Tag Archives: Black Lives Matter

All Lives Matter. Period. Including Police.

A Re-Post

The following is a re-post of something I wrote not long ago. The reason for re-posting it should be obvious – multiple Dallas, Texas police officers shot and killed tonight (July 7th, 2016) at a Black Lives Matter demonstration.

From NBCnews.com. Dallas Police swarm city looking for snipers.

More deaths of blacks have happened at the hands of police in the last day or two, and that is horrible. It’s horrible on several levels, not just that cops killed blacks, but that people, whatever the color, were killed. It’s horrible because even if the police did something wrong, activist groups are rising up and calling for civil chaos and blaming ALL police for atrocities. It’s horrible because we don’t know the whole story behind any of these deaths, because even when information is available, the hate in the black community has already assumed to be judge, jury, and now…from roof tops in Dallas…some have become executioner.

Folks, hate the police all you want, but try to go a week without any on the streets and see what happens. Go to the places where cops fear to tread and look at the quality of life. BLUE LIVES MATTER, too!

Because ALL LIVES MATTER!

So, here’s my previous post, and it’s never been more timely. You might also like to go to the sermon archives page and listen to a message I preached back in September of 2015. The idea there was that all lives matter, and the proof is John 3:16.


A Prayer

Lord, please help me. Help me, dear God, to say, or rather write, something profitable, something worth reading on this most difficult topic of race.

I need wisdom. I need guidance. May my words contribute to healing, not hate.

My Thoughts

I have not been writing as much as I would like, but I felt it necessary to take a few moments to address the whole idea around the rallying cry of “Black Lives Matter.”

Folks, being that I am not black, brown, or transgender (somehow gender has been added to the mix – just check out the website), I admit there are things I don’t understand. But there is one thing I do understand, and my race has nothing to do with this truth: ALL lives matter, not just ones with a particular color or sexual preference.

Let me reiterate. ALL LIVES MATTER.

Yes, I said it, and I will not back down. Why? Because to do so would be un-biblical and un-Christlike. Regardless how one might want to politicize the issue, as a follower of Jesus, as one who believes God made all mankind in His image, I must stand firmly on Truth, not catchphrases.

Racism is wrong. Bigotry is wrong. And taking a statement that excludes the inherent value of all human life as your mantra is also wrong.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and I would not have agreed on several things, particularly in areas of theology and what is called the “social gospel.” Nevertheless, I believe Dr. King and I would have seen eye-to-eye regarding the “Black Lives Matter” thing. He would have said, “NO! NO! NO!” to all the violence and hatred. I believe he would be heartbroken at all the calls for unrest. He would certainly be ashamed of those who have used race as a tool for their own gain. Was it not Dr. King who envisioned a “color-blind” society?

If a person can’t say that “all lives matter” in public without being condemned, without being forced to apologize, then what does that say about the lives of others? What about my family? What about the Asian family down the road? Or the Indian woman that walks down the street with her husband and son? What about the Native American?

I guess one could argue the phrase is only meant to bring attention to the plight of the black community in America. One could also argue that by saying “all lives matter” one is, in a way, saying racism in America doesn’t exist. Possibly. But that’s a matter of opinion.

The truth is that black lives do matter, but so do white lives, brown lives, yellow lives, and red lives; “red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.” The proof was when Jesus offered Himself as a ransom so that every tribe and nation could be reconciled with God.

All lives matter. Period.

 

 

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Chaplain Baker Writes

Supporting Police

There has been so much hate and violence directed toward our police these days. So much so that recently I felt compelled to do more than just talk about it – I joined up.

No, I am not a policeman, per se, but I have become a police chaplain. Sitting idly by while people condemned the men and women I know who are honorable, self-sacrificing, and brave was no longer an option. More had to be done besides posting memes on Facebook.

One of the things I am expected to do as a chaplain is write for the Roll Call, a newsletter published by our Sheriff’s Office. I was featured in this month’s edition in what is called the Chaplain’s Corner. The text of the article is below, but you can view the original newsletter by clicking HERE or on the picture.

