How Should Christians Respond To The Killing Of George Floyd – Protests across the nation regarding the killing of George Floyd continue. How should we as christians respond to the killing of this man? Tune in to listen.
Air Date: 06/01/2020
Guest: Stephen Sexton
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
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Alright, Tim, later in the program, we’re actually going to hear from a police officer that’s going to address this situation that just happened. And then we’re going to get our good friend, Pastor Steven Sexton on to talk about how Christians should respond to this. And this of course, that we’re talking about is the very unfortunate, tragic and I think, you know, from what you can tell on video, it’s very unjustified. Taking the life of George Floyd in Minnesota, this police officer with his knee on the guy’s neck for seven, almost eight full minutes. We don’t see everything that happened, right? We don’t see in the video what happened right before they’re on the ground. But by all accounts, this was completely unnecessary. And people are rioting, you know, literally, cities in our country burning over this. And it’s just one of those things. We’ve got to say, okay, how do we respond to this and justice does need to be served? And we need to ask ourselves as Christians how do we respond to this kind of thing?
Yeah, it’s something, Rick that as we’re trying to analyze, how do we process, what should we do as Christians? We always want to say, okay, what does the Bible say? That should always guide our thoughts and our behavior in what we do. And the Bible certainly gives a lot of direction. But also, you know, just on a level of. kind of practical response, what makes the most sense is one of the accusations that has come out from this is the accusation that America is racist and this is just one more example where America is racist.
And it’s a really flawed argument, because certainly in a nation of more than 330 million people, certainly, there are racists that are here. But the actions of a few individuals does not determine the belief and the behavior of the whole as evidenced by the vast majority of Americans are outraged over what has happened. And if America truly was racist, right, you would think that Americans would not be outraged by this, because if you’re racist, you’re not outraged when a white man, right, potentially, presumably is killing a black man in this situation.
Anyway, there’s so many accusations that are out there. I’ve been overwhelmed in social media with the responses, the posts and so many people are driven by emotions and emotions are something that we acknowledge can be very beneficial, right? It’s kind of like it can be the icing on the cake. But we don’t want to be led by our emotions and sacrifice what is constitutional, what is biblical, right, what should be things as Americans and as Christians that should have some level of impact in this.
And not to say we shouldn’t have empathy for this, because hopefully, everybody listening, we’ve taken time to pray for the nation that God helps bring healing to the nation, that God helps us overcome division of the nation, that God helps the families of everybody involved in the situation. Not only, I mean, obviously right for George, who lost his life in this and the family, who is surrounding him, but right also the officers who now their lives are just being destroyed and devastated. And maybe on some level, rightfully so, again, I mean, there’s going to be a trial, more evidence is going to come out, we’re going to find out what’s going on. But from everything we’ve seen to this point, certainly, this is a very bad situation where people made some very bad decisions and it cost a man his life. And it looks like these officers probably will go to jail and who knows what else will happen because of this.
But we want to make sure we’re not simply led by our emotions in the situation that we say, okay, first of all, as Christians, what does the Bible say? What should be our response as Christians? And as Christians, right, how should we stand up and say, no, we believe in justice, because God’s got justice? But also, we’re supposed to forgive and we’re supposed to love and we’re all God’s kids and there should be unity. How does all of this come together? And then from a constitutional standpoint, right, what should we do? And even the riots in the streets, there’s so much conversation to be had. And that’s why we thought that there’s two really great people to have kind of speak to some of this today, with being Pastor Steven Sexton and then this police officer who has this really informative video on YouTube, who’s given some great insight on this?
Yeah, and it is one of those situations where and we’ve been vocal about it and some of these situations, in most of these situations that have happened over the last few years, the police officer was justified in what they did, they were protecting their life or somebody else’s life and it wasn’t about black or white or any of those things and yet people rioted over some of that. This is not one of those situations from what we can tell on the video.
And so, I was really moved by this video. His name is Ryan Tillman, he’s actually a Christian police officer in California. And he has a really neat organization called Breaking Barriers United. And his commentary is emotional. It is powerful. It is strong. And so, we’re just going to share it here on the air. We encourage you to go watch the video as well and maybe even support his organization. They go into schools, it’s all about, you know, rebuilding the relationship between law enforcement and the community.
