While images of looting and burning buildings have filled television screens across the country amid protests over the killing of George Floyd, many Christians also joined the chant for change this past weekend, including members of the Church of God based in Greenville, Ohio, who expressed their outrage while singing hymns and sharing the Gospel.
The Church of God, which says it is not a denomination but “the church of the living God, as we read about in the New Testament,” has emerged with a video of them singing with placards that has racked up more than 23 million views on Twitter alone.
Members of the church have been shown in pictures also listening to hurting members of the black community and comforting them with hugs.
Days earlier, the church, led by Chief Apostle Ray Tinsman, released a statement declaring Proverbs 29:2, which says: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
“As the Church of God, we send our deepest heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd, as well as to the people of Texas, Minneapolis, and the entire United States who are touched by this tragedy. The video footage of this killing is absolutely inhuman, and this senseless act must be condemned by all people,” the church said.
— The Church of God (@COGRestoration) May 30, 2020
“Tragically, many other African Americans have fallen victim to similar violence without the benefit of having it documented via video recording. What happened to George Floyd is not a single and isolated act of brutality but evidence of a system which mass-produces these heartbreaking results. Racism is not dead in our country. This tragedy affects all of us. Injustice and oppression will be defeated only when we stand together in solidarity as one human family for the cause of truth.”
Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, died in police custody on May 25, after he was restrained for several minutes by Minneapolis Police Department officers. One of the officers, Derek Chauvin, was caught on video kneeling into Floyd’s neck as he begged for his life until he stopped breathing. Last Friday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman charged Chauvin, who has since been fired along with three other colleagues, with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Protesters are demanding that the other officers involved in Floyd’s death also be arrested.
Other spiritual leaders like Pastor Micaiah Young with Life Center Church in Milwaukee also joined peaceful protests on Sunday, seeking to counter rioting that he believes detracts from the fight for justice.
“We’re crying out, saying we’re not going to take it anymore, but we’re peacefully using what we have to make an impact,” he told Fox 6.
“If we are not peaceful, then we will have chaos, and in chaos, nothing significant can be accomplished.”
“The somber, grief-filled makeshift shrine to George Floyd brings me to tears. In my mind’s eye, I’m there too, kneeling in tears, asking for forgiveness, praying he is the last black man to die this way in America,” she said.
Carl Lentz, senior pastor of Hillsong Church NYC who joined peaceful protesters in West Harlem, Manhattan, on Saturday said Sunday that America’s system of justice needs to change because it isn’t working for everyone.
“When people say ‘the system is broken,’ that’s wrong. The system is working well. And that’s the problem. We need a new system. Despite that, there are good men and women that have taken an oath to serve and protect. It’s a high calling that has been severely tarnished due to evil and murder and systemic injustice,” he wrote in a post on Instagram.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post, Leonardo Blair