Dear CrossRoads Family,
I’m writing to respond to the seemingly overwhelming crisis that has gripped our nation over the last week, concerning the situation in Charlottesville and the terrible violence between the white supremacists and the antifa, or anti-protestors.
I didn't address this issue in the pulpit last week because I felt I didn't have enough information and hadn't heard from God on how to respond, other than prayer. My sermon on sexual purity may not have seemed as important as dealing with racial injustices, but please know that I pray and study over every message, and I felt that that was the message that God wanted me to preach.
Having said that, let me say that I realize that racism, bigotry and hatred ARE big problems in our society, and there are some of you in our congregation personally dealing with these issues. Please know I am here to help you through your pain (as are all of our ministry leaders). I believe that those who support racism are wrong according to the Word of God, which teaches us to love one another. I also believe that violence is not the proper response to those who hold such horrendous views as white supremacy.
God led me this week to John chapter 8, which deals with a woman caught in adultery. The penalty for this sin according to the law was death by stoning (which the crowd was ready to do) and then Jesus said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” Of course we know that everyone ended up dropping their stones and leaving; and Jesus then asked the woman where her accusers were, and had anyone condemned her, and she said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus then said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8: 3-12).
As Christ followers, we have been given the light of life! And so I feel our main response as a church should be modeling the love that Jesus taught and not just condemnation to those walking in darkness. Racism, violence, and hatred are indeed sins, but they are committed by human beings made in the image of God, loved by God, and for whom Jesus gave his life that their sins may be forgiven.
May we unite around the truths of God’s Word and our love for God and one another to show the world a better way. And may we continue to be in prayer for our country and for the world to see the light of Jesus Christ and the abundant life that He gives.