But anyway, we’re going to go to break, we’ll come back. When we come out of the break, we’ll be playing this clip by Ryan Tillman, police officer in California. He’s an African-American police officer there. He grew up in a community where he was often, you know, treated wrong and in many cases specifically, because of the color of his skin and yet he overcame that and decided that he wanted to be a good police officer. So, his story is pretty remarkable, very faith-based. Let’s go to break, we’ll be right back. You’ll be hearing from Ryan Tillman. And then later in the program, Pastor Steven Sexton with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
The Founding Fathers of America made a habit of reading through the Bible once a year. There’s no better source of wisdom and it is applicable to every issue in our lives. What a great time for us as American citizens to take this time. If you’ve got extra time at home now, if you’re quarantined at home and you’re looking for something to do, what better thing could there be to do than to read through the Bible, maybe for the first time in your life?
I tried to make this a habit several years ago and I had a new tool to start doing that with and it was called the Founders’ Bible. It gave me a chance not only to read through the Bible once a year, but also to learn history while I was doing that. And what I love about the Founders’ Bible is that as I’m reading that Scripture, then all of a sudden, there’ll be an article inserted right there by that Scripture about what the Founding Fathers learned from that specific verse or chapter and how they applied it to launch our new. It’s a really fun way to learn. It’s incredibly empowering and it has answers for today. The Bible is full of all the right answers for today, in fact, it’s the only source that has all the right answers.
So, if you haven’t read through the Founders’ Bible, I challenge you and encourage you get a copy of the Founders’ Bible today, it’s available at wallbuilders.com. And we even have a digital version, so you can do this on your phone or iPad or computer. Check out the Founders’ Bible today, make it a part of your regular reading throughout the year. But right now, is a great opportunity to redo the Founders’ Bible. Check it out today at WallBuilders.com.
“As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind, to safeguard lives and property, to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder and to respect the constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice. I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all, maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest and thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department.
Whenever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept every secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty. I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with a relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately, without fear or favor, malice or ill-will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.
I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I’m true to the ethics of police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals dedicating myself before God and to my chosen profession, law enforcement.”
Hey, what’s going on guys? This is your boy Tillman. And today on a little bit of a more somber note. I want to talk to you guys about the incident that occurred yesterday in Minneapolis involving George Floyd. What I just read to you guys was a Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. And what you don’t realize is that most police officers across the country when they graduate at Police Academy, we recite that code of ethics. It’s ingrained in us, we memorize it and we also make sure we take it to heart, because we have to know what we accept to do as this job.
And the reason I read that Law Enforcement Code of Ethics to you right now is because I want you guys to know what I signed up for, the reason why I do what I do. The reason why I became a police officer is to protect people, is to help people, is to save people in their most dire need. What I did not sign up to do is I did not sign up to act immorally or unethically or take somebody’s life who didn’t deserve to die.
And what we witnessed yesterday in Minneapolis was a situation in which an officer didn’t care about human life. As hard as this video was to watch, what was most depressing about the video was it felt like the officer didn’t have a care in the world for the subject that was on the ground. I want you guys to realize that in my job, in our job as officers, we do have an obligation to go and protect people, we have an obligation to solve crime. And many times in our profession, people will use resistance and force against us.
But I will also tell you, is that when they are no longer a threat, if they are not resisting, I do not have the power. I cannot go ahead and remove your rights from you as a human being and take your life because I don’t care about you. I have a personal obligation to preserve life. Preservation of life, it’s an obligation.
I’ve handled situations like these before. I was actually at a situation like this last week, actually where we had a guy on his stomach, who said he couldn’t breathe and we had to hobble his feet, put a rope around his feet because he kept kicking our police car. He has steel toed boots on and he was really a threat to a lot of people. So, we put them on a stomach we handcuffed him and he told us he couldn’t breathe. But the first thing we did was as we rolled him on his side, made sure that he can breathe.
And so, one thing that we have to do or make sure that he could breathe, I’m sorry. But one thing that we have to do as officers, is we have to get rid of excuses, because I know that’s coming. I’ve already got some actually. The excuse of well, what if you have resisting beforehand? Well, even if, let’s just say he was resisting, does it allow those officers to continue to utilize force against him when he stops resisting?
The sad part about this video is that after several minutes of his body of George Floyd’s body going limp, the officer still didn’t even look down at him to see if he was okay. And so, the moment a person stops resisting, we need to make sure that we preserve their life if they are going through a medical emergency.
Excuse number two. Well, maybe he was using drugs and maybe he went to a cardiac arrest because of the drugs. Just because a person uses drugs does not allow me to say, oh, well, you don’t get any medical help because you use those drugs. If a person is going through a cardiac arrest or emergency, whatever it is, a medical emergency, I have every obligation to save his life just as much as the next person. So, we can throw that excuse out the window.
