Post-Zimmerman Thoughts: How Many Potential Crime Victims of Trayvon Martin Have Been Saved Since Feb. 2012?

Trayvon Martin w: FatherWhile the media and the public continue to play Monday morning quarterback following the jury verdict handed down in the Zimmerman trial last weekend, there is a certain question in my mind that I have not seen asked by anybody.

The question is this:

How many potential crime victims of Trayvon Martin have been saved, and how many of his potential, future crimes and violent acts against others have been avoided and averted since Feb. 2012 when the tragic shooting took place?

Obviously, that’s a question no one can answer.  But the fact is, had this seriously delinquent young man lived, who knows how many more people would have been his unwitting victims as his budding career as a street thug and heartless criminal was just starting to take off.

The highly manipulated image of Trayvon as just a mischievous kid who was innocently walking down a rainy residential street one night with a bag of candies and a soft drink in his hand when he was suddenly accosted by a “white Hispanic” racist-aggressor, skinhead-in-disguise-with-a-gun (and-no-badge) George Zimmerman, was (and still is) just that — an artificially crafted and controlled image and prejudicial narrative that the “mainstream media” and the corrupt political establishment in Washington have worked furiously to maintain throughout the entire unwarranted murder trial.

Nobody is glad to see a 17-year-old, regardless of his race, meet with a violent and untimely death like this.  But there are PLENTY of people who would not only be glad but absolutely elated and overjoyed to see the “antagonist-perpetrator” 28-year-old in this made-up saga meet with as violent and untimely (and brutal) a death as possible!

What Would Jesus Have Done?

Some high-profile “Christians” (Jim Wallis) have vigorously denounced online and in-print both the outcome of the trial and the actions taken by Mr. Zimmerman that night in February 2012.

But the issues of self-defense and the use of lethal force against another person — and the quasi-issue of racism — are not the subjects being dealt with here.  (I’ve addressed the matter of guns and self-defense from a Christian perspective in a previous article.)

The issue I’m bringing up is that, in this particular case — as in so many others that are not obsessively covered (twisted, distorted, co-opted) in the media and by the pro-criminal establishment — the net result of the altercation was the immediate halting (via death) of the violent, injurious and potentially deadly actions of the perpetrator, aggressor and law-breaker, and the protection and preservation of the life of the real victim, the non-aggressor and non-violent law-keeper (volunteer law-“enforcer”).

To throw a bone to the “WWJD” crowd, let it be made perfectly clear that Jesus came to fulfill, satisfy and scrupulously NOT disannul, disavow and deny, but rather “preserve, protect and defend” the continuing force and validity of the unbreakable, immutable and perfectly righteous and holy Law of God.  He himself was judged by it.  So, what would Jesus have done?  Frankly, nothing that would have been in any way contradictory or in violation of His Father’s Law!  And he would want his followers to do likewise.  Biblical law is a system of justice and equity based on restitution and restoration, not revenge.

Stripping away the thin veneer of falsehoods and omissions that were contrived from the beginning to conceal the true facts of this shooting, one is left with a simple case of a young man acting defensively and, yes, desperately in response to a vicious, unrelenting and violent physical assault brought on by another young man, who was clearly acting offensively, hatefully and with undue force and without any restraint.

God’s law, properly applied, would hold the first young man innocent of wrong-doing because he was acting (actually reacting) solely in self-defense of his person to preserve and protect innocent life — his!   That law would also likewise hold the second young man guilty of acting unlawfully and unjustifiably to intentionally cause physical harm and serious injury (and possibly death, we’ll never know) to another.

He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.  And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee.  But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die. ~ Exodus 21:12-14

If Trayvon had lived, God’s law — biblical law — would require him to compensate George Zimmerman fully for the injuries he caused him: medical bills, lost income, etc.  It would require the guilty party, the perpetrator, the aggressor, NOT the TAXPAYER or the STATE, to make restitution to the victim.

And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed:  If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed. ~ Exodus 21:18-19

If Trayvon had lived and continued his life of crime and violence and burglary and theft and “substance abuse” and possibly (later on) rape and murder or manslaughter (which he might well have committed and been guilty of in this instance if Zimmerman had not had a gun!), then he would be liable under God’s law to be punished to the fullest extent by relinquishing his life via the civil authorities administering capital punishment — utilizing private citizens to actually carry it out (ex. Numbers 15:36, Joshua 7:25, I Kings 21:13), but that is another non-pietistic, anti-sentimentalist aspect of biblical law for another day! — as this would be the only form of restitution available to him to somehow “compensate” his past and present (and future) victims and their families, for their losses.  And most of all, restitution owed to the holy God whose justice and “legal system” requires man’s blood for the shedding of innocent blood, and for incorrigible, violent repeat-offenders whose presence in the community poses a continual threat to the life and safety of others.

