For more than three hours, I watched Memphis’ WMC-TV5 livestream news coverage of the brutal, frenzied, depraved, animalistic, tortured beating of Nichols by five Memphis police officers. The violence was non-stop. It was horrific. It was demonic. He was 60 yards from home. Nichols called for his momma. Those were his final words. Thank God his mother didn’t hear him. She too might have been beaten to death or gunned down if she’d come to his rescue.
Nichols’s funeral was last week, but we should hold his death tightly and it must be more meaningful than another report in a fickle news cycle. We need to digest its implications and what it reveals to us, about us. His death speaks louder than the call for police reform. It exposes the spiritual condition of our society. It reveals how little we collectively value life.
Christians should watch every minute of the video. We should be shocked, and disgusted, and nauseated, and angered, and utterly heartbroken at the comprehensive disregard for human life. And it wasn’t just by the five officers. Three EMTs were fired for their lackadaisical response in administering medical care. There was no compassion, no urgency.
The callous indifference toward Nichols’ life was profound. I have spent more than a week processing what I saw. This wasn’t some Hollywood movie with a fictitious body count. This was real. This was evil in the shadows brought to light by a body camera.
I’ve had to dig to find a context that makes sense. I’ve concluded this was an unrestrained Satanic attack perpetrated against an image bearer of God since Satan cannot himself attack God.
Think about it. God is the Creator, making man in His own image (Genesis 1:27). Satan is on a mission to pervert and destroy everything God created, and our society is increasingly cooperating. We have grown comfortable with killing unborn babies, and now many in our society are fighting for the “right” to kill babies who survive an intended abortion.
There are increasing conversations about disposing of older people suffering with dementia, Alzheimer’s or other degenerative diseases who are seen as a “drain” on resources.
News stations blow through the daily murder story like it’s the weatherman reporting another average day. Christian musical group DC Talk asked the question we should all ask of ourselves and our society: “What have we become? In a world degenerating, what have we become?”
When a society becomes callous and indifferent to the value of every life, we are just a step away from justifying the systematic elimination of those among us with mental and physical disabilities. Overly dramatic? Two words: Nazi Germany.
“Oh, America will never be like that,” some will retort. The Bible disagrees and says much about how desperately wicked the unconverted heart is, and how it is capable of beating Tyre Nichols to death, or aborting millions of unborn babies, or exterminating 6 million Jews.
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:9). “The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slander” (Matthew 15:9).
Yes, on the surface we have a societal problem but that is only a symptom of the disease. Ultimately, we have a heart-filled-with-depravity issue that disregards and destroys human life. Laws obviously don’t restrain people. If that were so, then the Ten Commandments would be sufficient. Morality and religion don’t address the root problem either.
The only cure for the evil displayed on a neighborhood street in Memphis is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Being pro-life is about more than being anti-abortion. It means valuing all life, every life, as precious and deserving of the utmost dignity for no greater reason than God created people in His image.
Pray for us, for all of us — you and me — those who too often stand at the periphery. Pray that God will drive us to our knees in intercessory prayer then to our feet to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. People need the Lord, and the tragic death of Tyre Nichols should remind Christians that we must respond with deep compassion and a passionate sense of spiritual urgency. B&R