The other excuse is this. Hey, well, he was spitting on us. And, you know, we wanted to wait there for EMS. There’s ways that you can make that situation better. Roll him on this side, sit him up, let him breathe, put him in the back of a police car, throw a spit sock on him. The reason I can tell you about these different ways or different methods that they could have chose is because I’ve been in situations as such, many times.
I’ve dealt with people that said, you know, that are going through a series of which we call Excited Delirium, which is they can’t breathe, their body starts heating up internally. I’ve gone through those situations. And the moment somebody tells me that they can’t breathe or they’re hurting, is my obligation to make sure I check on the welfare of that individual, because I don’t want to be the officer that sits there and stands by as this person takes his last breath.
The video was very, very hard to watch and I am upset. And the reason I’m upset is not just because that officer allowed that person to die yesterday, Mr. George Floyd, is because all the work that officers across the road are doing to repair the bond between law enforcement and the community is tainted and is tarnished because of acts like that. We have to be able to stand up and call a spade a spade for what it is.
You guys know me. I’m always telling you guys, hey, I do research, I’m going to do as much research as I can. And I do that and I say that because I know I can be putting a controversial position tomorrow or today when I go to work. But there’s also a time and place where we know what’s wrong is wrong. And the only way we’re going to make this profession better, the only way we’re going to garnish the trust with amongst our community is being honest and being able to hold each other accountable. This was an emotional situation and I feel bad for not only George Floyd’s family, but the officers involved. I feel bad for their families. I feel bad for the departments. I feel bad for the communities. I feel bad for everybody as a society because we’re becoming more and more divided.
But there is hope. And here’s the hope. George Floyd, everybody else that has lost their life unjustly, I promise you that I’m going to continue to do what I can do to be the best officer I can be stand up for what’s right, call out what’s wrong and I’m going to try to bring as much people with me as I can. I will continue to do the Tillman sakes as educational purposes. I didn’t show the whole video on this one simply for the fact of is, if that was my family member, I wouldn’t necessarily want this continue to be reposted.
If you’re an officer out there, I wanted to get one to leave you one last thing. Picture yourself watching that video and imagine George Floyd being one of your family members. Would it be easy to stomach? Every time, second, you watch that video, every second elapse, you know that that might be a possible chance for the officers to roll him over, get some air and maybe, just maybe, he might live? Would you be able to watch that video the same way you’re watching this video? If you can’t, then we need to stand up and call out what’s right and what’s wrong.
Our jobs are very tough. Law enforcement is a very, very tough profession. And it’s not going to get easier if we don’t stand up and hold ourselves accountable. But the community to you guys, we can do better. I know, we can do better, we will do better. So, I don’t acknowledge the actions of that officer yesterday in Minneapolis at all. His actions were wrong. It was inhumane. It was deplorable. And I do not stand by that. But I’m not going to get up and stop doing what I’m doing, just because we had a mishap, in this profession. We’re going to keep pushing. We’re going to move forward.
So, I hope today that you guys realize that oath that I read at the beginning of this video, I take that to heart every single day. There are sentences in that oath that I live by every single day. The last line of that oath that I took says, I’ve dedicated myself before God, to this chosen profession. I don’t do this job for any other reason, because I’ve dedicated myself before God. That is my ultimate judge. And like I said, everybody, even the prisoners that I’ve transported to jails, people on the street, my family, my wife, my kids, I’m not the judge, only God can judge.
And so, although I can call out a bad situation, although I can acknowledge wrong in that situation, I still have to find a place in my heart for forgiveness, because that’s what’s going to allow me to forgive the next person who also deserves forgiveness. I’m not asking you to forgive those officers, not one bit. But what I am telling you is that we have to make sure that we got to move forward, see the bright side in every situation in life and let’s move forward with the hope that we can do this together. I love you. God bless you. And I’ll see you on the next one.
That was Ryan Tillman, you were just listening to. We’ll have a link to that video on our website at wallbuilderslive.com. We’re going to take a quick break. When we come back, Pastor Steven section with us here on WallBuilders Live.
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We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. Very serious program today and a difficult situation the whole nation is grappling with. And as we say on the program, biblical, historical, constitutional perspective on the hot topics of the day. And that’s certainly what we’re dealing with today. Steven Sexton is back with us. Tim, you know, of course, you and Steven have done seminars on biblical worldview. This is something you have looked at on virtually every issue that there is anyway. Steven, thanks for coming on with us and sharing a few minutes to get some of your thoughts on how Christians should process this and respond.
