Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ferguson Burns Following Grand Jury Verdict


But what do these riots prove...
and what do they accomplish 
for the people of Ferguson, MO???

By Pamela Rae Schuffert presenting investigative journalism from a Biblical Christian perspective-

FIRST OF ALL, let me say that I am deeply saddened by the death of Michael Brown. I mourn with his family that this young man,  a beloved son and undoubtedly a friend of many in Ferguson, was shot and killed in his altercation with the police officer. I am praying for his family members and parents at this time. The death of anyone under such circumstances is a tragedy, regardless of who is to ultimately blame.

However, the following article strives to make the point that tragedies can come to all of us in this world. And it is HOW we handle that tragedy that determines the final outcome. The Bible makes it clear that when we follow tried and true Biblical principles laid out in the word of God, God then comes to our aid and He is able to bring us victory in all of life's tragic circumstances.
-Pamela Rae Schuffert-
All across America, millions have been watching their televisions or live streaming on the Internet, as they follow the unfolding events hour by hour following the grand jury's announcing their verdict Monday night regarding the Michael Brown shooting by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

And as many anticipated, riots broke out in Ferguson and throughout the surrounding areas when some of the people of Ferguson were not satisfied with the verdict announced by the grand jury. 

Personally, I stayed up past 2:00 AM, so I could watch live streaming of unfolding events in Ferguson, and pray for peace, non-violence and the protection of the innocent as arson and looting continued throughout the long night.

As I watched, I personally noted that many businesses were looted or set on fire. 

Local business owners lost millions of dollars worth of destroyed items and property last night. One police officer in the St. Louis area was reportedly shot. Fire men's lives were jeopardized by the vandalism and fires that erupted as they struggled to put them out throughout the night. One car dealership was struck  by arson and many vehicles on the lot were destroyed.

Excuse me, but I have some comments to make about all this, all from a Biblical perspective. Which means they are not based solely upon my personal opinion, but rather on the eternal Word of God. 

The Word of God and His commandments are colorblind. He does not care about what neighborhood a person lives in or the color of their skin. His commandments are for all to obey, regardless of color or ethnic background.

Let me begin by stating that I have had many unhappy events occur in my life. There was even one time when I had my home, possessions and vehicle stolen right out from under me by other people. 

This resulted in my being homeless for the past 13 years, unable to afford to replace that which was stolen from me. I suffered greatly throughout those years as a result, even having to live out of my car much of that time.

Let me state bluntly that one does not have to be black to suffer persecution and discrimination! I am as white as they come, but I have suffered both from my early youth, because of my uncompromised stand for Jesus Christ, beginning in my own home. 

I have suffered the loss of more than one job, because of discrimination against Christianity in the work place.

I have been unfairly prosecuted during my years of protests to save the unborn from abortion. I was sentenced to prison for one act of peaceful, non-violent pro-life protest to save the unborn from murder.There have been many times when I have been unjustly treated for my religious beliefs. 
Prayer and praise to a mighty God works every time

But regardless of these offenses and injustices committed against me, I always had the common sense to respond in a Biblical and Christian manner that glorified God and accomplished my desired goals in a righteous manner.

Sure, I have been angry when people did terrible things to me. But the Bible says, be angry, but do not sin. Instead, the Bible admonishes us to commit your crisis into the hands of a just God Who cares, and the situation will be resolved in a manner that glorifies God and harms no one.

I have experienced more than one death attempt on my life due to my reporting and Christian witness, including one attack resulting in personal property damage as well. I even discovered the name of this person behind this attack.

But what was my response? One of hatred, anger, retaliation, even striking out at others totally uninvolved just to vent my frustrations, as was recently witnessed in Ferguson last night?

No. Of course not. Why? Because Jesus does not teach us to do this. I follow Jesus Christ and His teachings, and I can tell you that His ways work.

Instead, I have prayed for the people who offended me and who stole from me. Including for those who were stalking me to abduct me and kill me at one time. 

I prayed for them by name, I asked God to forgive them and save them, and I committed my situation into the hands of Almighty God, mighty to save. 

And behold, I am alive and well to this very day, and my life is exceedingly blessed as a result. Following the teachings and example of Jesus Christ really works, friends. And it will bring you through every crisis you are experiencing in your life, safely and effectively.

The Bible is clear in it's teachings about how to respond when going through a crisis wherein you have suffered mistreatment or offense. My first response is always to PRAY about the offense I have suffered. I have learned to turn over everything to God and His mercy and justice as I place my crisis and hurt into the hands of Almighty God.

Obedience to God always brings forth good and lasting results

If we feel offended, Jesus calls us to FORGIVE others, to TURN the other cheek, and to PRAY for those whom we feel have offended us. 

How many times I have chosen to do this, when offended throughout my life.  I have been persecuted for my Christian walk numerous times throughout my life. It has resulted in loss of jobs. It has cost me friends. Persecution has almost cost my very life more than once. Yet I knew that the only scriptural response acceptable in the sight of Almighty God, was to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

When we obey God and place a situation into His hands, we are then laying the groundwork for everything to be resolved completely, justly and fairly. God is just. God is righteous. He is able to bring forth a right resolution to every crisis we experience in life, including injustices. He is not called "Almighty God" for nothing!

