Why I'm Going to the George Floyd Protest
November 30, 2020
By Rev. David L. Charlton
In the wake of the George Floyd killing and other murders of African-Americans, I felt led by the Holy Spirit to attend a peaceful protest. However, as a pastor I felt I should theologically explain why I am participating in a social protest. The following is that letter:
Brothers and sisters,
As we watch the protests and riots on television and mourn the tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, we should pray. We must be in constant prayer for all the victims, the business owners who lost their livelihoods, and all the cities throughout our nation. We must pray for empowerment to have an empathy that crosses racial boundaries. Prayer is the most powerful response we can make, however, prayer should not be our only response. Prayers should compel us to loving action. It is our duty to question why so many African Americans have been killed by police.
Now, before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I have great respect and appreciation for the men and women who risk their lives to protect us. The majority of officers do their best to protect all of us. We must respect and honor our police officers. But, for the good of our society, we must hold all officers to a high standard.
As Christians, we are expected to love our enemies and not seek revenge. In order for us to do this, we must be able to depend on the government to seek justice on our behalf. Romans 13:4 states, “For he [government] is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He [government] is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” In other words, God institutes governments in order to implement justice. When governments fail to do this, we, as Christians, should feel compelled to ask why.
It is right for us to demand, in a forceful yet non-violent and loving way, that systemic changes occur so that our black brothers and sisters can feel secure enough to seek assistance from law enforcement whenever they need help.
For this reason, I will be attending the “I Can’t Breathe Peaceful Protest.” This protest is organized by the faith community, minority groups and Daytona police. It is tomorrow (June 4) at 5:30 p.m. at 113 East Magnolia Ave, Daytona Beach. Police Chief Craig Capri was joined by members of the clergy and the mayor to announce this protest. To learn more about it, go to https://newsdaytonabeach.com/stories/peaceful-i-cant-breathe-protest-planned-for-city-island,8424. (I will wear a mask and practice social distancing as much as I can.)
May God’s grace overshadow all the protests and use them for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.