With all the developments of Ferguson and now the tragic Eric Garner case, I’ve been trying to process what it means to be a follower of Christ in a moment like this. I am grateful for those who have explained the nuances of both “sides;” particularly for African American friends and fellow pastors who patiently have helped me understand the bigger picture from their perspective. It does seem that despite millions of blogs and endless hours of discussion on cable news networks, we aren’t making that much progress—though I suppose having the discussion itself is significant progress.
I want to suggest that this lack of progress comes from both “sides” failing to heed two of the Bible’s most cherished principles about conflict resolution. They are to listen before, and more than, we speak (James 1:19); and to consider the interests of others (including other communities) to be more important than our own (James 2:1–4). Continue reading →