May 30, 2020
In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. For this reason, while strongly affirming due process for all involved, we equally strongly condemn the death of George Floyd and also the rioting in Minneapolis and elsewhere.
Every human being is made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). An attack on any person, whether intentional or merely reckless, is an affront to a holy God. The people of God must stand for innocent life at all times and in all situations.
Police brutality is always wrong. It assaults the innocent, and it also endangers the countless good and heroic police officers upon whom we all depend.
But likewise, rioting is not protest. Rioting is not protected by the First Amendment. Rioters are not sympathetic figures. Rioters are engaging in a form of domestic terrorism and should be dealt with accordingly. These are not normal criminals — they are rioting to advance a political point, which is not just a crime but an act of terrorism. And their message is simple: give us what we want or die.
Civil society cannot long endure such acts — not of police brutality and not of mass violence — both of which are directed at innocents, and both of which should be deplored by all people of good will.
We call upon the civil authorities to act swiftly to restore order and justice in their own actions and in America’s cities. American workers, husbands, wives and schoolchildren should never have to fear for their lives or that their neighborhoods might randomly descend into the chaos of Beirut, Sarajevo, or Mogadishu.
And likewise, we call on every Christian believer and every church to pray for the peace and justice we seek for Americans of all colors, and to demand better of their civil authorities to that end.