Ephesians might help us work through some tensions we experience when looking at the brutal police shootings of African Americans nationwide, and of the snipers’ shootings of the Dallas and DART police officers. The church has the power of Christ – which is Christ himself, who is seated at God’s right hand “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named” (Eph. 1:20-21). Christ has authority over all civilians, offices, forces, and governments on the earth.
Christ calls believers to “take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (5:11). Surely racism, hatred, abusive use of force, and vigilante justice are among such works. So it is not time to be passive or silent, but to act in the authority Christ gives the church as her Head.
Yet the real war behind violence and injustice is invisible, requiring believers to be the people in society who live lives of truth and righteousness, preach the Gospel that brings peace between ethnicities who despise one another, and pray with all of our might (2:11-18; 3:10; 6:10-20). So it is not time to rely on protest and removal of leaders from office only, but also to implore God to conquer the schemes of the Enemy.
The recent race-related shootings, coupled with the race-baiting statements of Donald Trump and the eight-year long racial backlash against Obama’s presidency, have primed this country for a very violent race war. Believers need to be wise, both vocally and prayerfully redeeming the time without shame (5:17), so that we might be a force of good as salt and light amid darkness, for the glory of Christ (1:6, 12, 14; 3:21).
My condolences to the families of the victims in the Dallas shootings. May the Lord Jesus provide you comfort and justice from on high. May we think soberly as we look at the grieving faces of those harmed by gun violence and the wrongful use of police authority.
See also, “I’m Not Safe; No Black Male is Safe.”
#enoughisenough #AlstonSterling #PhilandoCastile #BlackLivesMatter #justiceforSandraBland #TrayvonMartin #ktbeph