- Last week we addressed a truth, but as Dr. A. R. Bernard says, “All truth is confrontational.”
- With the outrage that many have about conduct, you might have been a public bashing of law enforcement.
- In a sermon about policing, you might have expected me to be in my own outrage.
- Perhaps you a presentation not unlike Jesus when he expressed His anger at the charlatans who desecrated God’s temple.
- There’s a place for the kind of Jesus expressed in that moment.
- Those of you who’ve paid have seen this passion expressed in my own teaching.
- I’ve not minced words in my disgust about injustice, particularly the kind that’s been leveled against African Americans.
- Both in and the pulpit, I have actively challenged systemic racism and institutional injustice.
- Some of you have even followed the platform I am currently building to address the needs of African Americans on a larger scale.
- In light of that, there are some who are waiting for me to get to the stuff, which for them, ironically, is about how to address evil.
- That is, they want to know how to evil people from doing evil things.
- They want and, even more precisely, on those who have treated African Americans as if they were less than human.
- Newsflash: Judgment at the house of God.
- I Peter 4:17
- This sermon is for .
- More specifically, this sermon is for Christians who consider the Bible to be God’s Word and to hold over their moral decisions.
- If this does not describe you, I’m not talking to you.
- My focus is on people who have forsaken all to follow .
- When you are a true servant of God, you are repentant when you hear God’s Word, not .
- Josiah (II Chronicles 34:19; II Chronicles 34:27)
- Children of Israel (Nehemiah 8:2-3; Nehemiah 8:8-9)
Good Meals Require Good Seasoning
- We place too much emphasis on trying to change the world and not enough on behaving like .
- Our Christian character is a natural and .
- Matthew 5:13-16
- A starting point for addressing our current racial conflict is to call in the Christian police officers and the Christian protesters for a .
- John 13:35
- Our biggest witness will be when Christian protestors and police officers to Jesus, appeal to their common faith and pursue practical steps forward in.
Liberation through Submission
- Resistance to begins with submission to .
- James 4:6
- Without submission to what is, you will not have the authority, nor the power, to resist what is .
- is the hard truth that confronts us and our difficulty with it has two aspects:
- Righteousness and justice begin and end with .
- We do not naturally His standard of right and wrong.
The Spirit is Willing, but the Flesh is Weak
- Our temptation is to turn to the flesh when our buttons are pressed emotionally, politically and culturally.
- Colossians 3:8-11
- The image of God is a assigned to us by God.
- What is confusing about this is that though we’re all made in the image of God, we’re not all in that knowledge.
- Consequently, many of us act in a manner that is our status.
- However, as followers of Christ, we must the status of the image even when people act of it.
- This is why the Scripture commands us to refrain from toxic emotions centered in .
- Anger – a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility (dictionary.com)
- Wrath – strong vengeful anger or indignation (merriam-webster.com)
- Malice – the intention or desire to do evil; ill will. (merriam-webster.com)
- Slander – the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation. (merriam-webster.com)
- Obscene Talking – extremely offensive word[s] or expression[s]. (dictionary.com)
- In addressing injustice, we must distinguish between anger and righteous .
- Righteous hate comes from a passion for divine and is affiliated with the following:
- Public criticism of injustice
- Holding Institutions accountable for justice
- Challenging abuses of power
- Challenging unjust laws and protocols
- Holding law enforcement officers to decisions that are legal, moral and ethical
- Making sure evil doers are justly punished.
- Personal anger comes from a passion for personal and is affiliated with the following:
- Personal attacks
- Personal vendettas
- Blood lust
- Holding resentment
- Holding ill will and plotting evil in response to a wrong suffered
- Personal anger is directed at a and is a byproduct of the fear of man.
- It presumes that good and evil rest in the realm of the human and that human evil can be defeated by human good.
- It is to seek the punishment of evil doers, but is unrighteous to for their demise (Proverbs 24:17-18)
- When we gloat over other people’s punishment, we are in our own goodness.
- The challenge is that human good is not good. (Romans 3:10)
- Only is good.
- Righteous hate is different because it is directed at injustice itself and is a byproduct of the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 8:13)
The Nature of Authority: A Review
- People who fear the Lord know that good and evil are , not human.
- This means that when God-fearing people approach a , they know they are engaging in something that is supernatural and not merely human.
- authority is supernatural.
- The source of all authority is .
- Hence, engaging with authority well (whether to wield it or submit to it) requires of principles.
- “Every person” means that even figures are subject to the governing authorities.
- Since there is no authority that has not been established by God, person is subject to the justice of God.
- This is what protest against injustice.
- Protests are part of a tradition that indicts people and institutions for violating justice in the public sphere.
- To authority of any kind is to resist .
- However, remember the biblical command is to submit to , not .
- The Scripture is clear: Law enforcement officers are and of .
- When law enforcement officers wield or use , they are expressing against evil doers.
- “For the sake of conscience” means we should law enforcement officers not because they have but because we want to .
- Abuse of power does not the we to people who wield authority.
- This is a difficult pill to swallow, but here’s the promise of Scripture: Proverbs 16:7
The Million-Dollar Question:
- to authority is ungodly, but so is the of power.
- How do you abuse while authority?
© Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2020