Sermons

Summary: What is the core issue behind the unrest in the United States and around the world? How should we as Christians respond?

Jonathan Newlon

Uniontown Church of Christ

25 June 2020

Reacting to our Modern Crisis: Hearts Without God

Introduction

When you turn on the news right now, what do you see? The major story blowing up all over the nation deals with racism, hate, corruption, violence, and protests. We see emotions running wild on both sides of the issue at hand. It’s easy for us as Americans to be caught up in all the emotion and to pick sides. However, as Christians, we must react differently. We have a higher authority to which we must answer, and that must be our default.

This morning I want to talk about the issues going on in our nation. I want to talk about exactly what it is we are seeing in our country. We will discuss exactly why it’s happening. We can narrow it all down to one core issue. Finally, we will discuss how we, as Christians, must react. Let’s get into it.

I. What are we seeing?

Right now, we are seeing our great country in a total state of unrest. It’s almost as if two sides are forming and conflicting in every state, county, and city in the nation. We see two extremes and sometimes it’s hard to take a step back from emotion and try to figure out exactly what’s going on. We see news coverage from both the left and the right in America, each side putting their own twist on the events in our nation. The truth can be very hard to decipher, and thus, many are left confused as to exactly what is happening and what the truth is.

On one hand, we do see a legitimate concern. There has been an undeniable history in this country of people of color being oppressed. We, as a nation, have come a long way in treating people equally regardless of the color of their skin. That being said, we would be fooling ourselves to pretend as if racism doesn’t still rear its ugly head. What happened to George Floyd is a travesty and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Most police officers are good people and wonderful officers. No one should be afraid when having interactions with the police, but unfortunately, some still are. What happened to George Floyd just feeds the fire of fear.

While there is legitimate concern from many about racism in our country, we can also see that it is being taken advantage of. There are many who are taking advantage of the cause of racism and using it as an excuse to loot and riot. They commit unlawful acts by breaking into buildings and stealing. They cause chaos by burning whole sections of cities to the ground. They commit violent acts against innocent police officers and other innocent civilians.

I saw a news story of an innocent black man who lives in a major city. He saved his money all his life because he had a dream of opening his own store. A few short months ago, he finally realized his dream. He had saved enough money through years of hard work and finally opened his own store as he always wanted to do. This past month in a riot, his store was broken into, looted, and burned to the ground. The man lost everything he had worked for. The rioters weren’t targeting racists. They weren’t targeting systematic corruption. They only wanted to steal and cause chaos because it benefited them personally. Their selfishness and greed caused this innocent man everything he had worked for.

Because of actions like this, unfortunately we also see extreme reactions on the other side of the issue. Many folks simply look at the actions of the rioters and looters and completely condemn the whole movement. They ignore the legitimate concerns of racism and corruption and throw the peaceful protestors in the same boat as the rioters and looters. This is wrong as well. We can’t pretend an issue doesn’t exist because of a few bad apples in the bunch. People on both sides of this issue are failing to listen to reason and logic, and instead are only acting based on emotion. When that happens, it’s no wonder that such conflict occurs and such animosity exists in America today.

II. Why is this happening?

The big question to ask right now is this: Why is all of this happening? Why are we seeing racism in our country like in the case of the officer killing George Floyd? Why are we seeing people rioting and causing chaos? Why are we in conflict with each other in a country that is supposed to stand for equality for every man? The answer is not what most people think.

You see, to answer any problem like this we have to find the core issue. Right now, we are only seeing side effects of the core issue. The core issue isn’t racism. The core issue isn’t systematic corruption. The core issue isn’t people taking advantage of the situation to satisfy their own greed. The core issue isn’t rioting and looting. Let’s look to the book of Romans chapter 1 to find the core issue at hand.

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