My Seminary Experience: Murder In My Rearview MirrorPosted: November 19, 2013
Can a brotha be transparent with y’all? I have been feeling a little uneasy lately with getting more training in the things of God with murders surrounding the city of Montgomery where I live. A lot of the murders that take place are in the very neighborhood I’m currently pastoring in. Our city is up to 43 murders, which mean we are on pace for having the most murders in Montgomery history. Two or three of those victims were touched with gospel conversations and acts of love from our church gathering! You can imagine, that when we find out one of the murders was a person who we have shared Christ with, it makes Gospel preaching seem more and more urgent!
But I am in school.
Now, my full-time job is shepherding the people of Strong Tower and Washington Park. Part of the time is spent traveling to Atlanta on some weekends. A part of me want to “go and save the community” by immersing myself in this community…or somethin’…
Another part of me says to continue persevering in class, shepherd my family, the church of Strong Tower, and Washington Park.
Well, when I am in class, I can’t help but see specific people and situations in our church and neighborhood at the end of my learning in class! For example, in my Introduction To Preaching class, when my professor says, “It is the word of God preached that saves people from the power of death (murder) and brings them to the power of the light (love), I can’t help but see the people I interact with in the neighborhood, hoping that salvation would really save. One guy, (I met going out to visit last week with a member of our church) had just gotten out of prison, has 3 kids…by 3 different women (maybe 4 on the way from another different woman), not married, difficulty finding a job because of his criminal record, and selling liquor out of his house. THIS DUDE IS ONLY 23 YEARS OLD!!! I couldn’t help but put myself in his shoes and feel the weight of that! My words to him after carefully listening to his discouraging circumstances, “How are you going to make it through all of this without Jesus?” After asking him that question, I can’t remember what else I said after that…something on the lines of turning to Jesus Christ is the only way we can have power to glorify Him… though your life is rough and difficult. A little spontaneous preaching was going on and it seemed like he was listening. Pray that we will continue to preach the gospel to this gentleman and his friends who were listening. He wanted us to come back to talk more about the gospel!
Jesus strikes me how He responds when He’s wronged. He definitely confronted people when they needed to be confronted. He was no push over! But the picture of the cross is a picture of Jesus allowing the people to wrongly accuse and ultimately kill Him.
- He was obeying the will of His Father.
- To save many from their sins.
He sacrificed Himself for the sake of others. And I serve a neighborhood culture (mostly all cultures) where to be wronged and not defend yourself is considered “weakness to the max”. “Somebody do this to me, then I’m gonna do that to them”, is the common mentality of our culture.
There is a time to defend, and a time to refrain. Our culture doesn’t know or understand when it is appropriate to defend or refrain. Instead, if you offend me I will definitely offend you with a pistol to your heart or head!
Taking matters into our own hands, or revenge, is never a good solution.
So when I go to school on some Fridays and Saturdays, all of this is in my “rearview mirror”.
Seminary, for me, makes sense…it’s just been a struggle lately.
…for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. – James 1:20