We are sickened by the violence against police officers in Dallas. We support the efforts of multiracial police officers around the nation who work faithfully to protect citizens of all skin colors by fairly enforcing America’s ideal of equal justice under law. We also grieve the recent deaths in suburban St. Paul, and in Baton Rouge. What happened there is not reflective of how we want everyone to be treated fairly under the law. Every life is precious to God and must be precious to us. Otherwise we have, among other sins, anarchy.
“‘Vengeance is mine,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:17-20) The Apostle Paul highlighted this biblical truth in an age when violence was a normal way of doing things in the Roman Empire. Christ gave his life so that we could live free of sin’s poisonous power to infect us with rebellion against God and each other. Paul knew that when we enact our hurt, our outrage, by violence we are taking on the role of God – which is “idolatry”; which is “taking the Lord’s name in vain”; which is “murder”. Three of the Ten Commandments get ransacked by vengeance.
Currently I am in Vancouver with 325 Baptist World Alliance leaders who are serving on the front lines in hot spots around the world. I am writing this to you at 3:00 on Friday morning because, like you, I deeply grieve theses recent violent acts in America. We also know the ripple effect of what happens in America forms a model for the rest of the world. There is a better way and we must take it. Hatred must be buried in the graveyard of hell and not in the hearts of