Former President Ronald Reagan once said, “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” I believe that great change can’t happen unless someone sets the table for tough conversations.
Will Washington and our leaders in America set this table for tough conversations, or will it be set by the pastors and churches in America? This table for tough conversations needs to be set by each of us, wherever we are located in America.
Hopeful Words from a Jail Cell
When Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his Letter From a Birmingham Jail on April 16, 1963, he noted he had never written such a long letter. When I read these words, it is the final paragraph that penetrates my heart. Dr. King wrote, “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”
After 54 years, this deep fog filled with racism, injustices, and misunderstanding has not lifted fully. This is a sad commentary on where we are as a nation. For the past three years in America, it has become like a fire fanned by a mighty wind.
Rather than the fire coming from the Holy Spirit of God and His breath upon our churches, the fire is raging from the DNA of our hearts. Sin is in our DNA and is at the heart of our human condition. Prejudice and racism are offenses against God and one another.
Silence and Passivity
Silence is not the answer, and passivity is not our prescription for healing as a nation. Cloudiness on the sanctity and dignity of human life is unacceptable. We must hold high the value of everyperson in this world from the moment of conception all the way through the moment of death.
This generation of Americans must rise like never before, resolving that the sin of racism will stop now, and not be forwarded to generations in the future. The churches of America need to lead the way and model absolute acceptance and love for every individual.
Pastors and churches need to lead the way to speak up for every human life, and stand up and tell it like it is when certain groups of people want to declare their anti-Christ doctrine, shouting forth their nonsense. This is not just wrong; it is demonic. No group or race is superior to others.
4 Things Each of Us Need to Know
1. Each of us are created in the image of God.
No one is less than another. We are created by God and created for His glory on this earth.
2. Each of us are a part of one race—the human race.
Each of us came from one man, Adam. Every ethnicity on this earth came from him. Each of us have sinned and come short of God’s glory. The good news is that each of us not only has the same problem of sin, but each of us has the same solution: our Savior, Jesus Christ.
3. Each of us can experience the love of God.
When we receive God’s love found only in Jesus Christ at the moment of salvation, we become devoted followers of Jesus Christ. We become Christians who are unashamed followers of Jesus Christ.
I want to remind each of us today: We are not black Christians. We are not white Christians. We are not Latino Christians. We are not Native American Christians. We are Christians! We are followers of Jesus Christ.
Sin wounds. Grace forgives. Sin hurts. Grace heals. Sin divides. Grace unites. Sin destroys. Grace lives.
4. Each of us who know Christ are part of one Church.
The death of Jesus Christ on the cross makes us one in Christ. When we are forgiven, we become a part of one family, the church.
In this urgent hour in our nation when racial tension is building rapidly, the Church of Jesus Christ must rise together as one.
We are not black churches. We are not white churches. We are not Latino churches. We are not Asian churches. We are the Church of Jesus Christ. We are members of the same body. We need to model to our nation what true oneness means.
Enough is enough. Let’s speak up and stand up as one in this desperate and urgent hour.
This article originally appaered on RonnieFloyd.com. Used with permission.
Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, Immediate Past President of the Southern Baptist Convention, founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry, and host of the Ronnie Floyd on Life and Leadership Today podcast.
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Publication date: August 28, 2017