A message on the George Floyd tragedy
Office of the President, Dr. Keith Ross
The MBU community continues to lament with our brothers and sisters of color since the appalling images surrounding George Floyd’s death surfaced a week ago today. These horrendous images are reminders of the brokenness of our world and we grieve this deep injustice. This tragedy points not only to the ongoing struggle our country has faced but also as to the challenges many face around the world. Missouri Baptist University joins with other Southern Baptists, recognizing there is much to be done to ensure there is no racial inequity in the distribution of justice in our country. Racism is evil. Abuse is wrong. Injustice is unacceptable.
In the Old and New Testaments, God, who is good, righteous, and just, declared the value of all people by making them in his image and after his likeness. From the very beginning of life, every person is worthy of dignity, love, and respect. Knowing that “there is no injustice with the LORD our God” (2 Chronicles 19:7), the family of God must speak against both unbelief and unrighteousness. As a people of faith, we should be quick to admit our own faults and failures, and we understand the need for both truth and grace. We must not only speak against injustice, but we must also pursue a society that honors all people.
The MBU community grieves all events of injustice, both recently and in years past. We echo Martin Luther King, Jr, who wrote in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We honor those who give their lives to protect and serve others, who seek to ensure a just society. We are grateful to our law enforcement officers who serve us so well. Yet, we grieve abuses of power, especially by those who are entrusted with power to protect us.
As a Christ-centered institution, we are not without hope. Our hope is built on the good news of Jesus Christ. He himself is our hope. Transformation begins in the heart, continues in the family, and moves into our communities.
As we seek first his kingdom, we work to equip our students for a life of service grounded in the love of Jesus Christ. Our students’ journey at MBU is but a stepping stone to help model justice and righteousness in their communities and workplaces. Whether one studies to be a biologist, nurse, accountant, or teacher, all MBU alumni, no matter their background, are the frontlines for demonstrating grace and truth. They are redemptive voices in the communities in which they serve. Together, the MBU community prays for healing and reconciliation. In this season of grief, we have a unique opportunity to be a light for goodness. Let’s work together to shine on.
Dr. Keith Ross