Roll Call snip

On the Verge?

Have you come to the point where you want to give up? Seriously, where are you in your career, your marriage, your friendships, even your faith? Are you tired? Exhausted with all the blood, sweat and tears? Admit it, guys, if life doesn’t wear you down to the point of exhaustion, trying to help those who don’t want to be helped will. There are times when, after all you’ve done, you wonder, “Is it really worth it?”

Yes! Yes it is!

Over nearly 30 years of ministry, and in the last few years, especially, there have been numerous times when I’ve done all I could do to help someone, only to get burned and burnt out. And what’s worse, even when I did everything right, I was the one who got hurt. Believe me, I get where you’re coming from. But so did the Apostle Paul.

Speaking to folks in a place called Galatia (Galatians 6:1- 10), Paul encouraged helping those who’d gotten into trouble. He said they should “do good unto all men…bear one another’s burdens,” etc. But he also said, “Let us not grow weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).

Faint? Did he say faint? Officers of the law certainly do “good,” that’s for sure. They help others, bear burdens, and carry more than their own share of the load. But police officers never faint! Or do they?

The Greek word translated as faint in the Authorized Version of Galatians 6:9 is actually a word which has the idea of being totally spent and wasted away. It’s sort of like if all your strength and emotions were held inside of you, but then “loosed,” like out of jail. Gone…done…spent.

So, yes, there will come a time, when in the process of just doing our jobs, we will feel like quitting, like throwing in the towel just before the buzzer. We will find ourselves with little or no emotional reserve, ready to “faint.” But THAT is the time we should NOT give up! That is the time to lean on others and press on!

Remember, in “due season” we will reap what we sow, so keep plowing ahead; harvest will come.  

– Chaplain Anthony Baker

Do Something

So, what can you do? If you are a pastor, why not consider becoming a police chaplain? There’s always a need.

But if all you can do is write, talk to others, or simply pray…do something! There are bad apples in every bunch, but those who “serve and protect” need to be served and protected, too.

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ALL Lives Matter (the sermon)

This past Sunday morning I preached a sermon. The title of the message was “All Lives Matter,” and it was based on a story found in Acts 8, the one about the Ethiopian eunuch (probably the first gender-neutral Christian, incidentally).

I don’t claim to be the best preacher in the world. As a matter of fact, I was sick this last weekend, so my voice and my energy level left much to be desired. However, people were surely praying for me, for I had all the energy I needed for the moment, then collapsed in exhaustion 5 minutes after the sermon was over. A few people even came up to me and thanked me for what I preached.

Would you take a listen? (That’s Southern for: Please, would you listen?) There’s a lot of stuff still being said about whose lives matter, but if the truth be known – as I hope this message will lovingly explain – all lives matter, and John 3:16 proves it.

Just click on the picture or the link to listen. http://riversidesermons.sermon.net/main/main/20490920

photo (64)

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Lives Matter, No Qualifiers Needed

Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth, 47 (roughly the same age as me), was executed the other day. All Deputy Goforth was doing was pumping gas when he was shot in the back of the head, then filled with 14 more .40 cal. holes.

deputy goforthHe didn’t deserve to be murdered. No one does.

His life mattered as much as anyone else’s, no matter what the color of his skin.

Yet, in St. Paul, Minnesota, “black lives matter” protesters felt it appropriate to march through the streets yelling out, “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon!

Folks, I agree with Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman who said:

“This rhetoric has gotten out of control. We’ve heard ‘black lives matter,’ ‘all lives matter.’ Well cops’ lives matter too.”

And I also think we should wholeheartedly go along with Sheriff Hickman’s suggestion:

“Why don’t we just drop the qualifier and say ‘lives matter.’ Take that to the bank.”

Those who can walk through the streets and claim one kind of life matters, while at the same time, with mocking vulgarity, call for the murder of the very ones who seek to serve and protect them, have not only lost the argument, but any amount of sympathy from me.

