Our calling through IRC (International Restoration Commission) Ministries contains two sides. On the one hand we have always had a corporate vision which inspires us to minister, to the best of our ability, what we believe is presently relevant to the wider Body of Christ. On the other hand Trina and I have often found ourselves as counselors to an individual or couple trying to help work out a particular issue that benefits from an outside perspective. It has been remarkable how often these two seemingly different focal points of ministry overlap. Time after time we have observed that spiritual issues affecting one person are also relevant to a larger population. The work with individuals has regularly helped shape the messages that The Holy Spirit gives us for the corporate body of The Church.
Lebron James & The Police
Lebron James is an outstanding athlete who has garnered tremendous fame and influence through his athletic achievements. He has also clearly stated that he is more than an athlete & that he should be heard on his point of view with regard to political issues.
I listened recently to his heartfelt commentary on a police shooting and what he genuinely believes is the overall perspective of African Americans concerning the police. It is a terrible thought to consider that any part of American Society is “terrified” in daily life as Mr. James describes. However, It is worth considering whether or not Lebron’s perspective does in fact reflect the wider view of the African American community in the USA.
A disturbing picture comes into focus when you consider several notable facts presented in the article. Thirty six thousand African Americans were randomly polled & eighty one percent stated they wanted either the same or more police in their communities than are now present. This is reported by Newsweek even though it is graded by AllSides Media rating service as having a left of center bias. It is difficult to validate Mr. James’s assertion that the African American Community in the USA is dreadfully afraid of the police when a large news service, not known for a favorable perspective on the police, reports that a super majority (75% or higher) of this community wants more police around, isn’t it ? Even a number half the one reported here, somewhere around 40%, would call into question the general representation of terror said to be felt by the larger African American population. There is something very wrong when an individual can hold a perspective that is so starkly at odds with the group they truly believe they are representing. At the very least, we need to consider fact, a larger sample size than a famous one or two, and a employ a deeper vetting of situations than media headlines provide when attempting to understand what is really going on in situations.
It is also important to try and understand what is behind Mr. James’s questionable assertions. If you pay attention to his interview, he appears motivated in contradicting ways that he doesn’t fully grasp. The “Grace of God” is inappropriately referenced following a profanity laced description of his perception that the black population in America are generally disillusioned by police and view them as an enemy. In my opinion, it would be next to impossible for Mr. James not to think Newsweek’s Gallup poll wasn’t a total fabrication!
Consider Psalm 73:21-22 NASB when trying to understand this situation:
When my heart was embittered And I was pierced within,  Then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.
Mr. James’s interview reminds me of many discussions that Trina and I have had with individuals that we have counseled. Often the personal experience of a traumatic event from the past significantly colors a wider perception than it should. Sometimes an individual strongly identifies with an injustice experienced by someone else they are either close to or identify with strongly. Almost invariably these situations also result in an improper representation of an individual’s perception with the true reality. Time after time we have seen that whenever a present or past offense remains in a person’s heart, Asaph’s “senseless” description (he is the author of Psalm 73) applies to many of the conclusions that they make.
While there has been systemic racism present in police forces in the USA, there is also mounting evidence that it has notably decreased. Even though a considerable percentage of the black population sees this improvement, many don’t because they remain wounded by the past. Continuing to misrepresent the present reality is definitely part of the hindrance to further healing taking place.
God’s words through you
Asaph doesn’t leave us without a solution. He speaks about his own redemption in Psalm 73:23-24 NASB:
Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand.  With Your counsel You will guide me, And afterward receive me to glory.
The upcoming election will present considerable opportunity for The Church to provide His Counsel. It is going to be upsetting to many that far more Black Americans will vote for President Trump than expected. Rather than becoming engulfed in a war of words, give some prayerful consideration about how to present why traditional racial divides aren’t as wide as in the past. Facts presented with God’s Love can go a long way toward healing what has remained a considerable, unnecessary stumbling block for so many.