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Ferguson: One Christian’s View

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After the Grand Jury came back with the decision not to indict Darren Wilson, Ferguson erupted. And as I was watching, I couldn’t help but ask one question: How did we get here? Why is the tension so high? Why are people looting and burning down local stores? Obviously, there were peaceful protestors on the streets of Ferguson, but those voices were quickly overshadowed by broken windows, burning cars, and looting.

As I engage people in conversation about last night’s events it almost always comes back to one thing…race. For the sake of clarity, I am a white man in his late 20’s, and my color is used to silence my voice due to recent events. And therein lies the problem. When we boil cases like Ferguson, and others, down to a simply white and black issue we actually dehumanize everyone involved. When people say, “You are white and can’t possibly understand what we are going through.” That ends conversation and creates the impossibility for us to move past race. When white people refuse to engage with the pain and hurt that some communities feel and only focus on the looting and burning, we do the same thing. So, how can we fix it? How can we create a society that treats human beings as human beings? How can we move past the color of our skins and focus on what makes us uniquely human? Glad you asked!

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” -Genesis 1:27, ESV

True compassion and understand will never happen unless we all realize one simple truth: We are all made in God’s image.

All of us have value and worth because God blessed us with it. God is the one who gave us life, and gave us purpose. Yet, we are so quick to make everything racial instead of making it about the human race. As Christians, we grieve with and pray for the Brown family. Not because he was a black kid shot by a white cop, but because he was a human being shot by another human being.

We pray for the Wilson family. Not because a white man tried to enforce the law and shot a black boy, but because he is a human being who shot another human being. We pray and grieve because everyone involved is just like us…human. And if we are going to actually move past the colors of our skin it will come through the power of Jesus Christ himself.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” -Galatians 3:28, ESV

As a Christian, I understand that when I stand to worship the Creator of everything, I am also standing with people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. And the beautiful thing about the Gospel is that it brings people together under one banner, Jesus, who transcends color, language, and nationality. And when we, as human beings, realize our unique worth given by God and our oneness in Jesus Christ, we will be able to move past racial distinctions. Because in Christ, there is not white or black, have or have not, male or female, we are all one.

Thanks for Reading,

Travis

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You Don’t Need a Second Chance

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Well, it has been a long time since I have posted on my blog, and God willing, I will be able to post more frequently. Since I have been away from the keyboard, I have done a lot of reading, listening, and learning. Recently, I just finished R.C. Sproul’s book, The Truth of the Cross (As I am writing this it is FREE for Kindle). I really enjoyed the book because it highlighted some truths about Jesus death that I needed to know. It also was great because it cost me nothing to read it! Anyway, something Dr. Sproul wrote struck me profoundly when he after he discussed our need to be perfect in order to be in the presence of a holy God:

We try to get around the helplessness of this situation in modern culture by declaring that everybody deserves a second chance.  -(Kindle Locations 226-229). Kindle Edition.

Today, many churches are talking about how God is the God of second chances. You may be asking, “What’s wrong with that?” And that is a great question. The problem with a second chance is that for corrupt and sinful human beings a second chance would be futile. It is pointless for a holy and righteous God who knows everything to give fallen people a second chance because they will inevitably mess up again. A second chance doesn’t save anyone, it only provides another opportunity to fail. If the standard for being with God forever is perfection, a second chance from God doesn’t  equal perfection. Sproul follows his statement with these words:

My response is, “Who says so?” Does justice require that everybody get a second chance? A second chance is grace. It is mercy. Grace and mercy are never deserved. So it is nonsense to say that everyone deserves a second chance. But even if that nonsensical, hypothetical condition were true, what good would it do us? How long ago did we use up our second chance?

Sproul highlights the problem with second chances. We, sinful human beings, will eventually blow that second chance. A second chance from a holy God may be gracious and merciful, but it makes no sense because God also knows that we will trade that second chance in for rebellion.

What you and I need is not a second chance, but a savior. A savior that is perfect, holy, and upright in the sight of the Father. We need a savior that can take our place and stand on our behalf before the Creator of heaven and earth. Thankfully, there is a Savior. His name is Jesus and he is the only one that can save.

For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. -2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV

The only way to God is righteousness. You don’t need a second chance, you need Jesus!

Thanks for reading.

From Lesbian Liberal to Lover of Christ

I have heard a lot of people say that gay people can’t change. Well, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield’s testimony refutes   that view. Here is her story found on the Authors on the Line podcast (23 minutes):

Jesus’ death on the cross was sufficient to forgive anyone’s sins…that includes you!

Thanks for reading/listening

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