I have long been a fan of Marvin Gaye. Everyone I knew growing up was. My favorite Marvin Gaye song asks the question, “What’s Going On?”
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today,
Marvin Gaye wrote these words in light of the political and social turmoil of the late 60s and early 70s. And yet, as we look out on the landscape of our time we could easily and rightly raise the question again, “What’s Going On?”
Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what’s going on
What’s going on
Yeah, what’s going on
Ah, what’s going on
What’s going on when Alton Sterling is openly slain by those sworn to “protect and serve”?
What’s going on when those who are seeking to “protect and serve” are brutally cut down on the streets of Dallas in the line of duty?
What’s going on when over 60 people were shot in Chicago over the 4th of July weekend in predominantly black neighborhoods, with 32 of them shot within a 15 hour time frame–including children?
What’s going on when famed author Toni Morrison implies that before she could agree to having a conversation on race she needs to see an officer shoot a white teenager in the back, when actually there are more white men killed by police than black men? (But black deaths generate more outrage and thus are sensationalized in the press).
What’s going on when we see racism, brutality, injustice, violence, abuse, and hatred in our world and call it everything but what it is–sin?
What’s going on?
When Marvin Gaye raised that question, what he was really asking is what is wrong with the world. The answer is sin. And when we fail to speak openly and honestly, holistically and biblically about sin then we really have no answer to the ever pressing question, “What’s going on?”
Sure, police officers can and must be trained out of many cultural prejudices that often lead to pain and tragedy. Yes, our children can and must be trained to avoid unnecessary conflict; and where unavoidable, to resolve it peacefully; and where unresolvable, to learn to disagree and let live. Death is never the answer, even to death. Yet there is more than just training. There is life.
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SOURCE: The Front Porch