Woodland Hills Pastor Greg Boyd Addresses George Floyd’s Death and Discusses the Issue of Racism

Greg Boyd from Woodland Hills in the Twin Cities area addresses George Floyd’s death and talks about the issue of racism. This is actually a good talk about racism by Boyd and also a panel with blacks who share their thoughts on racism. 

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Martin Luther King

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:1-2 ESV

Greg Boyd 

Greg Boyd is the senior pastor of Woodland Hill Church in he Twin Cities area. He was written about by the New York Times when he refused to give a platform to a conservative running for office in 2006. He lost 20% of his congregation which amounted to 1,000 out of 5,000 members. His book about how the United States is not a Christian nation has caused controversy with those who wage the culture wars.  You can read that book in, “The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church.” 

After the death of George Floyd, Greg Boyd addressed the issue of racism from Woodland Hills. You can watch the sermon above and I hope you do. I listened to it while working on another post earlier. Boyd addressed the horror of Floyd’s death. He spoke about the history of racism in the United States and said that he was going to use his white privilege to talk about this issue from his podium. Greg even talked about his two black grandchildren and his fears for them growing up in the United States. Greg’s talk is followed by a panel with several blacks who share their thoughts about racism and the death of George Floyd. 

 

11 thoughts on “Woodland Hills Pastor Greg Boyd Addresses George Floyd’s Death and Discusses the Issue of Racism

  1. I like Greg Boyd a lot. I’ve been taking advantage of the covid online church thing to watch Woodland’s services, though I missed this one. It’s definitely an emotional topic, and some of his conclusions I think are reached through emotion, not logic.

    Saying that the white church has complicity for police brutality commits the same sin that he is objecting to. He addresses the fact that lots of people (he says lots of white people) look at the world through the lense of individualism. What he doesn’t see is that this is the morally correct way to look at the world. The alternative to individualism is racism, or classism, or some other type of bigotry or prejudice. Jesus loves us regardless of our race, creed, color or sex, and calls us to do the same towards others. It’s not loving for me to blame you for something wrong that a third person does. You are only to blame for you.

    His argument loses some of its steam when he includes people like Michael Brown in his list of victims. Brown was killed in the act of attempting to murder someone. His case resembles this real problem, but was not an example of it. In his defense, we now know that some of the eyewitnesses lied, and maybe Boyd only paid attention to the initial publicity and not the follow up.

    We will see what information comes to light in the trial (or trials) involving the Minneapolis police officers. From what I’ve seen so far, I don’t see much reason to think that they would have behaved any differently if George Floyd was white. Police in other cities have killed white people in the same way.

    It is true that I could have been more outspoken about the issue of police brutality. There are many issues, involving the deaths of people, that I don’t speak out on. How many of them should I speak out on? God gives different burdens to different people. Eagle, here, is an activist against corruption in churches, and that is good. Should he stop that and start investing his energy in a different cause? I’m not convinced.

    I happen to think that if my vaguely libertarian political preferences were enacted, police brutality would go down. For example, public sector unions protect bad employees and make sure that they keep their jobs, and police unions are no exception. Part of the tradeoff for giving government a near monopoly on force is strict oversight, and police unions reduce and prevent that oversight. I’m happy to see that more and more people are starting to realize this. So, should I have become a political activist 20 years ago, in the hopes of ending police unions and avoiding this killing of George Lloyd? Without the Minneapolis police union, the officer in question would have been fired some time ago, thanks to his well below average disciplinary record.

    If I was to become an activist, I could probably maximize the bang for my buck by working to decrease abortion, which kills more black people in a year than police have in the history of the USA.

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  2. I like to focus on Black Crime, which is not discussed, and completely ignorned by everybody. Criminals are the ones getting shot. White criminals get shot all the time. But we only hear about the black criminals getting shot, just because they are black.

    Remember once upon a time a phrase called, “STOP OR I’LL SHOOT!”? What do they say now? Well, I was gonna say, “STOP, OR I’LL SAY STOP AGAIN!”, but it’s even worse now. Now it’s, “DON’T STOP, KEEP COMMITTING CRIME WHILE WE TAKE A KNEE FOR YA!”.

