Hearts broken; national crisis!

Emotions are running high. Like millions of others, I have not been able to rest well the past few nights. Two police related shootings have risen to national attention. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were human beings slain in the streets by men who we trust to protect us.

Admittedly, bad police do not represent all police. I know many well-meaning and good-hearted police. And most of police are well meaning. We need them; they are sworn to protect and help to care for our communities. But, the few that have senselessly slaughtered too many of our people represent deeper cultural problems that persist along racial lines.

Let\’s face it!

The recent killings and other situations across the country that have been similar to these bring back to our minds cultural and generational emotions from the Jim Crow era. A defensive move on the part of the justice system is to dig up dirt on the perpetrated to weaken the evidence of police brutality. No proof that they are \”bad guys\” justify killing. Recent cases prove that this is the case. \”Bad guys\” should have their day in court like Dylon Roof, Charles Manson and others. But, far too many are judged on the sidewalks without a voice to tell their side of the story.

A lot of blood shed is screaming out to us from their graves. We must speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves!

Our attitudes of hate, and violence; our systems of injustice; a society full of acrimonious behavior must change. We must think beyond party politics; our society is in a moral decline, and we are hasting toward self destruction.

An unprecedented number of black men\’s red blood stains the streets of America not to mention all of the other human beings who senselessly die from violence every day; there is no denying that we have a serious problem.

Time out for diverting the issues and pretending that this is just black people exacerbating the problem for political expediency or for some sort of cultural pity. Time out for silence and devaluing human beings just because they don\’t look like us, don\’t believe like us, or don\’t vote like us.

The voice of the prophet Amos resounds in the corridors of my mind:

\”But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.\” Amos 5:24

We must not allow heated emotions to drive our actions. We must be sober minded and strategic. We must come together in unity and pray, and work together to advance a Christ-centered agenda.

Yet, a Christ-centered agenda is not a passive agenda that sings and prays and pats each other on the shoulder; then move on.

A Christ-centered agenda is about listening to each other, caring for each other, and trying to understand each other while also working together for change. We do not have to agree to care enough about people\’s lives to fight for them, to care for them, and to honor them, to love them.

Admittedly, this is a challenging task; yet, with Christ, we can achieve it.

Far too long, division has been the answer to disagreement. But, we cannot change a nation in crisis with divisive resolutions.

Everybody\’s life matter — civilians as well as police.

Now is the time!

We need Black, White, Brown, and other people; we need Pentecostals, Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Independents, Word of Faith — any others who I left out. We need the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

We cannot heal this nation with violence. Also, we cannot heal it being calm. We must remain intensely concerned, relentlessly devoted, and be silent no more!

This is the time; we are the people; we can do this in Jesus\’ name!

With sincere concern,

Dr. Antipas

Dr. Antipas L. Harris
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