From the Church & Culture Team: Readers of Dr. White’s blog will surely know of the events that have been taking place in Charlotte, N.C., over the past week. We thought offering an email Dr. White sent out to the church he serves – Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte – would serve others as it served us.
If you're like me, you're experiencing both grief and frustration over our city's current crisis.
Grief that another human life ended through the barrel of a gun. It doesn't matter how a life is lost, or why; every life is sacred and is to be deeply mourned.
Grief that beyond that loss of life, police officers are in hospitals.
Frustration that protests turn from expressing heartfelt concern to violence and lawlessness - from looting Walmarts to burning trucks. As one protester shouted out to those breaking bottles in the street: “Stop! That’s not what this is about!”
She’s right. It shouldn’t be.
None of it is.
This entire fallen world is not the way it was meant to be.
As followers of Christ, we have one mission: To be salt and light to this deeply fallen and darkened world.
That means we join the cause for justice wherever it is needed.
That means we work for racial reconciliation with every fiber of our being.
That means that while we hold them accountable, we also support our law enforcement officers and government officials as they seek to do their jobs.
And most of all...
...that means holding on to the vision of Christ's Kingdom coming to bear on the world around us.
I am reminded of the words to an old Pat Terry song:
I saw it in a dream last night
The world was acting strangely right
Black and white, left and right
Living in perfect harmony
There was no violence in the streets
The smoke had cleared and the air smelled sweet
And drums of truth, beat loud and clear
The rhythm for our feet
In my dream
There was a policeman on the corner
Who had laid his badge aside
Because the law lived in the hearts of men
Instead of fear and pride
And the parents loved their children
And the husbands loved their wives
And the ones worn down, kicked around
Saw the value in their lives
In my dream
And the spires atop the churches
Shone like spaceships in the sun
With altars for their launchpads
And room for everyone
And the earth bowed down in unison
Christ was on His throne
In my dream…
James Emery White
About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book, The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated, is available on Amazon. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.