Christian Leaders React to Ferguson

The nation's pastors and Christian leaders react to the events in Ferguson last night.

Last night, the nation watched as many in the town of Ferguson reacted with outrage and disappointment, when the local prosecutor announced that officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown.

Throughout the evening, leaders in the Christian community joined millions across the nation, tweeting their own thoughts, prayers and messages of support to the community in turmoil, many using the hashtag #evangelicals4justice.

Here’s a look at how many of them have reacted to the events in Ferguson on the evening of Nov. 24, sending messages expressing grief, but also for hope and justice for the future. (Note, more tweets will be added throughout the afternoon.)

BJ Thompson

Director of Build Us Better

Joshua DuBois

Author and former leader of the White House's Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Albert Mohler

President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Lisa Sharon Harper

Sen. Director of Mobilizing at Sojourners

Jen Hatmaker

Author of Interrupted: When Jesus wrecks your comfortable Christianity

Lecrae

Hip-hop artist

Preston Yancey

Author of Tables in the Wilderness

Steven Bauman

President and CEO of World Relief

Christena Cleveland

Author of Make No Mistake, God Is a God of Justice

Shane Claiborne

Author and activist

Eugene Cho

Pastor and author

Leith Anderson

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President of the National Association of Evangelicals

DA Horton

Author and National Coordinator for Urban Students at the North American Mission Board

Austin Channing

Author and Resident Director and Multicultural Liaison for Calvin College

Top Comments

Mike

13

Mike commented…

The thing that bothers me about this is is that I don't see anyone suggesting that the decision made by the court might actually be regarded as "just." The closest I have heard is "I don't have all the facts." Truth is, I don't have all the facts either. I am not racist, nor do I delight in any kind of death of an unarmed teenager, nor am I unable to sympathize. But from what I've heard, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the officer had more than a reasonable belief that his life was in danger and that he was operating in self-defense. Maybe that is wrong. But maybe it's not. The thing that disturbs me here is, however, the idea that somehow mob violence might in any way be excusable. Do we so easily forget that Jesus exposed the shame of the cross and the evil of the mob who joined in and cried "crucify him!" Christ was innocent. Suppose the officer is innocent and our courts, like the Romans, had "caved" in to the mob. That would be unjust. No, there is a stronger way of overturning evil, and it doesn't look like a mob. I am a pastor, and I see tragedy on all sides of this. Perhaps I am just ignorant of the full situation. That is possible. For me, Ephesians 2:14-16 resounds as our ultimate hope. In Christ, God nails the hostility between two groups to the cross, and we become one new people. I pray we can be set free from the vengeful claws of our oppression narratives, as well as the self-righteous prejudices we have held onto, and find in Christ true and meaningful peace.

Bryan Elliott

2

Bryan Elliott commented…

I appreciate the call for pastoral care and commitment to justice. However, I don't think "justice" is the accurate term for what these leaders (many of them, anyway) are calling for. It seems more and more Christian leaders are calling for an affirmation of the justice narrative that they believe, evidence be damned. 70 hours of testimony by 60 witnesses in front of a grand jury with 3 black members...they are the ONLY ONES with the authority to make a judgment on this case, and they ruled that the evidence did not support the "white-cop-kills-black-kid-for-kicks" narrative that is being shouted on the streets. Let's reverse the case: say the officer was tried, convicted, and sentenced for this crime, yet he was innocent. I get the feeling our "evangelical" leaders would not be so eager to jump on the justice bandwagon in that case.

22 Comments

Spencer Field

6

Spencer Field commented…

Civil public discourse is welcome. Peaceful riots (even based on misinformation) are excepted. Action that damage people or property should be punshed to the fullest extent of the law. Justice is based on facts and the vast majority of the facts point to the innocents of the officer . These people do not have an excuse. There maybe deeper issue but justice seems to have taken place and the rioters are now causing an injustice.

k

1

k commented…

Understanding the black perspective is crucial to understanding their reaction.

https://heraldinthewilderness.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/explaining-fergus...

srgwriter

20

srgwriter commented…

My heart goes out to the family who went through the pain of losing their young son. Also, to every life that has been torn apart by these events. I do have trouble understanding though, why they say justice was not done. Why are they assuming that the police officer was lying? I have read all the evidence, and witness testimony that was made public, and I can't be sure one way or another. I understand the multiple shots give pause, but putting yourself in an officer's shoes, if the large strong youth had tried to grab your gun once, your life is in danger. He appears to be continuing to advance towards you(by half the accounts that did not change their story), you think your life may still be in danger. I believe if this was a white male of the same size, this would not be a story. I wish we could all take race out of the equation, see skin color like hair color or eye color.

Barry Davis

3

Barry Davis commented…

What is really sad is the lack of sympathy/empathy for Officer Wilson and his family. The focus is misguided at best.

David Hess

6

David Hess commented…

This wasn't about injustice. It was a media circus invented to sell advertising. Now longer can you consider the news to be the truth. It is about the convenient twist of the truth that causes the most controversy.

My condolences goes out to both families who will be forever changed. I pray for peace and healing in the Ferguson community where it seams that this cancer has grown and destroyed much of it. People have been robbed, there cars, homes and businesses have been destroyed.....for the sake of someone's idea of justice.

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