How would Christ respond to police shooting verdict?
Brute Wolf | ViewsThe acquittal of Betty Shelby, a member of the Glenpool Church of Christ, has brought joy and anger not just throughout our city, but within our churches. Shelby, an officer with the Tulsa Police Department, was found not guilty of manslaughter in the shooting of an unarmed black suspect. The May 17 acquittal came after a jury deliberated for nine hours.
The day after the acquittal, the Tulsa World prominently featured Warren Blakney, minister for the North Peoria Church of Christ. Blakney voiced concern about the message the jury’s decision “sends to black males, and males period, about the value of your life.”
So what would Jesus do? I know what he wouldn’t do. He wouldn’t ask me to debate the merits of the case on social media. He’d ask me who’s hurting, and why I’m not helping.
Jesus set up his kingdom in a rather bizarre fashion. Christianity doesn’t work well when given political power. It works best when all its power is taken away. Jesus knew this: The only time he was asked to speak to a political leader, he said nothing.
His kingdom was about service. Jesus served prisoners at one moment and took requests from Roman rulers at the next. Yet, so far as we know, he did nothing for Joseph. His own earthly father apparently died before his child’s ministry began, without the benefit of a miracle.
It leaves me with a painful understanding of his will: to turn outward, to understand that sacrificing myself sometimes means sacrificing my opinions. And so I pray for my town. I pray not just for peace and understanding, but also for motivation and clarity. We will move forward. The Kingdom can’t be stopped.
BRUTE WOLF worships with the Park Plaza Church of Christ in Tulsa, Okla. He serves on the Tulsa World editorial department’s Community Advisory Board.
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