison.
The cry is for justice – and that should be meted out – will never be perfect, nor satisfactory. Perfect justice is awaited by those who hope in the Lord. As Joel Beeke writes in his Reformed Systematic Theology, “Trusting in God’s retribution does not make us angry and violent, but keeps us from bitterness and revenge” (from a chapter on God’s Moral Excellence, Part 2, p. 820).
Bitterness and revenge are what people harbour in their hearts, and that’s a terrible burden to carry for many. In the end only God can lift that burden.
John Van Dyk, Editor
Christian Renewal Magazine