While protestors marched peacefully last night in downtown Dallas against the fatal police shootings in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights, Minnesota, a sniper ambushed unsuspecting Dallas police officers, killing five and injuring seven. Two civilians were also injured in the attack which sent hundreds of people fleeing for cover. One of the officers, Brent Thompson, 43, had recently gotten married.
Last night’s shooting marks the deadliest attack on law enforcement since September 11, 2001.
According to Dallas Police Chief, David O. Brown, “The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter, and was upset about the recent police shootings … He said he was upset at white people and that he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.” He went on to say, “There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is this must stop. This divisiveness between our police and our citizens.” 1
The senseless shootings of innocent people prove nothing, change nothing and hurt everyone. Violence is not the answer.
We live in a country where we are guaranteed freedom of speech and the freedom of peaceful assembly. We do not have the freedom to take another person’s life.
Demanding justice is our right, responsibility and duty. Taking revenge is not.
A number of our Crossroads’ family were directly involved in what happened last night in Dallas. Some are still there. Our prayers are with all of them and their families.
So what is the answer to what happened this week in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, Minnesota and last night in Dallas? The Bible says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). That’s not the easy choice. But it is the right one. The easy thing is to post angry rants on social media or argue with people you don’t even know, trying to prove a point. But really, what’s the point?
The answer to what happened this week and last night is a personal relationship with JESUS. Only a changed heart will lead to a changed life, a changed community and a changed world (John 14:6; John 8:36; Acts 4:12). We don’t need to be violent or encourage, even in the least, those who are. Instead, we need to be vigilant, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone we can. We need to be purposeful and peaceful, pointing people to Him.
God has blessed us with a very diverse church family here at Crossroads. And while we may not look the same, act the same, or be the same in a multitude of ways, one thing is certain: We are ONE. We are ONE family. We are ONE in Christ, and we are ONE in our determination that evil will not triumph, but God’s purposes will prevail.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Let’s show the people of Dallas, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, Minnesota and the whole world we are the sons and daughters of God.
Jesus also said ALL LIVES MATTER! In fact, He put it this way: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Let’s take this tragedy and make it an opportunity to tell the world that message!
© 2016. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.