A Biblical Response to Current Events – 8-31-20
What’s Happening: “A Syracuse University Chemistry Professor, Jon Zubieta, who has worked there for 17 years, was placed on Administrative Leave because of his reference in a syllabus to Covid-19 as the ‘Wuhan Flu’ and the ‘Chinese Communist Party Flu.’ Students of Asian background have wondered if the President’s reference to Covid-19 as the ‘China virus’ (or statements like the ones in the syllabus) would cause there to be racial prejudice against them. Reacting to an official complaint that was filed, the administration of the University said in a statement: ‘We will not allow any member of our community to violate the University’s commitment to a safe, inclusive and welcoming learning and living environment’ (https://www.yahoo.com/news/syracuse-university-professor-placed-leave-181247950.html). In a separate incident reported by the Business Insider yesterday, Arkansas County Sheriff, Todd Wright, as secretly recorded by the mother of his children, Desiree Middlebrooks, used several racial slurs when referring to a black grocery store employee. Eventually, at the encouragement of former colleague Bobby Webb (and the unanimous ruling of Arkansas County Quorum Court), he laid down his badge and gun and resigned (https://www.yahoo.com/news/arkansas-sheriff-secretly-recorded-using-213228679.html). I guess words do matter.”
Knee-Jerk Response: “Be careful what you say…be even more careful what you write…”
Biblical Response: “…and even more careful what you think! (Prov. 23:7). As Samuel Smiles (author and Scottish government reformer…1812-1904) said: ‘Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.’ Free thinking is what education is all about…it’s not that we’re to think randomly though…or even to think as we feel…but in school we are supposed to learn how to control our thinking…and thus our words, acts, etc., hopefully till we come to maturity (Eph. 4:13-14). When we say anything, what matters is what is heard…that is where offense comes from…and that is why we must be careful of what is said AND heard. The Sheriff above may have meant something other than what he said. As Sheriff, however, he is supposed to have that certain level of maturity that his authority implies…if not he should resign.”
“Christians? We believe that the power of the tongue is awesome. God spoke creation into existence (Gen., 1:3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, etc.). With being given the gift of speech comes a great deal of responsibility (Num. 22:35; 1 Kings 22:16; 2 Chron. 18:15; Prov. 18:21). With the same mouth we have the power to both bless or curse (James 3:10). This awesome power ought to give us pause…and be the cause of much prayer.”
Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray: “Heavenly Father, help us to speak freely…but speak carefully, realizing we are Your spokesmen; in Jesus’ Name, amen.
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