Friday, June 5, 2020

Venn Diagram

A few of my friends recently posted this Venn diagram. I really appreciate it as a reasonable response to the issues again raised after the murder of George Floyd. I took some time to think about this diagram and realized I do not know anyone who is not in the middle triangle. I have friends who joined the protests in DC. They support “good police officers” and they do not “condone looting and rioting.” I have friends who declare “blue lives matter” who are also grieved by the murder of Mr. Floyd. While the diagram is a good representation of where most people stand, we must be careful to not use it as though everyone else is outside of the middle giving us a sense of superiority. How do I want others to judge me? I should probably judge them with the same understanding. As long as I assume “I get it right and “they” are all wrong” I will not listen to “them.” If I do not listen to “them”, I will not work with “them.”

Cynicism asserts that everyone is motivated by the desire for power and money. The Christian version of this confuses utter depravity (man is as bad as he could be) with total depravity (all of man is tainted by sin). It also fails to account for the power of regeneration that makes the Christian dead to sin (Romans 6:1-4). The great blind spot of cynicism is that it only applies to “them” and never to “us.” “They” are bad, while “we” are good. However, if everyone is motivated by power and greed, then so is the cynic. It could be fairly argued that the cynic is using cynicism because it allows him to gain the upper hand over others. In fact, it inherently claims a superior knowledge which allow the cynic to see the motivations of others. With a cynical paradigm in our minds, the above mentioned Venn diagram seems to indicate that “they”—those who are protesting—don’t “support good police officers” and/or they do “condone looting and rioting.” On the other side, those who support the police are not “outraged by George Floyd’s death.” Neither of these is actually true of the vast majority of Americans.

About Me

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I have been a PCA pastor since 1993, having been a pastor in Arizona, Florida, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and as the Team Leader for MTW’s work in Scotland. I am currently the Senior Pastor of Providence Presbyterian Church in York, PA. As a pastor, my desire is to help everyone I meet live out Psalm 73:25, “Whom have I in Heaven but You, and besides You I desire nothing on earth.” I love my Wife Robin, my two sons, Patrick and Michael and my daughters in law, Britney and Emma.