Mark Dever, Pastor at Capitol City Baptist Church, President of 9 Marks Ministry, and council member at The Gospel Coalition was accused over the weekend of engaging in some good old-fashioned virtue-twerking historical revisionism after highlighting the death of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old young man who was killed by Geroge Zimmerman in 2012.
Zimmerman was found not guilty of both second-degree murder and manslaughter after a jury of 6 women found that he acted in self-defense when he shot Martin, who was in the process of smashing his head against the sidewalk after an altercation. Zimmerman tailed the young man while calling 911, explaining he was following him because he looked “suspicious.”
Dever routinely posts “Today in History” reminders, such as “10 years ago today, Frank Buckles, last surviving US Veteran of WWI died at age 110 (2011).” or “145 years ago today, Lottie Moon wrote in a letter to J C Williams, “But the work is God’s and we do not fear the final results. ‘The heathen shall be given to His Son for His inheritance,’ and we must be content to await His own time.” (1876)”
It was his commentary though, that left many giving him the squinty eye and shaking their heads.
Critics charge that Dever highlights Martin’s black skin in order to stir up racial division, propagating a “white-on-black violence” narrative and inferring that his death had a racial component to it. Pointedly, Dever is saying he was killed because he was black. Why else, they say, would he note it while at the same time choosing not to mention George Zimmerman’s race, who is a Peruvian person of color, as well as not mentioning the race of other people he tweets about, such as the aforementioned Frank Buckles and Lottie Moon?
They also contend that Dever’s commentary of a call for prayer for “justice” in our society is an accusation/contention that Martin was murdered and did not receive justice – hence the prayer for justice in this context. This prompted Pastor Josh Buice to point out:
The article Buice is quoting from specifically states:
George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, igniting a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights, was found not guilty late Saturday night of second-degree murder. He was also acquitted of manslaughter, a lesser charge.
After three weeks of testimony, the six-woman jury rejected the prosecution’s contention that Mr. Zimmerman had deliberately pursued Mr. Martin because he assumed the hoodie-clad teenager was a criminal and instigated the fight that led to his death.
Mr. Zimmerman said he shot Mr. Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, in self-defense after the teenager knocked him to the ground, punched him and slammed his head repeatedly against the sidewalk. In finding him not guilty of murder or manslaughter, the jury agreed that Mr. Zimmerman could have been justified in shooting Mr. Martin because he feared great bodily harm or death.
By highlighting Martin’s race along with the need for justice, critics contend that Dever is engaging in some woke revisionism that follows a false narrative, essentially promulgating a race-baiting retelling of events that leaves out crucial content, while making sure to include misdirecting talking points. The result, they say, is damaging.
One commenter in particular was displeased with Dever’s commentary on the subject, doing his own take with Judas Iscariot as the subject to demonstrate what he doing with the language he chooses.
Dever has yet to comment on the brouhaha.
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