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Race Riots in Ferguson

Race Riots in Ferguson

Protesters hold up signs at the Justice for Michael Brown National Moment of Silence Anti-Police Brutality Rally in Washington, DC, on Aug. 14, 2014.

Racial tensions have once again arisen in America, this time in Ferguson, Missouri. How will these tensions finally be solved?

Ferguson, Missouri, a city that is a short distance northwest of St. Louis, is in the center of American news because of violent clashes between citizens and police. These riots were sparked by the death of an African-American teenager, Michael Brown, who was killed by police on Saturday, Aug. 9.

What does the Bible say?

Ferguson is just one of many places in the United States where racial tensions have erupted over the years. And this is not just a problem in the United States, but around the world.

How could such racial tensions be prevented and resolved? The Bible teaches that all men should live according to God’s standards. We should:

  • Not show partiality in how we treat others (Romans 2:11; James 2:1). This includes any form of racism or uneven treatment of any person based on his or her race or ethnicity.
  • Respect civil authority (Romans 13:1-7).
  • Realize that escalating violence is not the solution to problems or injustices (Romans 12:21; Romans 12:18).
  • Strive to live peaceably with others (Genesis 6:11). The Bible teaches that violence destroys any society (Ezekiel 7:23; 8:17; Revelation 19:19).

The more human beings practice these basic principles, the better lives and societies we will have.

The roots of racial problems

Though America has made great progress in racial equality since the Civil Rights era, it is undeniable that racial issues constantly lie under the surface of American society. And America is not alone in facing these issues. Human beings are divided and commit acts of violence against each other all over the world along racial, ethnic and religious lines. It is a common scourge of the human experience that has resulted in countless wars, genocides and violent acts throughout the centuries.

One need look no farther than tribal conflicts in Africa, the tension between Ukraine and Russia, the animosity in the Muslim world between Sunnis and Shiites and the perpetual conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

All of these seemingly complicated and insolvable conflicts are really quite simple when they are analyzed and narrowed down to the basic issue at their core: human beings hating other human beings because of who they are. It could be who they are racially, ethnically, nationally or religiously—but the core problem is the same: hatred.

This was not how the Creator of all people intended the world to work. The Bible declares that God “made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (Acts 17:26). God did create differences between people—but that was because He is a God who loves variety. Those differences were never meant to cause hatred and war.

The solution to the problem

Thankfully, the true gospel of the Kingdom of God reveals that there is a solution coming to the racial and ethnic problems that exist in our world today. That is the gospel that Life, Hope & Truth is dedicated to proclaiming. The news headlines of this past year have driven us to a deeper dedication and energy in proclaiming the gospel message to all who will listen.

The gospel message is that Jesus Christ will return to earth and end human misrule all around the world (Isaiah 2:3). He will establish a kingdom that will govern the entire earth based on His perfect leadership and law (66:23; Romans 13:8-10). That law is based on the basic principle of love—outgoing concern toward others (Isaiah 19:23)—regardless of race or ethnicity.

Notice this exciting prophecy: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4). This prophecy will be fulfilled on the macro and micro levels! Nations, ethnic groups and races will not commit violence against each other because the world will learn and live by God’s law of love. Nations that formerly warred against each other will learn to live in peace and work together harmoniously ({verse_14}).

We hope and pray for peace in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri—but our ultimate hope is in the real peace that will come at the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth!

To learn more about the Kingdom of God, download our free booklet The Mystery of the Kingdom. To learn more about the biblical perspective on race relationships, read:

Photo by Elvert Barnes/CC BY-SA 2.0

About the Author

Erik Jones

Erik Jones

Erik Jones is a full-time writer and editor at the Life, Hope & Truth offices in McKinney, Texas.

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