When we choose however to BREAK His commandments in response to injustices done to us, we negate what God can do in our circumstances by our sins. The word of God is very clear about stealing, about harming others or their possessions, etc.

There was nothing Biblical about the responses of those who disagreed with the grand jury verdict announced last night in Ferguson, Missouri, and who then resorted to threats, violence, rioting, looting, arson and endangering the lives of other people.

The Bible is clear about stealing being a sin in the sight of God. The Bible is clear about how we should treat our fellow man, as we would have others treat us. The Bible is clear about teachings against violence and harming our fellow man.

How can people expect to have the favor of God and His help on their side, when they choose to NOT trust in Him at such a time, and instead BREAK His commandments?

Sin only incurs the wrath and judgment of God, and does nothing to help our circumstances.

Furthermore, how does this kind of behavior glorify God? What kind of image did these people convey to the rest of America? One is reminded of the actions of a child who, when failing to get his way, then  resorts to destructive temper tantrums to express his dissatisfaction over it.

No good was accomplished by the destructive fires, the looting of local businesses, the endangerment of innocent lives, the police officer shot, the innocent man carjacked and then run over, and more. 

Furthermore, the people of Ferguson involved in this destructive behavior have succeeded in destroying their own neighborhoods! This is something that no one of the opposite race even attempted to do to them last night. 

How does any of this help their community to recover from the Michael Brown shooting??? Does it bring him back from the dead? How many jobs has this destructive behavior cost the people of Ferguson now? Is this not counter-productive behavior for the people of this area?

Such destructive and illegal actions did not merit the support nor favor of Almighty God. Such behavior does not glorify God. Such actions do not demonstrate a willingness to trust in God at such a time as this, nor indicate that people put this situation into His hands for righteous resolution if they feel they have been wronged.

However, violent and illegal actions did great harm to the public image and perception of the people behind the rioting and looting in Ferguson and beyond last night. Truthfully, such actions only reinforced the negative stereotypes held by many across America. How could they possibly have any other impact upon the minds of viewers who followed the events with live streaming?

Innocent people were harmed and endangered last night. Some residents awoke to find they had no jobs awaiting them today, because the business where they worked in were looted or burned to the ground. None of these people whose businesses were victimized were involved in the Michael Brown shooting case, nor did they deserve what just happened to them.

But this is what happens whenever people fail to obey the word of God, and fail to commit their crisis into the hands of Almighty God. This is what happens when people choose to turn to sinful actions to show their displeasure in any situation.

No good thing can ever come from breaking the eternal commandments of God. Good and lasting results can never result from hurting innocent people, nor acting in destructive ways.

I have been reading many comments posted across the Internet, as Americans watching all this and post their response to the rioting and illegal behavior in Ferguson.

It became clear to me from reading these, that this kind of illegal and immoral behavior has impressed no one. It has moved few to sympathise with violent protesters. In fact, it has angered many, and disillusioned others as well.

Judging from comments read, what such reckless and dangerous behavior has done is to reinforce the negative stereotypes held by some people, and to only confirm what others have already assumed was true about some of the people of Ferguson. 

When our actions and behavior do not line up in accordance with the Word of God, no good or lasting fruits will ever come forth as a result, and we find that we lose the favor of both God and man  whenever we sin against God and hurt others to accomplish our goals.

Such people then become criminals. They become lawbreakers and sinners in the sight of Almighty God. Such people cannot expect the favor of God when behaving contrary to the commandments of God.

How much better it would have been if residents of Ferguson held held prayer meetings in their homes or churches last night, and to encourage people to not react in sinful violence and hate, but to rather to trust in God and to respond in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ. (And I am certain that some people did, but obviously not enough responded in this manner.)

What kind of outcome COULD there have been, that would have helped their cause, IF people throughout Ferguson chose to react in obedience to the word of God, with prayer and resolutions to commit this situation into God's hands and to trust Him for proper resolution should the verdict rendered somehow be found to be unjust?

Had the responses of the people of Ferguson been based upon Biblical teachings, I can promise you that not one business would have been burned to the ground, not one act of violence or looting could have occurred, and not one life would have been negatively impacted last night.

There are many churches in Ferguson, and many people attend them every Sunday there. Personally, I wonder how many people attended church Sunday,  BUT the next day participated in stealing and destructive acts of violence, contrary to the word of God? 

Frankly, religious hypocrisy never accomplishes  anything, nor does it merit favor with God Himself. In fact, breaking the commandments of God can only result in the judgment of God, and never His blessing. How counterproductive sin always is, and self-defeating as well.

I am continuing to pray over this situation unfolding in Ferguson and affected areas, for protection of the innocent and that the violence and unscriptural behavior cease. I encourage my readers to pray as well for a peaceful and Biblical resolution to this situation. 

God bless the genuine Christians of Ferguson, who chose to respond in Biblical manner and with prayer and non-violence, and who trust God for divine intervention in this situation.

May the people of Ferguson choose to walk the productive and healing ways of God's eternal word, and not resort to the sinful ways of men, as they seek practical solutions to the unfolding situation in Ferguson, Missouri.

-Pamela Rae Schuffert-

1 comment:

  1. If I can say just one thing, the Grand Jury situation is over and done. People need to accept that fact and move on. At the very least, have a good cry about the verdict if it didn't go the way you wanted it to go. The same can be said for any sports result that didn't go your way. There is always next season or the next game.