Opinion: Where do we all go from here?


The year 2020 has certainly been a year to remember, and it isn't over yet. We have experienced almost 34,000 wildfires compared to almost 29,000 during the same period last year. That's 5,000 more wildfires fought this year compared to last year through August. Named storms for 2020 have been bumped to 25, just three short of the record-breaking year 2005, with 28. Last year we felt three earthquakes compared to six already this year. More than 1,000 unarmed people died as a result of police harm between 2013 and 2019. One third of these were Black people. About 17% of the Black people who died as a result of police harm were unarmed, a larger share than any other racial group and about 1.3 times more than the average of 13%. In all fairness, the number of people shot to death by police so far in 2020 by race are as follows:

- Whites = 242

- Blacks = 123

- Hispanic = 80

- Other = 15

- Unknown = 201

The numbers are trending downward since 2017. Two things need to happen to make certain that the numbers decrease in all areas. First, all citizens need to obey the law. Second, policemen need not be so trigger happy.

We have a much larger problem in North America, and it doesn't appear to be getting any better. Whenever there is an endangered species, because the living count has reached an all-time low, killing one of these animals becomes unlawful. Several animals were once or still remain on the endangered species list; reptiles, mammals, snails, clams, fish, flowers, insects, etc. These are just a few categories where you can find the top 10 most endangered species.

We are soon to reach 200,000 deaths in the United States due to COVID-19, and it seems as if the leaders of this nation don't care. What is the number of deaths that would cause this nation to take this killing agent seriously? We still have people who get angry when asked to wear a mask to enter a building. People are dying all around us while so many others think that they are untouchable. The sad reality of it all is that the cold and flu season is about to revisit us shortly, which is expected to cause a sharp rise in COVID-19-related deaths. In addition, with all of the social unrest, racial biases, political wars, natural disasters, police killings, etc., the questions still remains, where do we go from here?

During my Bible reading in the book of Matthew, I came across these passages of Scriptures (Matthew 24:5-7), "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places."

Upon careful examination, my attention was drawn to verse seven, "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom." The emphasis was not placed upon nations against nations, but rather nation against nation. This includes a nation fighting against another nation but also a nation at war with itself. We have become a nation at war with itself. We have a leader who would love to see a race war where he can have us kill each other while he sits in comfort within a bunker somewhere hiding. When are we going to wake up and see what's going on here? I heard a reporter say, "The difference between a cult and a religion is that the leader of a religion will die for his followers. The leader of a cult, however, expects his followers to die for him."

My leader, as a Christian, has already died on the cross for my sins. His name is Jesus of Nazareth. He shed his precious blood for me and this entire world. So why would I lose my life following after somebody else? I'm not, and you should not allow anybody to push you over the cliff while they sit back like a king.

We must all trust in the same being because he has a sound trust record of never failing his people.

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil." (Proverbs 3:5-7)

Sam Livingston is pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Manning.