To add further insult to injury, the very ones marching and calling for the killing of police were being escorted through the streets and protected by… you guessed it… POLICE!

Look, I am sorry that this is not a post full of biblical insight or humor. I am sorry that it has nothing to do with legalism or religion. I am sorry it is not uplifting or encouraging. Maybe next time.

But here I am, prayerfully considering joining our county police department in order to voluntarily serve as a police chaplain. I am considering putting my life at risk, to become a target, all in order to help encourage those men and women who risk their lives every day for you and me. Even though that badge is not yet on my chest, those protesters are talking about ME!

And you wonder why I am taking this a little more personally?

Do I want to see my wife become a widow? Do I want my girls to lose a father to an idiot who thinks all cops are responsible for some city’s racial woes? No, I want to LIVE as long as I can, because MY LIFE MATTERS, TOO!

But here’s the thing… I’m willing to put my life on the line…to step up to the plate…to stand in the gap… so that some other policeman can go home to his family unhurt, sane, still married, and reassured he’s doing the right thing.

And every man or woman who puts on that uniform and badge each day will keep doing it, despite the threats from the protesters in the street… because of honor, commitment, courage, duty, service, and love for their fellow man.

Should I be able to serve with them in any capacity, it will be an honor…

because their lives – like all of our lives – matter. No qualifiers.

My heartfelt condolences go out to the Goforth family. My the God of all comfort give you peace and wrap His arms around you.

UPDATE: As I was about to publish this post (Tuesday, 9/01/2015), a news alert came across my phone: Another policeman was shot in Chicago. Our nation is gradually sinking into anarchy while our president plays golf, our pulpits preach tolerance, and our people praise Miley Cyrus. God help us.

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All Lives Matter. Period.

A Prayer

Lord, please help me. Help me, dear God, to say, or rather write, something profitable, something worth reading on this most difficult topic of race.

I need wisdom. I need guidance. May my words contribute to healing, not hate.

 

My Thoughts

I have not been writing as much as I would like, but I felt it necessary to take a few moments to address the whole idea around the rallying cry of “Black Lives Matter.”

Folks, being that I am not black, brown, or transgender (somehow gender has been added to the mix – just check out the website), I admit there are things I don’t understand. But there is one thing I do understand, and my race has nothing to do with this truth: ALL lives matter, not just ones with a particular color or sexual preference.

Let me reiterate. ALL LIVES MATTER.

Yes, I said it, and I will not back down. Why? Because to do so would be un-biblical and un-Christlike. Regardless how one might want to politicize the issue, as a follower of Jesus, as one who believes God made all mankind in His image, I must stand firmly on Truth, not catchphrases.

Racism is wrong. Bigotry is wrong. And taking a statement that excludes the inherent value of all human life as your mantra is also wrong.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and I would not have agreed on several things, particularly in areas of theology and what is called the “social gospel.” Nevertheless, I believe Dr. King and I would have seen eye-to-eye regarding the “Black Lives Matter” thing. He would have said, “NO! NO! NO!” to all the violence and hatred. I believe he would be heartbroken at all the calls for unrest. He would certainly be ashamed of those who have used race as a tool for their own gain. Was it not Dr. King who envisioned a “color-blind” society?

If a person can’t say that “all lives matter” in public without being condemned, without being forced to apologize, then what does that say about the lives of others? What about my family? What about the Asian family down the road? Or the Indian woman that walks down the street with her husband and son? What about the Native American?

I guess one could argue the phrase is only meant to bring attention to the plight of the black community in America. One could also argue that by saying “all lives matter” one is, in a way, saying racism in America doesn’t exist. Possibly. But that’s a matter of opinion.

The truth is that black lives do matter, but so do white lives, brown lives, yellow lives, and red lives; red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. The proof was when Jesus offered Himself as a ransom so that every tribe and nation could be reconciled with God.

By the way, the majority of aborted babies are black. Do their lives matter? Jesus loves them, too.

All lives matter. Period.


UPDATE: This post has done nothing but depress me.  I regret writing it. 

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