I had all the confidence in the world the violence and looting over Michael Brown’s death was going to end, especially when Captain Ronald S. Johnson took over security (See My Previous Article). Sadly, when cooler heads do not prevail, the anger fueled ones do. So now the current situation continues to spawn tension and hatred. More arrests, injuries, and protests continue to happen with no clear end in sight. Now even the National Guard has been called in. This situation is a mess.
However, when we take a step back, there is really only one problem here. That’s right, there is only one major problem which not only started this controversy but continues to fuel it. The problem isn’t racism or police brutality. The issue isn’t a lack of justice or bias opinion. So, what’s the main problem? It’s people breaking the law.
Either the police officer broke the law by murdering Michael Brown, or Brown broke the law by attacking the police officer and forced him to shoot in self-defense. There is no clear evidence to support either side yet, but someone broke the law. The same problem applies to the protests. Either the people are breaking the law through looting, violence, and improper protesting, or the police are violating the people’s civil rights laws. No matter the specific details, this entire controversy started with, and continues to be made worse by, people breaking the law. If people would stop breaking the law, everything would resolve much quicker.
As Christians we are commanded by God to obey the governing authorities. Consider Romans 13:1-5, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.”
We must obey our nation’s laws (unless they contradict God’s laws – Acts 5:29). Everything about this controversy is horrible, but it is made worse through the continual violation of our nation’s laws, and thus, a violation of God’s laws. Just because someone else violated the law doesn’t mean we have the right do the same. Two wrongs don’t make a right. This situation will continue to progress and even escalate until people stop breaking the law.
Let’s learn from the mistakes being made in Ferguson. Let’s come to realize how terrible a situation can become when people continue breaking the law. Then, let’s dedicate ourselves as Christians to be people who obey God in the confines of our nation’s laws.