The above video is by a former Tulsa police chief. Please watch it for an insider’s perspective on the background and context to the most recent shooting of an unarmed black man with his hands in the air. If white people who try to justify the shooting of an unarmed man will not listen to a white former Tulsa police chief, then who will they listen to?
Posting about some other topic seems inappropriate at the moment. And so please, let’s talk about this. Let’s talk about how we bring about the kind of change needed not merely in infrastructure but in the minds and hearts of people.
Why are there people who will try to justify what the police did to Terence Crutcher? Because self-justification is our instinct rather than repentance. But this is sin, this is evil, at the heart of not merely our nation, but of individuals, and of the local communities that together make up the nation.
If you want to call yourself a Christian, and want to claim that Christianity is important to your community or nation as well, then this is an opportunity to prove it. Self-justification, self-righteousness, nationalism, boasting, arrogance, hatred, racism and any kind of despising others simply because they are different, all these things are as incompatible with Christian teaching and values as you can get. Jesus is reported to have said to his detractors, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of people, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among people is detestable in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).
The only thing a Christian can do, and still have that label mean something, when they see things like this happening around them, is to be filled with sorrow and repentance. And then to examine ourselves. And then to repent some more.
And then to set about the difficult task of building bridges, knocking down walls, and seeking to change not just what people do but how they see the world.