Sharing in the sadness. Needing a solution.

by Mike Norton

As a Christian leader for over 30 years I want to take a minute to say things that should “go without saying.” 

There are some moral and spiritual truths that are so fundamental to Christian teaching that they are inseparable.  Things such as taking of innocent human life, minimizing the human person, enslaving or controlling the human being, trampling or abusing the human spirit… When these occur - it is an act of evil in rebellion to God and His love toward every person.

Today we share in our nation’s sadness at the violent act which cost the life George Floyd.  We grieve for his family, and friends, and community -  and their loss. And this grief is compounded by the death of Ahmaud Arbery only shortly ago.

I can understand the frustration of people who feel powerless who want and insist on a solution.  People want the church to speak out, to rally together for just laws and to enforce a social contract of equality, and safety and freedom.   Of course we want that too – it is fundamental to what we believe about the dignity of every human being.  

Here is what I have found:  Even good laws will not govern bad people.  Even a society where we are enlightened to value every human - cannot eclipse the darkness of the unredeemed human heart. No amount of bullying, blogs, judging, or education can transform a person.

No, I do not believe that laws and social contracts are the answer. But there is an answer.

And the Church, at its best, has never stopped propagating the only answer that has or ever will work:  It is the manifestation of the Love of God, the Grace of Christ Jesus, and the Presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of every man and woman. Forgiveness, redemption, regeneration can make any racist, pornographer, abortionist, murderer, false teacher, idolater – into a new and holy person.

The mission of the United Methodist church,  which I fully embrace,  is this: “We are making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”   It is an incremental, individual , bottom up solution that can actually  transform our society and whole world.   I invite you to put your whole trust in Jesus for your salvation, commit to follow and obey Him as your Lord, and welcome the Holy Spirit to lead and power you to a new life of holiness and peace.   I say join me in bringing the hope of the world to our nation’s people.  It is Jesus. 

Mike Norton

Lead Pastor, Friendship Church