Jesus’ metaphor for the seed sown among the thorns (Matthew 13:22; Luke 8:14) is extremely relevant to today’s issues of the Western church and the current social issue of systemic injustice. This is a much heated debate that needs to be addressed. How it is addressed and how solutions are sought are key.
It is no question that the sources for American news are less reliable. Yet, some within the church cherry pick what they see in the news and take it as true while disregarding other stories from the same news sources. They fail to see that all the information projected from news sources are framed and constructed. So that even if you believe one and not the other, it is still within the frame of what they want you to think. When people show their support for one view over another, they are still following the way of the framed thought. White privilege is partly to blame for Black injustice is two sides of the same coin; racism. The framed debate projects racism with racism. We are taught to generalize one race because they are wrong to generalize another. To say black people are potential criminals is wrong but to say that white people are potential racists is acceptable; but both use the same racist reasoning. This is trap of the framed debate.
Jesus said that some let “the worries of this age… choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful”. But what is the fruit God desires? Is it racial and gender equality? Is it drafting more pro-choice or pro-life laws? Is it gun control or second amendment rights? If you notice, all these ‘desires’ are focused on one thing- the world. If a society as a whole is secular or atheistic YET has racial and gender equality, which is also pro-life with strict gun control laws; is it then fruitful and pleasing to God? No, because it still lacks the thing that pleases God; faith in the gospel message. A message that is left out of the framed public forum.
Awareness of Injustices
When digging into the (race) Lives Matter framed discussion, there is somethings extremely important lacking. The framed discussion does not allow for TRUE discussion of the value of life. Certain area of injustice is focused on but leaves out much greater injustices. For example: The Black Lives Matter framed debate, leaves out the MILLIONS of African American lives that are unjustly killed by other African Americans AND by abortion. No one seems to be fighting for a solution to the greater need which is causing a greater amount of loss of life. WHY? Because the sources of information that gets projected to the culture tells the culture that those are LESS important or something different altogether. WHY? Ultimately it comes down to who is to blame and indoctrinated victimization. Just as Eve did not take responsibility for her sin and blamed Satan; she was just a victim. this FRAMED movement does not want to take responsibility for its lack of seeking justice for the MILLIONS of African American lives that are unjustly killed by other African Americans and by abortion; because they are just victims of a system.
But it goes much deeper than the value of life and responsibility. This framed debate has successfully chocked out the word. The solutions that are fought for are worldly solutions. The HEART of humanity is never addressed. The culture is taught (built into the framed debate) that humanity can come it a solution through its own laws and reformed systems. The big failure is that by thinking we need to reform laws that some how we can correct systematic injustices is the solution; fails to see that ALL systems of laws and governments are built and imposed by sinful humanity. That is like pealing off one bloody band-aid and put on a new band-aid. Eventually, that band-aid too will become dirty; because the gaping wound is not treated. What is the gaping wound? That we sinful by nature.
Black on Black homicides may be influenced by a system that makes those who commit those acts have to in order to survive but will God still not hold them accountable for their act too? African American mothers who abort their babies are taught that they have to in order to have a chance at a decent life; are they not going to be held accountable by God too? Why is it, they get a free pass in the debate but not the police who take lives unjustly? More African Americans kill other African Americans than by police. Let’s look at some statistics to shed light on what information is lacking the worlds framed debate. Remember, the framed debate of injustices is focused on police.
The Unspoken Numbers
In 2017, 737 (updated to 768) people have been shot and killed by police in the United States. Of that number, there were 329 whites, 165 blacks, 112 Hispanics, 24 members of other races, and 107 people whose race was unknown.
So far in Chicago alone, in 2016, there have been 533 murders and 2,880 shootings. On average, a person is shot every two hours and 17 minutes and murdered every 12 and a half hours. In 2016, when Colin Kaepernick, an NFL quarterback, started taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of police injustices against African Americans, Chicago witnessed 806 murders and 4,379 shootings. Most of the murder victims are black. Adding to the tragedy is the fact that Chicago has a 12.7 percent murder clearance rate. That means that when a black person is murdered, his perpetrator is found and charged with his murder less than 13 percent of the time. THAT is an injustice for all people.
