As someone who works for an organization focused on helping persecuted Christians around the world, I feel I have a platform to stand upon when I say: the immediate response to violence is NEVER violence.
The George Floyd killing is unacceptable, intolerable, aggressive and offensive. I have no idea how an individual can act in such a way towards someone else. In the simplest term, it was demonic.
I am in full support of peaceful protests. It is our right, as Americans, to assemble and object the things we feel passionate about. What happened to George Floyd needs to be discussed and the perpetrators absolutely need to be held accountable and changes made.
That being said, the violent riotous reaction that has been brought into American cities is also unacceptable, intolerable, aggressive and offensive.
Restaurants and businesses lit on fire, police officers harmed, shops destroyed, entire cities looted, derogatory graffiti painted on national monuments…this is not a protest, this is an attack, a very evil attack.
Daily, I hear stories of brutal persecution. I’m not just talking about an unjust killing from time to time, I’m referring to extreme violence towards blameless men, women, children and unborn, every single day.
I won’t get into details, but to say the stories we hear are unforgettable, is an understatement. The evil in the world is palpable, it is wrong, and it is unfortunately growing.
As a Christian, I take offense to the way those who follow the Lord are treated around the world. The starvation they endure, the attacks they undergo, the horrors they witness, it breaks my heart what others go through for doing what I do freely every single day.
But, I would never burn down a business in response to the 20 Christians recently killed in Nigeria, or set a car on fire because of the starvation of Christians in Pakistan, Vietnam and Asia, and I would never graffiti a national monument as a sign of my anger due to a father burning his daughter for converting to Christianity in Uganda.
Why? Because this is not how to bring about change.
I am shocked at how quickly we have accepted lack of law and order under the guise of reacting to “injustice”. Yes, what happened to George Floyd was unjust, absolutely, but these violent actions are also unjust.
This cruelty fueled by anger, racism, hatred and false agendas must stop. This is doing nothing but diving us further, making us more “separate”. This is not a black versus white issue, this is a hate versus love issue, a right versus wrong issue.
As I watch videos of people running out of broken-into Nike stores, arms filled with stolen goods, I wonder how the individuals think this type of conduct will ever bring about the change they say they seek.
As a Christian who is very aware of the oppression around the world towards people who believe what I believe, I am disgusted by this type of reaction.
I understand the anger and the outrage, the disappointment and the confusion, but I will never be able to understand the behavior, the violence or the mentality of people such as these. Skin color has nothing to do with this, politics have nothing to do with this. This, the riots and the rampage, is a plan of the enemy that far too many people have allowed to come to pass.
It is a shame and it is an embarrassment to America and to those who truly seek change.
Martin Luther King Jr said it best: “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.”
When we respond to hate with hate, we allow hatred to grow. When we respond to violence with violence, we allow aggression to cultivate. When we act the same as the people who harm us, we are no better than they are, no different than they. We have no right to be angry, upset or demanding of change when our actions are the same as the actions we detest.
We are seeing hypocrisy at its finest not only from the masses but from politicians and preachers as well, and until we wake up and call out this insincerity, we will never see the transformation we say we so desire.
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” –1 John 4:20 (NIV)