This will be my third visit to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” 2 Corinthians 13:1
You must not convict anyone of a crime on the testimony of only one witness. The facts of the case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. Deuteronomy 19:15
Another police shooting has occurred. Within minutes of the shooting, social media is filled with shouts of support for the person shot and calls for condemnation of the police. At the same time, others on social media immediately support the actions of the police and condemn the character and actions of the person shot. What both sides have in common is a rush to judgement.
I am just as prone to the “rush to judgement” disease as both of these parties. My dad is a retired police officer and my brother is currently a police officer in a large city. When one of these shootings occur, my first inclination is to support the police and assume the person shot did something to provoke the actions of the officers. There is a very visceral reaction from me to those who condemn and accuse the police officers. In some sense, I can see that my reaction to the situation has far less to do with the facts of what actually happened and far more to do with my experiences and relationships.
This is not a new phenomenon. The bible recognizes the bias that exists within us all and calls us to seek a greater picture from a diversity of viewpoints. The rush to judgement does not produce the righteousness of God, and the followers of God are to be people who seek truth rather than simply affirm our own biases. Moments like this reveal my own rush to judgement tendency and remind me to seek truth–even when it is uncomfortable and conflicts with my experience. It reminds me of how quickly I make snap judgments about people, situations, and circumstance without consulting God in prayer, reading Scripture, or consulting with other believers in Christ who can help me deal with my own bias towards a certain conclusion. It reminds me of the necessity of taking time to “lay things before the LORD” before I make up my mind.
I don’t expect this from the culture at large, but I hope the body of Christ will function as salt and light and show a better way than our culture’s obsession with the rush to judgement. Things are not always what they seem (check out this message from Joshua to dig a little deeper into this idea.
Yours in Christ,