When Benjamin Watson, a New Orleans Saints’ tight end, heard the news of the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown, the professional football player crafted a powerful response. In his Facebook post Watson cited sin, and not skin, as the root of the problem in Ferguson and elsewhere. He wrote:
I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced, and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot, and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.
For Watson, the solution is not protests. It is sharing the Gospel.
P. S.: The Christian football player’s comments went viral. After receiving over 750,000 post likes, Watson joined CNN’s Brooke Baldwin to comment on Ferguson’s unrest. But when the interview took a turn CNN didn’t expect—namely, Watson’s mention of Jesus Christ—the satellite feed of Watson suddenly cut off. This incident left many people questioning whether it was a ‘technical difficulty,’ or, censorship of Watson’s Christian faith. You can watch and decide for yourself at:
Romans 3:22-24 — This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Acts 13:38-39a — Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin…
Romans 5:10-11 — For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
II Corinthians 5:16-20 — So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view… Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God,who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
Good and gracious God,
Who loves and delights in all people, we stand in awe before You,
Knowing that the spark of life within each person on earth is the spark of your divine life.
Differences among cultures and races are multicolored manifestations of Your Light, and
You invite us to recognize and reverence your divine image and likeness in our neighbor.
May our hearts and minds be open to celebrate similarities and differences among our sisters and brothers.
May all peoples live in Peace. AMEN.