Ben Reaoch | Category: Announcements
I’ve heard it said that Sunday morning is the time when our country is most segregated. That saddens me. What brings joy to my heart is seeing brothers and sisters in Christ from various backgrounds and ethnicities worshipping together, united around the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Whatever your ethnicity, you have probably given some thought to these issues. As a pastor, I am eager for our church to grow in our understanding of one another and our sensitivity toward such matters. Will you help in this process?
One opportunity we have is a discussion that will happen at our church building on Thursday, November 14th at 7:30pm. A jumping off point for our discussion will be the book by Anthony Carter entitled, On Being Black and Reformed. Please don’t misunderstand: you don’t have to be black or reformed to benefit from this discussion or be a meaningful contributor to this discussion. In fact, even if you don’t have a chance to read the book beforehand, I would still encourage you to come.
My prayer is that we can hear from one another’s experiences and come to better appreciate each other, so that God would be glorified in our unprejudiced love for one another.
Living in a fallen world as sinful human beings, we are all in need of forgiveness. And if we are to live in unity and fellowship with others, we must learn to forgive. Consider these words from Carter’s book:
“Biblical Christianity alone sets forth the desperate state of sinful humanity and the all-sufficient work of Christ as the cure. The work of Christ not only grounds our forgiveness by God, but also grants the means for our forgiving others (Matthew 6:12; Ephesians 4:32). In Christ we are forgiven and we find the means of forgiving others. No greater power is known to humankind than the power of forgiveness. When a person has been wronged and has been the victim of intentional harm, there is no greater means of disarming the wrongdoer than to forgive. Forgiveness is not natural. It runs counter to our natural inclinations of self-preservation and self-fulfillment. Yet we are never more like Christ, and thus never more Christian, than when we are operating in Christlike forgiveness. And nowhere is this work of forgiveness more decisively needed than in race relations in America.” (page 40)
My hope and prayer as we discuss these matters is that we will all humbly look to our great Savior, seeking His forgiveness and seeking to forgive as He forgives.
I resonate with Anthony Carter’s Gospel passion, as he writes, “My prayer is that all my brothers and sisters—black and white, brown, red, and yellow—would come to see the beauty and glory in the doctrines of grace and see that they form the parameters for understanding the deepest theological question facing us, namely, how a holy and righteous God could condescend to fellowship with and even redeem unholy and depraved sinners.” (page 43)
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