All of this is based on the original principle of the “sanctity of life” (innocent life) set forth by God:

Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. ~ Genesis 9:6

That is the hard truth of it.  No sentimentality or emotion or political expediency or practiced prevarication should be allowed to influence prejudicially and corruptly the outcome of a case that is so clearly “open-and-shut” and an obvious one of justifiable self-defense not meriting a trumped-up show trial lasting one and a half years!

A far more desirable outcome — infinitely more desirable — would have been for Trayvon to have lived through the encounter, hopefully learned from it as well as his past “indiscretions” and offenses, and brought to saving faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and experienced forgiveness and emotional healing and full and free redemption, and thus had a very different life after that.  But, tragically, regrettably, that didn’t happen.  Only the mysterious providence of God can explain why.

One More Thing…

Something else that comes brilliantly through in this travesty-turned-vindication-of-justice is this.  Jury trials are probably one of our last, best hopes to defend ourselves against advancing government tyranny and the encroachment of the state and trampling of our rights via power-hungry politicians, self-serving and wicked public figures and state-worshipping “leaders” and an ungodly legal system that is increasingly prone to manipulation and convolution and distortion of truth and the adjudicatory process, and the promulgation of falsehoods and lies in the name of “justice.”

Juries, Justice and God’s Law

Here again, we see the biblical model in Scripture:

Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life? ~ I Corinthians 6:3

From a covenantal and theonomic standpoint, jury trials are an excellent example of God’s law in action through self-government: private citizens judging matters at law themselves that involve other private citizens, by applying the law themselves to the facts of the case brought before them.  Their decision can go against the judge, the state, even against the law itself — jury nullificationand most especially (and necessarily) against the general public, who almost never has access to all the facts of the case as they do.   And best of all, despite all that opposition and contradiction, when a verdict is handed down, their decision STANDS!

So if I’m ever involved in a life-threatening situation where I am compelled to act radically and forcefully in order to defend myself (or my family), and my actions result in the death of the perpetrator-aggressor, I would certainly hope and pray that, if I had to be tried in a court of law, I would be judged by a jury of my peers — even if they were all women! who understood what was truly at stake and were not influenced by the popular media or a willfully (and woefully) ignorant and easily manipulated and prejudiced public, not kow-towing to external pressure (thank God for sequestration) on them to find the case a certain way, but would, rather, judge righteously all the facts, and even the law itself, and make a decision and reach a verdict that would ultimately preserve law and order and justice and continue the precedent set by our biblical (and some of our political) forefathers, who recognized that “liberty and justice for all” only happens when all are informed and all are equally and equitably applying God’s law and principles to every area of life.

You Can Lead a Horse to (Reconstructionist) Water, But You Can’t Make Him THINK It

Boys Pushing & Pulling Stubborn Mule

Someone on Gary North’s discussion forums this past week posted that he had recently “converted” to Christian Reconstructionism from premillennial dispensationalism.  This, of course, now makes him a contrarian in almost every sense of the word.  He said he is now the only member of his circle of family and friends to hold this position theologically and eschatologically.

His dilemma (and his question) is this: how to persuade members of his family and at least some of his friends that their position is wrong and his position is right?  Ah, yes…

“How to Lose Friends and INFURIATE People!”

Hmmm.  Sounds like a similar dilemma and question when one becomes a new, evangelically-born Christian.  Suddenly, you have (by God’s grace) awakened from a deep spiritual slumber.  You’ve been raised from the dead and rescued from certain everlasting damnation, and given new life and a new purpose.  You feel (and think) like a new man.  That’s because you are.  You know you have a truth that is THE truth (and not just “your” truth.)  The Gospel becomes like a fire shut up in your bones. You can’t keep it to yourself.  You have to tell others.  You want to tell EVERYBODY within earshot.  JESUS is LORD and Savior and King!  Believe in Him and be saved, too. Have peace with God, forgiveness of sins, everlasting life and joy and fellowship with all the redeemed in Christ and joy and peace and radiant and abundant personal fulfillment in spite of your evergreen and enduring Adamic affinities in this life, and so much more.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Well, my fellow Calvinistic, sovereign-election-embracing, total-depravity-acknowledging Christian, not everybody!

In the same way that non-Christians whom God has not been pleased to grant an irresistible attraction to the Gospel of grace in Christ are not all that interested or enthused by your new-found, let-me-tell-you-all-about-what-God-did-for-me-through-His-Son-Jesus “fanaticism,” likewise, non-Reconstructionists, whom God has not been pleased to grant — well, anyway — who are not only not interested in your new-found, “unorthodox,” borderline-heretical, overly optimistic, evangelically-incorrect belief system and worldview, they are incensed by it.

You have gone to the dark side.  You have defected from the safe haven of Rapture-and-tribulation-focused, eschatologically emasculated, piously pessimistic, conservative, culturally-defeatist, evangelical Christianity.

