Not so fast. Before we are caught up in the next wave of what's trending in the news, perhaps it's time for us to swim out of the riptide of information overload, breathe, and take a look at our divided country. Yes, that's present tense, as in a nation that is as divided as it ever has been in recent memory.
Blacks and whites. Democrats and Republicans. Conservatives and liberals. Straights and gays. Those who voted for our President and those who voice their opinion against just about every move he makes.... civility between opposite sides is at an all-time low.
Those who warn that our nation is becoming a divided one, think again, we already are one.
The solution to a more unified and peaceful country will not come from our politicians or educational system. The solution, if it comes at all, will come from God's church.
If the Church returns to truly listening to what the Gospel is telling us, then the Church will be the most unifying factor in society. If the Church hears that God is asking everyone to "come as you are" then the church will be inclusive and healing. It will be the Church that will show that skin color doesn't matter, that politics doesn't matter, that whatever sin one is immersed in doesn't matter when it comes to receiving the message of Jesus Christ. The only thing that matters, is that Jesus is our salvation and our hope.
Once we accept that premise, then we can love our neighbor with honesty, and say, "You matter to God no matter what!"
Don't shy away from this discussion. As Pastor Ken Hutcherson recently said, "The truth will set you free, not 'sensitivity.'"
How will the Church respond?
Three Quotes, Three Stories Not To Be Missed
"For these and other reasons, the American Church dare not overlook this moment in history; a time when racial divides are so front and center, past and present pain so prevalent, that even President Barack Obama weighed in spontaneously this week, arguing "…that the larger discussion of race belongs not with lawmakers in Washington but in living rooms, houses of worship, and workplaces." The time, then, is now to embrace the biblical mandate of the multi-ethnic church and pursue it for the sake of the Gospel." -- Mark DeYmaz, Executive Director Mosaix Global Network
"But here's a very important question for churches and pastors: Church, if we are racially divided (87% of churches in America are homogenous), how can we heal a racially divided country?
A multi-ethnic local church, fueled by the grace of Jesus, is the ultimate public testimony against racism (Galatians 2:11-21). In reality, a multi-ethnic local church is the future church in the present (Revelation 5:9). Only in close proximity to one another does grace replace racism." -- Derwin Gray, Pastor of Transformation Church, and Frank Viola, author
"As we pray, let us pursue practical peacemaking. The church is entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation, humans to God, humans to one another. Let every real church be a house of reconciliation, where people can dwell and work together as incarnational ministers to every broken facet of their cities." -- Wallace Henley, Senior Associate Pastor of Houston's Second Baptist Church, former White House aide in the Nixon administration and newspaper editor and reporter
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