Charlottesville: What Price Will You Pay for Your Mission?

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It’s unlikely anyone will take our Cause more seriously than we do.


It takes a passion for justice, a desire to protect your community, and a commitment to serve and make a difference.

 More than just a job, it is a career.  It requires dedication, sacrifice, and commitment.

And, this weekend, for two men and their families, it required the ultimate sacrifice.

I’m talking of course about the Virginia state troopers who gave their lives as their helicopter – from which they had been providing aerial surveillance and intelligence to officers battling to quell the violence and mayhem on the streets of Charlottesville below – crashed.

The Need, The Challenge, The Peril

No doubt, Lieutenant Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke Bates had read and recited the above mission and values on their agency’s website many times.

Having served as a law enforcement chaplain, I’ve seen over and over again how ingrained and instinctive those essentials are among those who take on the responsibility of the badge, especially in a society increasingly marked by the hatred that’s rooted in human sin.

As they left home and went to work each day, they knew what their profession called for – and what it could ultimately cost them – and they willingly gave themselves to the need, the challenge, and the peril.

On August 12, 2017, it happened. The dreaded and ever-present possibility came to pass. They died. They died doing their job…their career…their mission.

The Long, Difficult Road Forward

While their service to their Cause has now been completed, the long, difficult road forward for their families is just beginning.

Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 10.24.25 AMMy heart is especially tender toward this reality as one who experienced the deaths of my father and our 25 year-old son in the same week – different circumstances but equally real sorrow.

(You can read our story in Finding Hope in Times of Grief, co-authored by my wife Glenda and me and available for immediate download on Amazon Kindle.)

The situation to which the troopers were responding festered from the vile evils of bigotry and racism – in this case by individuals espousing white supremacy and white nationalism. Such a perspective is both morally wrong and Biblically ignorant.

The Chosen Race

Pastor John Piper points out that, according to the Bible, “The chosen race is not black or white or red or yellow or brown. The chosen race is a new people from all the peoples – all the colors and cultures – who are now aliens and strangers in the world.”

He’s referring to the truth of 1 Peter 2:9, which says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his [Jesus Christ’s] wonderful light.”

Sometimes, opposing darkness and spreading light exacts a steep price. Being part of the wall against lawlessness cost troopers Cullen and Bates their lives.

Risking our Well-Being

President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause.”

His words, as well as the deaths of these good public servants, raise important questions for you and me – questions like:

*    What price will we pay for our mission?

*     Are we really in it for keeps, or are we just dabbling in it as a hobby?

As we consider the purpose, vision, mission, and values of our organization or church, the answers to those questions matter a great deal, since it’s unlikely anyone will take our Cause more seriously than we do.

In New Life New Media, we exist to partner with great Causes with which we share a sense of conviction and urgency, and that help others experience the New Life we’ve found in Jesus Christ.

Of Him, German pastor and World War II martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” There’s no dabbling in a hobby there!

No Greater Love

Christ Himself said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

Because of our sense of calling, you can be sure that when you engage us for the sake of Your Cause, we will strive to serve you with quality and excellence that truly adds value to your mission, and that helps you move from good intentions to “mission-accomplished.”

It’s something about which we are both serious and joyful. So please…contact us today, and let’s get started!

Till next time, let’s join in praying for the Cullen and Bates families, and the family of Heather Heyer, who also died in the violence on the ground in Charlottesville. Please post your prayers and expressions of comfort below.

Also, help grow the “cloud of witnesses” supporting these families, and all that’s good and right, by sharing this post with others who will join us in doing so.

Thanks. I’d love to hear from you…


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