#BlacksLivesMatter MattersGuest Post by Marcus Pittman
This is a guest post by Marcus Pittman, Executive Producer of Apologia Studios in Tempe, Arizona. Articles by guest writers are not necessarily reflective of the whole or even parts of our established writers, and should be received as the opinions of the writer, not the Collective as a whole.
It was 4am on a cold, Georgia morning. I woke up early to take my friend to work. I got into my car and picked him up. He alerted me to something I already knew: my headlight was out.
Of course it is – it always is.
“I really don’t want to be a passenger in your car with that light out,” he said for what seemed like the hundredth time.
“Black people really are afraid of the police.” I joked. “Don’t worry, the police never pull me over for this.”
“That’s because you’re white,” he responded.
We both laughed.
Moments later, just as we pulled out, a police officer pulled me over. He walked to the driver side door: “Your headlight is out, license and registration please.”
I reached into my glove compartment, pulled out my registration and handed him my driver’s license.
“License please,” the officer responded angrily.
“I gave it to you – it’s in your hand,” I said.
“Not yours, his.” The officer pointed his flashlight at my friend.
My friend responded, “I’m not driving – I don’t have to have a driver’s license.”
I encouraged my friend to not give over his ID for any reason.
As the officer got more irate, there was some back and forth between my friend and the officer about probable cause and what crime the officer believes he committed. He was just a passenger.
The officer forgot I was there and didn’t even pay attention to me. His focus was only on my black passenger. I knew immediately that my real crime was driving with a black person. A DWB. The headlight was just an excuse.
The officer got even more upset with my friend at his questioning of the officer’s probable cause. He wasn’t driving, it wasn’t his car, and the officer already had everything he needed. I’ve been pulled over with passengers in the car before. Their identification has never been demanded with such force. Actually, it has never been demanded at all.
The discussion between him and the officer only lasted for about sixty seconds. I told the officer that he was out of line and had everything he needed. It ended when the officer placed his hand on the gun. My friend gave up his rights in hopes to return to his family at night, and handed him his driver’s license immediately.
We were both horrified.
The officer let me go with a warning, and said some self-congratulatory remarks about how kind he was. Finally, the officer said, “Next time tell your boy I could have arrested him for resisting an officer’s request. Next time get your boy in line.”
I looked at my friend.
“Now you know why I get upset when you go over the speed limit.”
WHY THE BLACK COMMUNITY IS PROTESTING
We can pretend that the racism between some police officers and black people doesn’t exist. We can ignore it and point to the radical socialists who have latched on to a hashtag as a means to ignore what is happening, but the truth is that our neighbors whom we are called to love are hurting.
We can argue over arrest statistics like evidentialists debating atheists, but this is a debate filled with presuppositions. The black community is so deeply angry at the sheer amount of incarcerations, injustice and murders by the state that they’ve resorted to protesting in the streets and in Dallas, they’ve resorted to war.
White people don’t protest in the streets when victims of nearly 50% tax rates. We don’t riot in the streets when babies are being murdered. We don’t riot in the streets when laws are passed that destroy businesses, or when local governments steal our land for shopping malls.
But something is happening in black communities that is so painful and destructive, so routine and regular that they can’t ignore it anymore. They’re ready to start a revolution. The second civil war.
Whether we want to admit it or not, whether we despise the socialism behind it or not, the truth is — #blacklivesmatter matters.
Is there a cultural problem? Absolutely. The black community is filled with heretical churches, a genocidal amount of abortions, fatherless homes, and addictions to drugs and welfare.
Is this a result of sin in the community? Of course it is.
But every major societal problem is the result of sin. No Christian questions that. We don’t stand outside of abortion clinics and whine and complain about adultery. We deal with the matter at hand and rescue the babies. We can discuss those issues later but first there’s a crisis to deal with.
But for some reason the church doesn’t think the same way about #blacklivesmatter. Instead, we throw up alienating hashtags like middle fingers to the black community: #bluelivesmatter or #alllivesmatter. Salt in the wound to any community, no matter the heart behind it, is wrong.
Meanwhile, the black community is in tears. They are incapable of even gathering in the streets to mourn without an increasingly armed blue life presence standing watch, reminding them who’s in charge.
We have the answers they need and want in Scripture. We have a biblical view of justice, a biblical approach to abolish all long-term incarcerations. A way to build strong families, eliminate the police state, and eliminate welfare.
Instead, we’d rather buy into the Sean Hannity propaganda that says move along, nothing to see here as the soles of our shoes walk through puddles of blood.
This propaganda leaves a void that must be filled, and in this case, the #blacklivesmatter hashtag call-for-help being used by so many hurting neighbors of ours has been answered by the very people who caused the problem in the first place. Radical, anti-family, pro-welfare socialists.
For the most part, I don’t think the black community is too worried about the political agendas behind those who have commandeered the hashtag. They’re just glad to see someone attempt to stop the bloodshed.
If your house is on fire, you’re in a state of panic. You scream, “Help! Put the fire out! Please Lord, someone please just put the fire out.” If the arsonist grabs a hose and pretends to be the hero, you’re thankful. You don’t have time to investigate – there are pictures of your family hanging on the wall that need to be extinguished. Meanwhile across the street, other people have figured out the arsonist is extinguishing the fire, and instead of taking the hose from him, you talk about what great firemen the city has.
The church needs to rescue the perishing. Those in the church need to be the first ones marching down the streets and demanding justice for these communities. The fire really is burning and the arsonists are really trying to put it out with one hand, while they’re throwing gasoline on it with the other.
It’s no time for soundbites.
It’s time we put aside petty, partisan politics and grab the hose away from the criminals. We need to help our black brothers and sisters by acknowledging their house is really on fire, that #blacklivesmatter really matters.
To do that is going to take a lot more than than ‘just preaching the gospel.’ The black community is still religious, and many of them are Christians. A majority of the community still attends a church every Sunday. What they lack is a biblical worldview that actually applies the gospel to all areas of life. There are many black Reformed preachers who have the gospel. They are great preachers, great authors, and great speakers. But these same people encourage voting for the arsonists.
Their biblical theology is disconnected from their political worldview. We need to believe in a gospel that does more than save your soul from hell, but teach a gospel that can put out actual fires now: a gospel that eliminates racism and creates a government that punishes evil, not one that grows more powerful because of it.
Then, and only then, can we point them to Jesus and rebuild their house from the foundation up. And this time…it will have a fireproof interior.
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