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be quick to listen, slow to speak...

Pastor Doug Wilson & Pastor Brandon Penn BETHANY A PLACE OF NEW BEGINNINGS
July 10, 2016

How to Respond in our American Crisis


...if my people, who are called by my name,

will humble themselves and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
JAMES 2:17 (TLB)

So you see, it isnt enough just to have faith.

You must also do good to prove that you have it. Faith that doesnt
show itself by good works is no faith at all it is dead and useless.

I looked again. I saw a huge crowd, too huge to count.

EVERYONE was there all nations and tribes, all races and languages.
And they were standing, dressed in white robes & waving palm branches,
standing before the Throne and the Lamb and heartily singing:
ROMANS 12:15 (ESV)

Rejoice with those who rejoice,

weep with those who weep.
JAMES 1:19 (NIV)

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:

EVERYONE should be quick to listen,
slow to speak
and slow to become angry.
MICAH 6:8 (NIV & para)

He has shown you, men & women, what is good.

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly
and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.


1. Jesus doesnt want



to distract us from our







In the fall of 2014, when the grand jury decision about the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer was
announced in Ferguson, Missouri, Benjamin Watson had just finished playing a game on Monday Night Football.
He watched the riots on the news and processed what he was feeling. When he posted his thoughts on Facebook,
he had no idea it would lead to calls from CNN, Fox News, and other media outlets. Eventually, his Facebook post
was liked almost 900,000 times and shared by over 400,000 people. His first book was published in 2015, Under
Our Skin: Getting Real About Race And Getting Free From The Fears and Frustrations That Divide Us.

JOHN 17:20b-26 (NIV)


I pray also for those who will believe in me through their

message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are
in me and I am in you. May they also be in us SO THAT THE WORLD
MAY BELIEVE that you have sent me.
I have given them the glory
that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one 23 I in
them and you in me so that they may be brought to complete
unity. THEN THE WORLD WILL KNOW that you sent me and have loved
them even as you have loved me.
Righteous Father, though THE WORLD DOES NOT KNOW YOU, I know
you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you
known to them, and will continue to make you known in order
that the LOVE you have for me may be in them and that I myself
may be in them.


IM SAD because another young life was lost from his family; the racial divide has widened; a
community is in shambles; accusations, insensitivity, hurt, and hatred are boiling over, and
we may never know the truth about what happened that day.



IM SYMPATHETIC because I wasnt there so I dont know exactly what happened. Maybe
Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael
Brown in self-defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible
thing to endure. Or maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to
his eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.
IM OFFENDED because of the insulting comments Ive seen that are not only insensitive but
dismissive to the painful experiences of others.

a. God wants our Love to

He says, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to

become angry! Weep with those who weep! Empathize/
Jesus was moved with compassion! Humble yourselves!
Repent (turn from your wicked ways)! Pray!
b. God wants our Love to

He says, I have a job for you! Act justly! Love mercy!

c. God wants our Love to

IM FRUSTRATED because pop culture, music, and movies glorify these types of policecitizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed
in real life, away from the safety of movie sets and music studios.

IM EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and
in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.

And God intends that mission to

IM ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem
to be continuing before our very eyes.

IM FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although Im a law-abiding citizen
I could still be looked upon as a threat to those who dont know me. So I will continue to
have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.


2. And what is our Mission? Bethany exists to

At some point while I was playing or preparing to play on Monday Night Football, the news
broke about the Ferguson decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it
down. Here are my thoughts:

He says. GO! I am sending YOU!

IM CONFUSED because I dont know why its so hard to obey a policeman. You will not
win!!! And I dont know why some policemen abuse their power. Power is a responsibility,
not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.
IM INTROSPECTIVE because sometimes I want to take our side without looking at the facts
in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like its us against them. Sometimes Im just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And thats not right. How can I look at white skin and make
assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? Thats not right.
IM HOPELESS because Ive lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. Im not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of
being a minority and all that it entails.
IM HOPEFUL because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a
much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal
relationships with teammates, friends, and mentors. And its a beautiful thing.
IM ENCOURAGED because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem.
SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the
reason we are racist, prejudiced, and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot,
and burn. BUT IM ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through his
son, Jesus, and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One thats capable of looking past the
outward and seeing whats truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael
Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. Its
the gospel. So, finally, IM ENCOURAGED because the gospel gives mankind hope.