News.cincinnati.com reports that Judge Tracie Hunter has been indicted on nine felony charges. The Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge has already been suspended and now faces her own criminal proceedings. While Judge Hunter waits for her day in court, Cincinnati is clearly divided over the issue. Some say that race is the only real issue here, and the African-American female Judge did not get the support she needed. Others claim that it is simply about job performance and integrity. Regardless of where Cincinnatians sit on the issues related to Judge Hunter’s case two things are completely clear. First, Cincinnatians may be divided over Judge Hunter’s case and others like it forever. Second, the fall from grace in the public eye is excruciating.
Romans 16:17 states, “Now I beg you, brothers, look out for those who are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them.” For Cincinnati Christians during polarizing and tension filled crises in their city it is vitally important that they remain united as the family of God in Cincinnati. If there is any place to have open and honest communication about the tension of Judge Hunter’s case, it is within the walls of churches all over the greater Cincinnati area. The spaces within those walls and in the homes of believers should be safe places where people can be heard and treated with respect. All the while, the body of Christ in Cincinnati should be in prayer for Judge Hunter, all those lives impacted by her career, and the outcome of her nine felony charges.
In 1 Corinthians 10:12, Paul warns, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful that he doesn’t fall.” The fall from grace, especially for those who have taken authority and been directly involved in shaping people’s lives, is piercing. As Cincinnati Christians engage Judge Hunter’s case and the trial that is soon to come, it is critical to remember that Christians are people of grace and truth. Cincinnati Christians should be mindful of the truth but in ways that bring grace and healing not division and destruction. It would be heartbreaking for Cincinnati Christians to fall from grace themselves as they react to Judge Tracie Hunter’s indictment and criminal court case.