Riots and Repentance

On May 25, African American George Floyd was brutally treated at the hands of policeman David Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Recorded and let loose on the interwebs, the horrible scene went viral and sent the entire nation into outrage, as only a nation should be when an authority figure abuses his power and it leads to the death of the victim. Protests against yet another case of injustice towards the black community erupted in major cities across the nation, at first peaceful, but then rapidly turning into riots, and from riots it has descended into complete madness. 

Businesses, small and large, have been broken into and looted, American flags have been set on fire while onlookers cheered, and anything that could be picked up and thrown was hurled at the police who showed up to protect their cities, as is their jobs. 

In Richmond Virginia, rioters set a house afire with a young child inside and blocked firefighters from coming to put it out. In New York city, destroying taxpayer-owned police vehicles has become as common as weeds in an uncultivated garden. In Washington D.C. St. John’s Cathedral was set ablaze by rioters, and the WWII Memorials, the legacy of America’s heroic men and women in uniform which have nothing to do with the protests were vandalized with graffiti.

Chicago, Illinois (Via Google Images)

What happened to George Floyd was unjustifiable and wrong on every level, and condemning it by peaceful protests and punishing the wrongdoers is the American way to address the grievance. But using one man’s murderous sin as an excuse to multiply sin is as unjustifiable and wrong as the original sin committed.

Peaceful protesting is a God-given civil right which is protected by the First Amendment. Protesting to call attention to your message means chanting in unison, not throwing bricks at police. What protesting means is waving signs with your message on them and marching down the street, not robbing, vandalizing or burning down stores who can already barely tread financial waters due to COVID-19.

If you are a human being, have a place to live, have people you love, and own things you like, you most likely agree that stealing, setting property on fire and chucking Molotov cocktails at other human beings is wrong no matter how you look at it. The average American has a job, a family they care about, and possess goods they’ve bought with their hard-earned money. 

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 31: Demonstrators set a fire during a protest near the White House on May 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

What is happening with the George Floyd protests is not doing anything to benefit the cause of justice and the desire for change. The American people were rightly horrified and outraged when the footage of officer Dave Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck came out, the American people all agree that the officer’s actions were atrociously wrong and that he should face prosecution (in fact he has been fired from the force and is being charged with murder by the Minnesota government), the American people all unanimously condemn racism, and want to rid our land of it. 

Looting stores, committing arson and beating people into the ground accomplish nothing for their cause. If anything, it is damaging it. What person in their right mind would put their support behind people who want to destroy America as we know it?

Colossians 3:9-13 says that through the redeeming power of the Son of God, neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free exist, for we are all one, united through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Via Google Images

Everyone needs Jesus, all the proof you need is to look at the situation that started the riots across the country. Dave Chauvin was acting in sin when he brutalized Floyd. Not only was he sinning, but the officers standing by in silence, allowing him to carry on were as well. By doing nothing while Floyd was being pinned to the pavement under their partner’s knee, the policemen neglected their jobs as upholders of the law and became accomplices to manslaughter. They should be held just as accountable as Chauvin.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.
Not to speak is to speak.
Not to act is to act.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Need further proof that this world is fallen? Look no further than the rioters setting the nation on fire. They are intentionally sinning by stealing from stores, by beating up shopkeepers, by rebelling against the police. Not only are the rioters sinning, but the peaceful protesters are as well by allowing the rioters to continue using Floyd’s death as an excuse to sin against their Creator and against their country. They should be held just as accountable as the rioters they are enabling.

These rioters are hypocrites. They claim they want justice for the atrocious act committed in Minneapolis on May 25. Yet their actions speak far louder than their cries of “say his name” do. There is no justice in setting communities aflame, or in burning down the American dream before so many hard-working Americans eyes. 

May 31, 2020, near the White House in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

This world is twisted, broken, and fallen, and it becomes more apparent with every passing day. This is a world without hope, a world that has forgotten it’s Maker. How do we come back from this? Pastor Doug Wilson explains:

“There is no proclaimed gospel in the New Testament that does not begin with the word repent. And when we preach this gospel to sinners, white or black, we must name the particular sins that they need to repent of. We do not urge them to turn away in a mild and inarticulate dismay from anything they may or may not have done that was less than proper. The only thing we can repent of is sin.

And sin is defined by the Bible. It is a sin for cops to abuse suspects they have apprehended. It is a sin to loot a Target. It is not a sin to be white or black.”

Douglas Wilson

We need to be bold, speak truth to our neighbors in grace and humility. Christ died for all, not only white people or only black people. He came to save every single one of us from a horrible fate, forever burning in hell, regardless of our backgrounds, our actions, or the pigment of our skin. All you need to do is to repent of your sin and give your life to Him. And that goes for both the corrupt cops and the unreasonable rioters.

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