    Black cop gets murdered, shot several times. Black lives matter? What color was the man that murdered him? Black. Did that black murderer care that black lives matter? NO. He only cared about the stolen goods that he got from “ill gotten gain”…a phrase I remember as a kid. STOLEN GOODS MATTER!

    Numerous night clerks at various convenience stores, murdered by blacks…I think this is the only time that race is not an issue…blacks will murder ANY COLOR of night clerks. The criminal only serves themsleves.

    The criminal is not loving to anyone but probably their “momma”. Which brings me to George Floyd. He had just committed crime, on SEVERAL fronts.

    How did he OBTAIN meth and/or fentanyl. Did he get that from a doctors prescription for his BACK PAIN? Even he did not believe that his life mattered, but we are supposed to believe that black lives matter when he didn’t even respect his own body?

    Yes, we are told lies about these people, and yet, it’s the church’s fault, right? Hands up/Don’t shoot…total BS, and we all knew it from the beginning, but that lie is what was propegated.

    Black Crime is the problem, not white Christians. Stop committing crime, no one gets killed.

    YES, George Floyd would still be alive, had he not committed crime. Yes, he was murdered, and there will be justice for his murder. But Floyd could have prevented his own demise, by his own actions, by being a LAWFUL CITIZEN. You can’t blame white Christians for that!

    STOP to think for a moment…for those who believe in God…where is George Floyd right now? And why? Was he judged for his own CRIMINAL sins against God and awaiting the Great White Throne, or was he forgiven for his sins and with Jesus right now? Does anyone have an idea?

    Does black crime pay? Big Screen Tv’s, Tennis shoes, clothes, drugs, booze, tools, and the life of a BLACK RIGHTEOUS COP who is NOT being remembered as a hero, but a criminal is being held as a hero.

    BLACK CRIME.

    Ed Chapman

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      • I am currently. I’m only about 20 minutes into it so far. My comment is premature, but, black crime is still my focus. Why? Because I see no systemic racism at play. I see a crooked cop murdering a criminal, and the two had previous employment together. Let’s not kid ourselves, George Floyd has a past violent criminal history where he left a lot of victims in his wake. Floyd is not a hero or a martyr. He was a thug who got murdered by another thug. Takes ya back to the good ole days of the mob in New York…The Godfather! But they were all devout Catholics. Italians murdering Italians.

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  3. He uses the word GOSPEL many times, but the GOSPEL is not about SOCIAL justice. The GOSPEL is about ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN after one dies. The GOSPEL is that Jesus died for your YOUR sins so that you can be with Jesus in ETERNAL LIFE.

    The word GOSPEL is DIMINISHED by this guy, because he’s NOT discussing Jesus, or ETERNAL LIFE which is what the gospel is all about.

    He consideres George Floyd as…A BROTHER. Well, when we read the APOSTLE PAUL, we read that George Floyd is NOT a brother, for he said:

    1 Corinthians 5:11-13
    But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

    12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

    13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

    Floyd is NOT A BROTHER, according to Paul.

    What is the GOSPEL according to this guy? Social Justice?

    Concentrate on Verse 12 above.

    No, I don’t buy into this guys preaching, since Jesus and Eternal life was not the focus of what the gospel is…he’s only concentrating on THIS TEMPORAL LIFE equating that to be the gospel.

    Everyone dies, so death is NOT the issue of the gospel. It’s what happens AFTER one dies that is the focus of the gospel.

    Ed Chapman

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  4. Blood crying out from the ground, huh? Abel was RIGHTEOUS. Abel PLEASED God. Can we say the same about George Floyd?

    Genesis 4:4-7
    4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
    5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
    6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
    7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

    Does George Floyd represent Abel here?

    Hebrews 11:4
    By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

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  5. It would be better to lift up the RIGHTEOUS black cop who was murdered, rather than an unrighteous criminal.

    If my memory serves me right, Martin Luther King Jr. wanted us to be in a place where the CONTENT OF THE CHARACTER is judged, not the skin color.

