Is America more represented by the response to Houston or by the events of Charlottesville? Dr. Adam York explores this question and calls the church to be on the front lines of caring for all hurting people.
Casey McCall responds to the events in Charlottesville, Va and how white Christians should respond to their black brothers and sisters in Christ.
Moore, Russell and Andrew T. Walker, eds. The Gospel & Racial Reconciliation. The Gospel for Life Series. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2016. 102 pp. It happened again. Another black man was gunned down by police officers, this time in Baton Rouge, LA. His name was Alton Sterling, and, for the better part of the evening of July 5th, his name trended on Twitter as people expressed both outrage and grief. And then the next day, it happened once more. Philando Castile was his name. Like Alton, Philando’s name also trended on Twitter. Both men had their deaths captured on video. The scenes were harrowing. But death was not through. During a peaceful protest in response to the deaths of these two men, one vigilante ambushed and killed five Dallas police officers as an act of revenge. A week that started with the celebration of Independence Day—with fireworks and cookouts—ended with the reality of our divisions painted red with the blood of innocent men. Since the death of Trayvon Martin and the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement, the reality that America has deep and abiding racial wounds has become plain to everyone with eyes to see. How should Christians respond to this? What do churches and their leaders need to do? We can rightly understand that the gospel not only reconciles us to God, but also reconciles us to one another and still not feel confident in how to respond to the racial strife we see. Thankfully, a new resource from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention is available to help Christians think through the difficult issue of racial reconciliation and how to begin putting it into practice.
[The following is a guest post by Jeremy Haskins, Lead Pastor of Ashland in Madison County] In 2009, my family decided to adopt. Our motivation was born out of a desire to reflect the gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe that we are were born into this world as spiritual orphans. And yet, through Christ, we can have our sins forgiven and become children of God. Because God set his love on us in this way our desire was to reflect this in our home through adoption. God led us to set our love on two boys born in Ethiopia. Their mother was deceased, and four of their biological siblings had died of malnutrition. At that time, I never imagined how God was planning to work in my life. Our goal was to simply care for two boys without a home in the name of Jesus. However, God’s goal was to also change my life. Since bringing these two former orphans into our home, the gospel has never been so vivid and so real to me. My life has also been transformed in ways I didn’t expect.
As a pastor I do not tell people who to vote for, but I do not hesitate to point out issues and positions that should disqualify candidates because of their actions and character. I publicly
What we celebrate at Christmas is a repudiation of racism and all forms of ethnocentric superiority and segregation. Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew, born of the Virgin Mary, and his adoptive father Joseph was
By the numbers, abortion is a racist business and has been from the start. At The Daily Signal, Kate Scanlon wrote a piece entitled, “13 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger” that is worth your time to read. Here are a few of examples of Sanger quotes from the piece: “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it,” “A marriage license shall in itself give husband and wife only the right to a common household and not the right to parenthood,” and in a letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” The last quote is often used to claim that Sanger wanted to exterminate all of the black population, but in context the statement is about reducing certain types of blacks. Sanger believed those inferiors who would dilute the gene pool should be eliminated, sterilized, or segregated onto farms (“Plan for Peace,” Birth Control Review, April 1932). This belief was a direct assault on the poor, who she thought to be less intelligent, and it is irrefutable that American blacks, victims of historical and systemic racism, were far more likely to live in poverty and that Sanger considered blacks to be generally inferior, racially and intellectually. Thus, Sanger argued, “Organized charity itself is the symptom of a malignant social disease. … My criticism, therefore, is not directed at the ‘failure’ of philanthropy, but rather at its success” (The Pivot of Civilization, 108). Margaret Sanger’s answer was not to help the poor and the historically racially-oppressed, but rather to keep them from being born and to kill them by abortion to accomplish this goal. Sanger promoted eugenics in the U.S. in the 1930s and 40s, which is an effort to purify the gene pool in order to get rid of those people who are considered genetically inferior. In other words, the idea of eugenics is to create a superior race through population control. There is a reason the Nazis came to your mind when reading that last sentence.
I want to offer a word of warning and exhortation to those burdened by the need for gospel-reflecting, multi-ethnic churches that are, at minimum, as diverse as their ministry context. The exhortation is “let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Gal 6:9). The warning is that you will get attacked, mocked, and misrepresented if you make attempts to cultivate, celebrate, and promote racial diversity and harmony in the church. For generations we have settled for segregated churches. Voluntarily segregated churches are a pale reflection of the expansive reconciling work of the gospel, which is promised and displayed in the Scripture. Too often we assure ourselves that as long as we would receive anyone who wants to attend our church, then we are fine on the topic of race. We see no need to intentionally and strategically reach out across ethnic boundaries to display the local body of Christ as “one new man” described as “the household of God” (Eph 2:13,19). To agitate this settled complacency about race and ethnicity with the gospel is both dangerous and necessary. The path of moving churches from passivity to strategic gospel aggression regarding race and diversity is fraught with difficulty and will result in frequent missteps that can and will be used against you. Nevertheless, attempting to do the right thing and making mistakes is far better than the perceived safety of doing nothing. Every pastor must decide if he is going to be a courageous gospel shepherd or and ecclesial caretaker of the congregational status quo.
What we celebrate at Christmas is a repudiation of racism and all forms of ethnocentric superiority and segregation. Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew, born of the virgin Mary, and his adoptive father Joseph was