The 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report, a compilation of annual crime statistics, shows: 83 percent of white victims were killed by white offenders; 90 percent of black victims were killed by black offenders; 14 percent of white victims were killed by black offenders; and 7.6 percent of black victims were killed by white offenders. BUT WAIT, 90 percent of black victims were killed by black offenders and statistically, black offenders killed more white victims than white offenders killing black victims. Why is this injustice not part of the debate? But there is more data left out of the debate. 2010 Bureau of Justice Statistics report concluded that 93 percent of black homicide victims from 1980 through 2008 were killed by black offenders and the black offending rate (34.4 per 100,000) was almost eight times higher than whites (4.5 per 100,000). It can be argued that those numbers are outdated but according to 2017 numbers 169 people shot and killed by police were black (22%) 337 people shot and killed by police were white (44%). The most updated census estimated data calculating the population of African Americans reported a population of 42,975,959 (total population multiplied by 13.3%). That means, in 2017, African Americans had a 0.0004% chance of being shot by police. To put those odds in perspective, the chances of getting into a car wreck is 1 in 20 (National Center for Health and Statistics). That means, African Americans have the same chances of getting into 2,000 car wrecks as getting shot by police. What are the odds of getting into at least 1,000 car wrecks? This does NOT even take into account the data on African American abortion rates.
The CDC reports that African Americans make up 35% of abortions in 2016. And these are only the reported cases. Not all states or clinics are required to report their data. 1.3% of these abortions were of potentially viable babies after 20 weeks. Since 1973, there have been an estimated 17,950,566 abortions by African Americans. That comes out to 417,455 a year (total divided by 43 years). Given that the African American population is estimated to be around 42,975,959, then include the estimated aborted persons annually, we can conclude that a chance of being aborted as an African American is 0.009%. This number is even higher considering not all cases are reported.
African Americans have a 22.5 times higher chance of being killed by abortion than by police. Yet, still, have a higher risk of being killed by other African Americans than by police. Why are these injustices not part of the framed debate? That’s the point. The debate is framed. Framed in such a way to make people blame others and feel victimized.
Would It Matter?
Even if those statistics were part of the debate, would it matter? The framed debate does NOT still include the issue of the heart of humanity. The solutions debated, even if including those numbers, still would not include the heart changing message of the gospel. Other worldly solutions would be sought.
No getting around it
Those who selectively project news and frame in ways to get the culture to think and feel the way they want it to; also, have a HEART issue. Those who cherry pick the news within the framed information have a heart issue. Those who create the systems and perpetuate the injustice within it, have a heart issue. Those who advocate for justice based on the selective reported news, have a heart issue. WE ALL DO. We can not escape the problem of the heart through seeking worldly social just laws. Just as works do not cause salvation; laws do not cause morality.
THE only REAL lasting solution to the injustices (and there are injustices in the system no doubt) that minorities face is through proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only JESUS can HEAL. Only GOD is the perfect judge and jury. Isaiah 1:17 tells us to SEEK JUSTICE. BUT we aren’t seeking true justice when we exclude/avoid Jesus from the debate. When we constantly point fingers at police or other races as the cause for the injustices while ignoring greater factors we fail to honestly seek divine justice. When we perpetuate the worldly framed debate we are guilty of perpetuating the framed debate that excludes God’s justice and Jesus’ healing. We are guilty of dividing the church and making others feel excluded as we allow others segregate themselves. No matter the worldly solutions, unity and truth is NOT proclaimed. That needs to change for there to be any REAL change.
Abortion and Black on Black crime needs to be INCLUDED in the debate ALONG WITH police brutality and systemic injustice. AND the gospel NEEDS to be proclaimed. The heart of God needs to be sought. The focus in the community needs to be on Christ Jesus and not whose to blame. EVERYONE is to blame because EVERYONE is sinful. The local communities need to hold accountable those who justify committing sinful acts. Repentance needs to be sought and the grace of God needs to shine. Without this, the church fails in glorifying God and sinks deeper into thinking and living like the world. This is evident in the discussions and stats. Because currently, the seed that fell is being choked by the framed debate of the world. The church is irrelevant in the debate and fruitless. That needs to change first!
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