Benjamin Watson plays football for the New Orleans Saints. After the grand jury in Ferguson chose not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in connection with the death of Michael Brown, Watson posted a response on Facebook. His post has gone viral and led to national media appearances, including an extended CNN interview.
I urge you to read Watson's entire statement, as it expresses eloquently the pain, conflicted emotions, and confusion so many feel in reacting to this tragedy and its aftermath. Here's how it closes:
"I'M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I'M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that's capable of looking past the outward and seeing what's truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It's the Gospel. So, finally, I'M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope."
Benjamin Watson has spoken God's word to our fractured world. Consider some headlines: a Palestinian woman stabbed an Israeli yesterday and was wounded by security forces. Eleven Israelis have been killed in five separate Palestinian attacks over the last six weeks. Protests continue in Hong Kong. Suicide bombers killed 70 last week in Nigeria. A suicide bomber killed nine in Afghanistan yesterday. A Canadian woman has reportedly been kidnapped in Syria.
What do these conflicts have in common? Sin. What is the hope? The gospel.
In 2 Kings 22 we find the nation of Israel on the brink of divine judgment and enslavement to Babylon. Workers cleaning the temple found "the Book of the Law," most likely the book of Deuteronomy. When the king read the word of God, he tore his clothes in repentance and commanded the high priest to seek God's grace for the nation. The priest went to Huldah the prophetess, who warned of imminent judgment. But because the king responded to Scripture with remorse and humility, disaster was averted (vs. 8-20) and a great spiritual awakening swept the nation (2 Kings 23).
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace. How can we bring his peace to our conflicted culture? By using our influence to share his word. When Benjamin Watson signed with New Orleans, he said that his purpose was "not just to play football, but to minister in the locker room and also be involved in the community of New Orleans and serve where we can, and tell people about the Lord where we can. Something my wife always says is, 'Benjamin, it's not always about you, and what you want.' God has a way of moving us to where He wants us to be and He expects us to serve Him where we are. So that's been our approach since I've been in New Orleans."
Let's take the same approach where we are today, to the glory of God.
Publication date: December 2, 2014
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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