Wednesday, August 5, 2015


You see them everywhere. #BlackLivesMatter, #PoliceLivesMatter, #AllLivesMatter, take your pick. On the surface, they are all true, but somehow, the truth is getting lost in the argument. Perhaps, we need another one, #SinMatters.

The problem isn’t that people are saying that lives matter, the problem is that many of the people who are saying that lives matter are actually accusing some other group of saying that life of a particular kind doesn’t matter. #BlackLivesMatter because some people felt that police didn’t value the life of black people. This got mixed up with violence against police, so people began saying #PoliceLivesMatter, as a way of accusing people of not valuing the lives of the police. Some felt that people were becoming too focused on one particular group and didn’t see the lives of other people as equally important, so we ended up with #AllLivesMatter. The result is that the racial divide in our country seems to be growing.

But what is it that links all of these events that have taken human life? When a police officer takes the life of a black man, or a black man takes the life of a police officer, or a police officer takes the life of a white man, what links these things? In a word, “sin.” #SinMatters. When a man attacks a police officer and the police officer kills the man, the police officer is seen as justified. #SinMatters. But what about when a police officer shoots a man in the back who is fleeing the scene, though he is no real threat to anyone? Both are in the wrong, though the police officer is more so. #SinMatters. And what of a $10 drug deal that goes south with the police shooting someone who is trying to sell drugs. The police may or may not be at fault, but the person selling the drugs is not without guilt. #SinMatters.

Sin, if left to run its course, always results in death. We are shocked when something we see as just a little sin results in death, but all sin leads to death. Even something as small as exceeding the speed limit can cause death. You’re traveling down the freeway and all the traffic is going about the same speed. Then you see a car fly by at ten to twenty miles per hour over the speed limit. The car next to you, which was going about the same speed as you, speeds up and follows the faster car down the road. You feel the urge to put your toe into the accelerator. One car zooming past can increase the average speed of the rest of the cars, creating a greater risk of an accident. #SinMatters.

We need to stop dividing ourselves based on race or occupation. The reason people die is because of sin. Sometimes it is their sin. Sometimes it is other people’s sin. Sometimes it is Adam’s sin. If we truly believe that lives matter, we must remember that #SinMatters. It matters here. People who are involved in sinful activity are more likely to be killed. People who enforce the laws spend a lot of time around sin and it puts them at risk of being killed or of killing others. It also matters in the life to come. After death comes the judgment. It should not matter to us whether a person is black or white, brown, red, or yellow. It should not matter to us whether a person wears a badge or makes money some other way. If a person is involved in sin, that sin will lead to death. All of us, no matter how honorable our profession may be, need the salvation of Jesus Christ. Without that, we are all without hope, because #SinMatters.