An Interview with John Perkins – On Ferguson

John Perkins

Dr. John Perkins is an 84-year-old Christian civil rights leader, author, and founder of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) that I had the privilege meeting a few years ago at Duke University.

Here is the beginning of an interview he gave recently to Amy Julia Becker, from Christianity Today, on the racial killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, near St. Louis, in Missouri.

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In light of the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, how should Christians respond?

For years we have been tiptoeing around trying to work out a human response to biblical reconciliation. I don’t know enough about this incident to speak to it directly, but I know that how we act shows that we haven’t developed an understanding of reconciliation that is tough enough to deal with these incidents. We need a biblical response, not a human response.

What is a biblical response?

There is a biblical command and a national command that we hold all people equal. The whole idea of the redemption we have from the Bible is the redemption of the Israelites out of their enslavement in Egypt. Judgment fell upon Pharaoh because of this enslavement. Americans take the history of enslavement too lightly because we have benefited from it. And now, we still don’t meet the biblical requirement where God says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14). We have not repented deeply enough of the sin of racism.

As Christians we know that our problem always is sin. In the case of the shooting in Ferguson, I don’t know who is right because I don’t know who initiated this. But I know that the sin of racism, which goes back to the sin of enslavement, is what makes it escalate so quickly.

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Read HERE the entire article.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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