In other words, you’ve been a BAD boy!

At least, that’s how it looks when they are in the majority and you are in the minority — a teensy-weensy (but slowly growing) minority.  Their sense of validation and biblical superiority is based solely on the fact that they outnumber you.  Their favorite Bible teachers and preachers all teach some form of pietism-premillennialism-dispensationalism.  All the Christian radio and TV stations they tune into teach it. Probably, their pastors all teach and preach it.  Therefore, most (if not all) of their Christian friends — and relatives — believe it.  Therefore, it MUST be true.

For the most part, folks who hold to dispensationalism do so because that’s been the prevailing alternative to the anemic amillennialism of most reformed, liturgical protestant and Roman Catholic churches.

Regardless of what tradition you came out of, when you become a “Bible-believing” conservative evangelical or mainline pentecostal committed to biblical inerrancy, premillennial dispensationalism is pretty much what you are expected to believe — otherwise, you’re a LIBERAL!

And even if you’re a dedicated, conservative Calvinist, chances are you’ve shed dispensationalism and adopted a more robust covenantalism, but you have still retained the pessimistic eschatology of premillennialism (i.e., Satan reigns now, Jesus will reign later).

The Question

Anyway, here is the question, verbatim, posted by this person:

I was recently “converted” to the reconstructionist/postmillennial view of Scriptures. I am the only only person in my family who holds this viewpoint. All of my family and Christian fellowship from the past are the dispensational types. For the most part they are all heavily invested into thinking about the “end times.”

I am not really one who likes to debate and argue, but at the same time, I do not like seeing them being affected by this subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) worldview of defeat. Most of them are just “hunkering down” and waiting for Christ to return. They have no ambitions for productivity. They wouldn’t say that, but that’s how they live.

What are some good ways to be an influence on my family and friends in trying to help them see the hope that is in the Reconstructionist view of scripture and life? What are some good questions to ask to get them thinking about their assumptions?

The Answer

Here is Gary’s answer.  Pay close attention to the action steps prescribed here.  They can be applied to virtually any situation where you hold to a certain set of beliefs and the majority of people around you hold to another.  He does not say to marshall your forces to do intellectual and rhetorical battle with your ideological (but not spiritual) foes.  Rather, he says, put your theology where your mouth is.  That includes your eschatology.  Live it out so that others — especially the ones you’re trying to persuade and hoping to convince — can and WILL see the real, visible difference that it makes.

Hunkering down is the preferred way of life for the vast majority of people. This will not change. It’s Pareto’s law: the ineffective 80%.

You perceive that their eschatology is a root cause of their lack of initiative. But is it? It may be the other way around. They are just normal people, hunkered down, and their eschatology comforts them. It tells them that this is all they should expect. You want to take this excuse away from them. You will encounter resistance. If you are not rich or famous, they will say to themselves: “What does he know?” What is your answer?

So, the best way to handle this is by word and deed.

First, achieve some obvious success.

Second, produce materials that show how you did it. This includes your views on eschatology. Write a short a book on eschatology and success. Explain why eschatology does not promote or justify a lack of success. Aim this book at somebody who is about 15 years old. Do not target your relatives. Your relatives do not want to hear it. Your relatives do not want to be reminded by you that they are underachievers due to their eschatology. Publish this book by print-on-demand.

Third, produce a series of video lessons that could be used in a Sunday school. Explain your position. Post these on YouTube. I recommend a 12-week series of lessons, each about 25 minutes long. Use a screencast program to do it, with a presentation graphics program such as the one in Libre Office. Buy a good lapel microphone. Buy a good webcam for $70 or so.

Fourth, set up a WordPress.com site. Post the videos on the site as embeds.

This way, when somebody asks you what you believe, hand him a book, and then hand him a short link created by Bitly.com or TinyURL.com that takes the person to your video series on eschatology. If the person is interested, he can find out what you believe at his own pace. He can listen, review it, or ignore it. He does not have to listen to you tell him face to face.

He listens to you teaching teenage kids, which is a completely different positioning. He does not feel threatened. You are not targeting him because he is a failure. You are targeting young people to help them not become failures. The positioning is completely different. Everybody wants kids to be successful. It is just that few people want to pay the price personally to be successful and to be a role model for kids. He expects his own kids to do what he has not done, despite the fact that he has taught his kids erroneously.

If you are positioning the materials to help teenagers do better in their lives, it is very difficult for anyone to criticize you. Ignore your relatives. Why? Because they surely ignore you. Treat them in exactly the same way. Target a completely different audience, and then, if a few of your relatives are curious about what you have been doing, you can hand them the book and a link to your blog site, which has your YouTube videos embedded in it.

Again, there’s no strategy of full-spectrum theological dominance here.  Just a practical program of, “Don’t tell me, show me!”

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Forum question and answer reprinted by permission.