Another Shooting, Another Protest, When Will It Stop

Another Shooting, Another Protest, When Will It Stop

Here we are again, another African American man was shot by the police. This time it was in Charolette and unfortunately it cost the life of Keith Scott. I’m not sure of all the details surrounding this man’s death. I awoke the past two days of hearing of protests and finally took the time to see what was happening. I have friends who are both African Americans and police officers. I hurt for them both. The police seek to keep their respective community safe, while African Americans wants their voice heard. The violent protest shows the anger within, and I have a feeling even if the police made the right decision in this matter the anger will not go away. We keep saying we need conversations to bring reconciliation, but it is slow coming. So here we are again, another shooting, another protest, when will it stop.

As a white man, my eyes have been open to how I treat African Americans unintentionally and I have changed my actions. I’m more attentive to the breaking of their hearts in turn breaking my own heart for the situation they find themselves in because of their skin color. Yes African American relations have gotten better since MLK, but they still need to progress. I live in New Orleans where more than half the population is African American. My heart breaks for the poverty in my own city. My heart breaks every day when I receive an email from nola.com on the front page news that another African American was shot. My heart breaks the majority of the crime happening here is among those in poverty who happen to be African American. I keep praying the incidents surrounding Charolette right now would not happen in New Orleans. I’m thankful for the peaceful protesting our city has conducted. Yet here in America we have another shooting, another protest, when will it stop.

I don’t want us to become numb to this situation, especially me as a white man. There are souls hurting for the situation they are in, and I don’t want to overlook their pain. I grew up in a community where I was surrounded by four African Americans where only two of them were related. I don’t want this to be another passing story. I don’t care who you think was right or wrong before the police complete their full investigation. But I do care for those who are hurting where not a day goes by when a family wonders will this be the day someone is taken from them by a police shooting or arrest. I want to see change. I don’t want to see another shooting, another protest, and I want it all to stop! But that won’t come unless we all seek to bring the change from ourselves by stop being selfish of only paying attention of our own lives, and start paying attention to the lives of others doing everything we can to make their life and world a little bit better than the day before. I know change will not come overnight, and another shooting and another protest will come back again. But it won’t stop unless all races come together including you and me to bring about change individually, communally, and nationally. Another shooting, another protest, we can change it.

* Photo taken from NY Times.

What Should Be The Next Trend In American Christianity?

If you were to google “Trends in Christianity” you would see a variety of tendencies. Trends will arise in the church’s relationship with culture, trends within the church, and trends within the culture. Trends will come and go like all trends do these days.The culture is constantly changing and we can see the evidence of this by how many iPhones Apple has released. The first iPhone came out in June 2007, and a new iPhone has been released every year since then. Even when the first iPhone came out, it was the phone to have. But since the passing of Steve Jobs, the other companies caught up and some are more innovative than Apple right now.

The point: trends will come and go in life. In the American Church, we have seen trends in contemporary music, missional living, gospel-centeredness, church planting, and discipleship. While these are good trends, there is one trend I pray and hope will come back to focus in the church: evangelism. Why does evangelism need to be the next trend? Well, when was the last time you shared your faith with a lost person? When was the last time you led someone to faith in Christ? When was the last time someone you knew was baptized?

No one likes talking about evangelism today because no one is doing it. The Holy Spirit convicts us to share Jesus, but we don’t like the conviction. We like what Jesus does for us, but not enough to tell others about Him. If Jesus is who we say He is, then why are we quiet? Why does evangelism scare us? Jesus lived a life without sin, died on the cross as an innocent man, was buried in a tomb, rose to live again on the third day, ascended to the Father, and is coming back in judgment. It is Jesus who saved us from our sins. It is Jesus who put us in a right relationship with God. It is Jesus who gives us a new identity. Yet, we struggle to tell others about Him!?!

A better question to ask is not how are we not telling people about Jesus, but why are we not telling people about Jesus? The how tells us what we are to do, the why tells us the reason we do it. So why would we tell someone about Jesus? We tell others about Jesus because only Jesus can save sinners from their sins, sinners must reject Jesus or receive Jesus in repentance and faith, and sinners will not be able to receive Jesus unless someone tells them the gospel. This is why we tell people about Jesus, but do you believe these truths to be true? If you believe them to be true, is your life an accurate reflection of it? To believe something is to practice it. If you are not practicing it, then do you truly believe these truths?

It is my prayer the next trend in American Christianity will be evangelism. Not only do I hope to see more discussion about it, but people practicing evangelism in their life.

3 Non-Biblical Reasons Why I’m Pro-Life

Abortion is always a hot topic. Most people from the pro-life camp are Christians and only focus on what the Bible says. While I could write on what God says about the value of life in a woman’s womb, I want to give three non-biblical reasons why I’m pro-life:

1. When A Woman Is Pregnant, It Means She’s Having A Baby

Logic stands that when a woman is pregnant, she is expecting a baby. When a dog is pregnant, you expect a dog to have multiple puppies. But for some reason we think when a woman becomes pregnant there isn’t a baby in the womb. Even Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary says being pregnant is having a baby develop in one’s body. We do not decide in pregnancy whether or not a baby is in the womb based on our choice alone.

2. The Baby Has Already Started to Develop at Four Weeks

The time women begin to realize they are pregnant is when they have missed their period. Usually women discover they are pregnant when they are two weeks to a month into the pregnancy. At four weeks, the baby has already developed the structures to form his or her face and neck. Also, the heart, blood vessels, lungs, stomach, and liver have started to develop by this time.

But let’s go past four weeks to eight weeks. At eight weeks the baby’s eyelids and ears are forming. Also you can start to see the tip of his or her nose, arms, legs, fingers, and toes. Then at twelve weeks you can hear the baby’s heartbeat along with identifying the sex of the baby. At this point it seems we have a human being, but many of the abortions occur during the first trimester.

But what about the second trimester? At 16 weeks the baby will begin to blink his or her eyes, his or her heart and blood vessels are fully formed, and the baby’s fingers and toes have fingerprints. This sounds like a human to me. Even at twenty weeks the baby yawns, stretches, and makes faces. I could go on and on about this, and all this was found in a two second search on WebMD. Or is the Mayo Clinic a better source for you? At any point during the pregnancy a woman could have an abortion, but at what point do we begin to see through clear evidence this fetus is a person?

3. We Believe Life is in Every Living Cell

NASA is looking throughout the universe for life on other planets. We are obsessed with the idea that we are not alone in this big universe. I am all for exploring our universe for the purpose of knowledge, but let’s be honest about this one truth: the world would flip out if life was found on another planet. But the type of life we would find would probably be a single cell which means life was found on another planet.

IF a single cell was found on another planet we would scream, “WE ARE NOT ALONE!” because life was found on another planet. But why is it that life can be found on another planet with it being valuable, but a single cell in a womb is less valuable? It is from a single cell in a womb that multiplies and forms into a baby. If a single cell means there is life on another planet, then a single cell in a woman’s womb means there is life.

What do you think about these reasons? Would you add any? Disagree? I would love to hear your opinions on this.