It’s a place very few of us know even existed until recently.

It’s a place where something bad happened.  

It’s a place where there’s a lot of “he said, he said, she said” stories.    Getting to the truth seems very hard to do.

It’s a town in Missouri.

But it’s so much more.

Ferguson is  a reminder.

Ferguson is a scab that got pulled off.

Ferguson is a sad commentary on today’s world.    No matter what you believe happened, it shows that not all is well with the world.

Cops feel it necessary to use force, most of the time with good reason, but not always.   They are human too……

The  young men in our world are being taught that it’s okay to disrespect authority.    5 minutes reading the rap lyrics of some of the top rappers will show you that.

The young men in our world are being taught that it’s okay to demean the opposite gender and treat them as less than they deserve.   The media is portraying a view of men and women that doesn’t respect either one of them.

Ferguson is a reminder that the civil rights era isn’t that long ago.    In many ways, the civil rights era is right now.

Ferguson is a reminder that if a group of people feel like their government is not protecting their rights, they are going to protest that.    I’ve read a couple of articles that laid out a pretty convincing case that Ferguson was a justified case of the residents of Ferguson saying, “We’ve had enough of the government not  protecting our rights and we’re sick of it.” 

Ferguson has highlighted the fact that the percentage of the population that is black and male is substantially lower than the percentage of the inmate population that is black and male.

Ferguson has poked an uncomfortable finger at those of us who blindly live our lives benefiting from “White Privilege” without even being aware of it.   

Now the question – “So What?”   What does this have to do with the church?  Isn’t this a police force/racism government issue?

This impacts the church in a number of ways:

  • It either shines a light on a church as one that cares about people of all races and colors or one that is very happy living their sheltered white life.
  • It shows that for a church to “love your neighbor as yourself” is a lot harder if the neighbor isn’t white like you are.

Ferguson is an issue of social justice for the church.    Either we, as a church (either an individual church or a worldwide church) need to acknowledge that we aren’t as far as we thought in loving and treating all of our neighbors the way God wants us to – and we need to do something to change that.

Or we send a message to those who aren’t a member of our church – “we don’t really care – if you aren’t “like” us, you can come, but we aren’t going to go out of our way to make you feel a part of our church.”

Jesus said, in Matthew 28:19: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.”

That means all nations and all colors and all races.    Ferguson reminds us that we’ve got a LOT of work to do yet……..

Do you think Jesus would be happy with Ferguson and what happened there?

I think not.

Tom