    But what you social justice warriors are STILL DOING is judging the skin color. WHITE PEOPLE BAD!

    What was the content of the character of one George Floyd?

    You people are NOT honoring the wishes of Martin Luther King Jr. You don’t judge the content of the character of George Floyd. Instead, you’ll erect a momument to a criminal with a rap sheet a mile long, and spit on the grave of the righteous black cop that was murdered by another black man.

    Where is the social justice for the RIGHTEOUS cops murdered in the line of duty from you people? Including this pastor?

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    • I really can’t disagree. I think there is a lot of pattern matching going on within the black community: after you experience enough racist mistreatment, every time a white police officer mistreats a black person it looks like racist mistreatment. If there is one thing that human beings are extremely effective at, it’s taking a small number of data points and leaping to a conclusion. Usually it’s a survival advantage, but it’s also why prejudice exists in the first place.

      If you listen to the Q&A afterwards, there are several stories of racist mistreatment of non-criminals.

      Like Woodland HIlls, my church also had a pastoral Q&A with a black church member where they talked about the situation, asked how they could help, and asked him for his opinions about what has happened. He also had many awful stories of race-based mistreatment, and the fact that it did not make him bitter and hateful is truly a testimony to the supernatural power of God working in his life. The person they picked ended up agreeing with me a lot more than I expected. Like any other community, there are a lot of different conflicting viewpoints within the black community, and within the anti-racism community, about what can and should be done. Among other things, he does not believe in white guilt. He said, if you commit racist acts you are to blame, and if you fail to prevent them you are to blame, and otherwise, you are not to blame. He was very much not a Social Justice Warrior.

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      • Well, racism can be eradicated by simply living by the golden rule, which is biblical and individualistic, treat others as how you wish to be treated. It’s not a social justice issue. Just the individualistic golden rule. That doesn’t take a church to beg for forgiveness for the actions of others. You are not responsible for the death of anyone. One man is. So I’m perplexed at Q &A’s. If individual Christians don’t know the golden rule, they need to be given the boot out the door. But, also consider 1 Cor 5:12. Use the Niv version for simple reading. What happens outside of christianity is not out business. Our business is what goes on inside the church. So if racism is in the world, it’s not our problem. It’s wondering eagles problem. If racism is in the church, then give those racists the boot out the door. Or as 1 cor 5 states, get rid of that wicked person. Don’t keep him. Christianity’s problem is that they keep the wicked in the church, by justifying that the wicked person is FLAWED. No, you kick that person out to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. Why do we need training in this? Just follow the golden rule. That’s it.

        Ed Chapman

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  6. I finished listening to the Q&A session at the end and there are a few points that resonated with me.

    Someone asked Greg Boyd what process caused change in his life wrt his awareness of these issues. He said it started when he started to get his worth from Christ, and this is such an important thing, such a foundational thing for Christians, and so difficult to do. I still react negatively when someone threatens one of the things that I used to base my self-esteem on in the past, so I’m not there yet, myself.

    It is important to try to understand people who disagree, and to not dismiss their experience, because I am not infallible, and I could be wrong. Many of the stories in the Q&A were terrible things that I have not experienced, and if I had, maybe I would be leaping to some of the same conclusions about George Floyd as they are. You don’t have to agree with someone to listen to them, and you especially don’t have to agree with the remedy that they think will work.

    I don’t agree with the statement that white Christians can eliminate the problem of racism in our society. But that doesn’t mean we’re not responsible for eliminating racism in our lives, actions, and choices, and we are still responsible for working to decrease it within our spheres of influence.

    Someone asked, why are you more outraged about the rioting than the killing of George Floyd? My answer is, because rioting is worse, and saying that does not minimize the tragedy of Floyd’s death. More black people have been killed in the last two weeks by rioters than by Minneapolis police. Black business owners are ruined because of the rioting. The people who would have lived in the torched low income housing complex will have worse lives now. Economic growth and prosperity reduces systemic racism, and the riots set that back for the low income black community. Antifa, of course, doesn’t care about the black community, except as much as they can be used to help antifa’s political goals.

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