Because I couldn’t say it any better, I share this letter from Pastor Jeff Evans. Pastor Evans is the director of the Minnesota Church Ambassador Network within the Minnesota Family Research Council.
The Chauvin trial has come to a close. Your congregants have a wide range of opinions and emotions. Some are relieved, some celebratory that justice has been served, and others concerned that justice may not have been served. No doubt, you as a pastor have been asked what you think about all that has transpired. You may be preaching on this very topic this Sunday. While we don’t pretend to know all the right responses to such a multifaceted issue, there are a few things we think are essential for everyone to consider.
First, compassion for the family of George Floyd. No verdict will bring him back to his family and friends. He was a human being made in the image of God.
Second, human justice has been rendered through our court system, and needs to be respected. “…[T]here is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1). Such justice, though human (and therefore always imperfect and incomplete), is part of God’s mercy toward society. We should give thanks to God for the trial administered by Judge Cahill, the service of the jurors, and the long hours put in both by the prosecution and defense. What’s more, compassion and justice belong together, so let us thank pastors and lay leaders who prayed and worked hard for peace in our streets and the constitutional right of free and non-violent expression.
Third, the Day is coming when divine justice and mercy will be fully applied. Though our human courts do contribute to the peace and prosperity of our state, as God has ordained, they cannot right every wrong nor wipe away every tear. This will only happen when the Son rises from the right hand of the Father in final judgment.
That time will come, but for now, we wait. The whole series of events of the past 331 days has taught us that we cannot put all our trust and hope in human justice, or merely human solutions. We must all grab hold of God’s precious Gospel, the divine Solution. We can start here: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Jesus received the perfect sentence of justice (on our behalf) when He died on the Cross. We believe the Father’s perfect forgiveness and mercy is extended to all who trust in His Son. This justice and mercy has been accomplished, and we must proclaim it to everyone.
As we move forward in the weeks and months ahead, let us reason with one another with all humility. Let’s listen respectfully, with the expectation and hope we will be listened to as well: “… let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:19-21). Let us trust in our Savior all the more and speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). This is the Gospel path to perfect justice, perfect compassion, and perfect hope.
We covet your prayers as we navigate through these times by proclaiming the gospel, strengthening families, and advancing foundational truth in churches, the media, government, and the public square throughout the state of Minnesota.
Blessings in Christ, Pastor Jeff