Last week, former police officer Amber Guyger was convicted of murder in the shooting death of Botham Jean. She was sentenced to ten years in prison.
For many, that wasn’t enough: they saw it as being too lenient. But the day before, Jean’s brother saw something else.
A chance to live out his faith.
During his victim impact statement, Brandt Jean implored Guyger to “give your life to Christ.” He also said that if she was truly sorry for what she had done, then he was willing to forgive. And he didn’t stop there.
“I don’t know if this is possible,” Brandt said to Judge Judge Tammy Kemp, “but can I give her a hug, please?” When Kemp said he could, the two got up and embraced.
Brant’s mother expressed pride in her son, telling him, “Regardless of the views of the spectators, walk with God always. Forgiveness is for the forgiver and it doesn’t matter what the forgiven does with it.”
However, not everyone was impressed.
Brandt was mocked and attacked online. One commentor demeaned his actions as “some slave type stuff,” insisting, “This ain’t Jesus, this is oppression.”
Judge Kemp is under fire too. Her decision to sign off on a ten year sentence was regarded by leftists as an example of racism (that Kemp is herself African American seems not to have registered with them). What’s more, an atheist group has lodged a formal complaint against Kemp for having given Guyger her personal Bible and urging the woman to to pursue faith and forgiveness.
"This is your job for the next month," she told Guyger. "It says right here. John 3:16. And this is where you start. 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.'"
The outrage toward these charitable acts should not be surprising. When people hold a world-view that offers no chance of repentance or forgiveness as seen in the "cancel culture," they cannot understand the virtues Jean and Kemp displayed.
Yet it's clear that with today's deepening divides, this is exactly what society needs. Their acts transcended the racial barriers that leftist identitarians have erected. They defied the prohibition on public faith so many try to impose. They demonstrated love--agape love.
And they show that when others attempt to undermine faith and truth, the Christian's response should be simple: demonstrate Christ's sacrificial love for us and point to the path of repentance and salvation.
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