Right, Rick, I think like everybody, man, we’re just trying to take in and try to find what’s true. I think every Bible believing Christian wants truth. You know, Romans 12 tells us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, but act with sober judgment. And so, I think anybody watching this, you know, you want to respond, but you want to figure out how to respond correctly.
And so, I believe every Bible believing Christian wants equality, justice, the same standard of measured regardless of color. The Bible speaks about reconciliation. So, I mean, Jesus was doing good to both Jew and Gentile. And so, the truth is, we all have biases. We, all from our background, if it’s socially, economically racially and the only answer to that is a biblical worldview. The only answer, that is the gospel. And so, I think that as we begin to unpack this, the question that everybody is asking is, did this man George Floyd, did he get a harder treatment because he was an African-American? And if so, I don’t know any Bible believing Christian that would not demand that there be justice if someone is going to get a harder treatment because of their skin color.
Or even if it didn’t have anything to do with his skin color. I mean, he could have been white and we would be saying the same thing that this was wrong, that it was an unjust use of force on someone that was subdued, so you could even take the race thing out of it and still say, this is unjust.
But you know, I think that’s the country that we’re dealing with. You know, the fact the matter is, we can’t just say, oh, authority is right. I think that’s what we’ve been seeing from the way people have treated President Trump. We see that power can be corrupted. We want to make sure that how do we have a governing body, how do we have a nation that operates in truth? And I think the whole world is groaning for truth.
Well and Steven, this is something that I know you speak to. Looking at a culture that now, how do you overcome, right, the racial divisions? How do you overcome racism? How do you find forgiveness? How do you do these things? And I’ve seen on your social media posts, you pointed this that if there’s not a transformation in your heart from the power of Jesus, right from the power of the gospel, then we’re going to have a hard time overcoming some of these problems if it’s not for the power of God, right, through the gospel of salvation for us to regenerated heart. What would be your encouragement now for people, may be looking to find these solutions and where do they find that hope in the gospel?
Well, I think that that’s exactly right. The truth is that the gospel is the only thing that changes the hearts of man. You’re not going to outlaw hate, even though it is terrible and it has terrible consequences. But love is stronger than hate. And well, who teaches us to love? The Bible says that God is love. And so, I think that people are looking for, okay, what can I do right now? You can love your neighbor. What can I do right now? You can treat people with dignity. What can I do right now? I can turn the other cheek. The Bible says if someone asked you to walk a mile, you walk two. And I think we can take the conversation just like Rick said, totally off of just racism and our fellow man, we’ve all been created by God. God is the Father. And we have a large majority of the world that does not recognize that, so there will be anarchy when you’re coming up with a different start.
And this is certainly where as Christians, we would encourage, right, we need to spend more time the word. Because even I mean, Steven, I think sometimes looking at culture, that even though that the vast majority of Americans profess to be Christians, profess to believe in God, we don’t see that in their behavior and so we would say, well, this is why we have to get back and study the Word of God, to learn to live biblically. And that would even impact the way that we see and treat others including in some of these racially tinged scenarios.
Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, how many Christians do we know that they know about forgiveness but they haven’t talked to their mom and dad is in 25 years? I mean, the truth of the matter is, we’re not reading the Bible to see what we agree with, we’re reading the Bible to be transformed by it. And so, as a culture, no matter what it is from lust, the greed, the racism of, you know, authority, to honor, to the value of life, God has thoughts about all of it. And God’s thoughts are way better than our thoughts.
Tim: So good.
The hope for humanity is great if we will reject humanism and we will come under the way God told us to do it. And so, yeah, I hate the story, I hate the narrative. I understand the frustration. I mean, can you imagine the frustration if you really don’t know much about biblical truth or you don’t feel like life is fair. And so, God has a narrative and He teaches us about unjustness operating in His Kingdom. And so, I just really think that this is a call once again to get back to Biblical understanding and I think the world will be a better place if we do that.
Thank you, Steven. We really appreciate you being with us today. We want to point people to your church as well. Can you share the website for you guys?
Absolutely. You can go to welcometothehouse.com and you can find out information that we have. We also have a nonprofit ministry that mentors young people and that is betheoneministry.com.
That was Pastor Steven Sexton. Earlier in the program, you heard Ryan Tillman. We’re going to have a link to his website as well. Thank you so much for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.