Last August in Ferguson, Missouri, police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. The grand jury has handed down a decision of no indictment against Wilson. We now have no choice but to trust that the jury made the best decision it could, based on the evidence presented for them to consider. Our national racial wound, however, going back hundreds of years, is hemorrhaging and in the days to come I fear the growing anger.
I wrote in Visions of the Coming Days (2012) that we would soon see a resurgence of racism in America. Now it erupts and, as a result, Ferguson has burned. We, the church—one Father, one blood—must rise to the occasion and assume the ministry of reconciliation we have always been called of God to pursue. Under no circumstances can we allow ourselves to contribute to the growing hatred. For my part, I am personally cultivating close relationships of mutual respect and love with African-American pastors and congregations. I learn from them. We are brothers and sisters in the Lord. We must know one another. If we don’t, then we will make things up and what we make up will never be pretty.
In spite of these efforts made by me and by other like-minded servants of God, my prophetic instincts tell me that the issues have become so complicated and our cultural foundation so seriously broken that, on a national scale, real reconciliation is not possible any time in the near term. Our culture, both black and white, has failed us and now the inevitable blaming has begun. Faced with cultural decline and the destruction it brings, lost humanity always looks for—and finds—someone to hate. New laws will not fix it. Changing “the system” will not heal it. Godly repentance alone, across the full spectrum of race and ethnicity, presents the only path to healing and our sole hope for cultural reform.
Meanwhile, I lament the insanity of violent protests that cause damage to the lives and economic well-being of those against whom the perceived injustices were committed in the first place. This hurts! And it makes no sense. I understand centuries of anger and oppression, but the anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God (James 1:20). Events in Ferguson clearly illustrate this truth.
We need a new generation of prophetic voices to arise and lead us to real change by nonviolent means. Where are the Mahatma Gandhis and Martin Luther Kings of our age who bring revolutionary change by peaceful means? Where are the powerful apostolic voices like Paul who confronted Peter with his racist refusal to eat with Gentiles (Gal. 2:11-12) and who taught us that the dividing wall between the races has been broken down in the sacrifice Jesus made at the cross (Eph. 2:13)? We are all of one household! Help us Lord!