If you watch TV or have tuned in recently, it is safe to assume that you have heard about the controversy surrounding a particular Florida teen who was killed several weeks ago.
His name was Trayvon Martin.
As the "facts" of the case were initially reported, we were told that Trayvon was walking home from the store and summarily profiled, trailed, and fatally shot by a neighborhood watchman, who was suspicious of him, even though Martin was apparently doing nothing illegal.
The story first gained attention because as the facts emerged, it seemed that the man who shot Trayvon, George Zimmerman, was released by the local police before even an evening's worth of investigation, without any plans to prosecute Zimmerman.
Taking the "facts" of the case at face value, I, like many, was outraged that the police had decided to let Zimmerman go when he was "clearly" in the wrong.
As a young black man myself, I couldn't help but bristle at what seemed to me a clear example of the ugly consequences of prejudice, perpetrated against a teen for being BAD (black after dark).
In a less extreme way, I could even sympathize.
Nevertheless, all of the facts of the case were not out and there were more reports and eye witness testimony that suggested Trayvon Martin was the aggressor and that George Zimmerman had killed the teen in self defense.
For this reason, I felt it best to hold my tongue.
But everyone did not wait cast judgment.
The story quickly took an ugly turn when accusations of racism started flying against Zimmerman who was
accused of racial profiling and against the justice system that refused to
Race-baiting "civil rights activists" Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, swooped in like vultures on a rotting carcass, wasting no time to exploit the issue and stoke the infernal and eternal fires of racial division.
If I may be so bold, these men have been embarrassing themselves and the Name they claim to bear with this kind of behavior for years, so I while I was disgusted by their shameless self-promotion, I can't say I was surprised.
What did surprise me, however, was the reaction of the popular and well respected preacher John Piper, who pronounced this to be case of racial injustice despite emerging contradictory evidence and a still pending investigation.
Even more upsetting, was a "pact" that Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham and president of Samaritan's Purse) made with a group black "church leaders" to stand with them on this issue in return for the "leaders" supporting his work with the church in Sudan.
Has the church fallen so low that we have resorted to carnal "you scratch my back, I'll scratch your back" trading games?
What happened to discretion, being "quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry"?
We are not the world and we must not act like the world.
We are the Church of Christ, the Pillar and Foundation of the Truth, the Bride of Christ, bought by Jesus' atoning sacrifice.
We must learn to not jump in the middle of the world's squabbles, dragging the name of God through the dirt as we go.
Regardless of who did what or who is innocent, the Church is called to love ALL people.
That includes George Zimmerman, whether he is innocent or guilty.
The divisive poison being spewed concerning this issue is not only toxic, but contagious and we must all be careful to avoid it.
It is my hope that the reader would stand with me in exchanging rash judgment for prudence and choose to withhold judgment on either Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman, until at least a verdict is rendered.
Instead let's show the world a Church where there is neither Jew or Greek, male or female, slave or free, but only brother and sister, bound together by love.
For it is by our love that men will know we are disciples of Christ (John 13:35)
In all things, may the name of God be lifted high and glorified!