To what I am sure is the utter disappointment and dismay of the sensationalist mainstream media, what is being under-reported about the killing of Walter Scott by now-former North Charleston, SC police officer, Michael Slager, is that Scott’s mother, Judy Scott, has publicly and unambiguously expressed her forgiveness of Slager, who has officially been charged with the murder of her son.
Though obviously very well-spoken and articulate, Judy Scott did not attend seminary.
You will not find the letters ‘MDiv’ or ‘ThD’ appearing after her name in television interviews or on social media sites when speaking about her son’s violent death (which was captured on video.)
Yet the genuine heart-attitude exhibited by this courageous woman toward the man accused of murdering her son, clearly shows a depth of understanding of the gospel which, in my estimation, rivals that of individuals who have spent years earning such theological designations.
Not even the most highly-esteemed of Christian educational institutions could bestow this kind of awareness of the significance of what it means to know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior.
The only explanation for Judy Scott’s other-worldly attitude is the transforming power of the gospel.
No other explanation is fathomable.
We see this same power demonstrated in the book of Acts, where Peter and John were egregiously mistreated at the hands of the Sadducees, men who, not unlike Michael Slager, were in positions of authority and influence. And yet, despite this injustice, their witness for Christ was steadfast.
“…as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” – Acts 4:13 (NASB)
Consider, my brothers and sisters, what greater testimony can we have than it is said of us that we have “been with Jesus”?
Only those whose hearts and minds have been transformed by the Spirit of God can respond in a manner as did Judy Scott about an incident as traumatic as what transpired with her son.
Trust me, it was not in seminary that Judy Scott learned this.
It was not in the columned halls of – insert name of seminary here – that this humble mother learned to love Jesus in this way. It wasn’t through the reading of countless books or listening to hours upon hours of haughty lectures or defending doctoral theses that she came to experience this kind of inexplicable peace.
It was not in the process of pursuing a formal theological education that Judy Scott came to the realization that to love and forgive like Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean the removal of consequences of one’s actions. Though she has forgiven Michael Slager, Judy Scott understands, and rightly so, that the principle of reaping and sowing still applies today and that our decisions often bear consequences, for better or worse.
I, for one, am thankful that Judy Scott is an Acts 4:13 kind of Christian and not a Theologian.
What the body of Christ has in Judy Scott is a woman who cherishes in her heart what it means to trust her Savior in the most difficult of times. Without ever having read Jonathan Edwards or Martin Luther, Ms. Scott understands the doctrine of the sovereignty of God and that to know Jesus Christ – to truly know Him – is to not only believe in Him but to believe Him, even to the confusion and dismay of others.
No theologian could have offered a more effective witness for Christ.
Yes, Judy Scott may not be fluent in biblical Greek or Hebrew. She may not be adroit at expositing on Systematic Theology or Church History or Reformed dogmatics.
But one thing is certain: Judy Scott knows the gospel.
She has been with Jesus.
I wonder, could the same be said of you and me?