6/4/2020 7:00:00 PM
God's Word Condemns Racism and Hatred
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This weekend at Jordan we will gather together as a united congregation for the first time in a while to worship our Triune God, to receive comfort and strength from His sacrament, and to enjoy a bit of “socially-distanced” fellowship. As we take a look once again at the Bible’s teaching of the Trinity, we will be reminded that our wonderful “three-one-God” has very carefully and lovingly created us and all people. He painstakingly provided for our salvation and loves us all so much that He even sacrificed His only-begotten Son to accomplish it. All people are equally created by God. All are equally accountable to God. The sins of all are equally paid for by Christ. Everyone is equally precious to God. Therefore, all people should be equally precious to us, as well.
On May 25th, in Minneapolis, George Floyd had his life unjustly and horribly taken from him, and so was denied any kind of justice. This should be shocking and disturbing to all of us. Let’s be clear: God’s Word clearly condemns racism and hatred. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar. For how can anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, love God, whom he has not seen? 21 This then is the command we have from him: The one who loves God should also love his brother. (I John 4:20-21) “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4:31). Racial animosity is a sin. Racism is not acceptable in society or in the church. Jesus Himself calls upon us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31) and it goes without saying that Jesus never showed hatred or discrimination toward anyone (cf. Woman at the Well, John 4; Roman Centurion Mt 8:5-13).
How should we, as Christians, respond to this tragedy and the events which have followed?
- We will pray for the family and loved ones of George Floyd because he was robbed of life.
- We will pray for our nation – for healing and unity.
- We will pray for police officers everywhere, who carry out their honorable, but very challenging, vocations with courage and goodwill.
- We will even pray for the officers involved in George Floyd’s death, that they might be brought to repentance and faith.
Going forward, it’s important to be reminded of a few things. Christians deplore injustice. We deplore looting, destruction and doing physical harm to others. That, too, is sinful and displeasing to God. We will continue to work in our individual lives and vocations, in the voting booth and through our government agencies to plead for thoughtful and unifying policies that end injustices and address social and economic factors that fuel anger, hatred and dissension. For the Lord not only calls upon us to pray, but also to do and to act: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).
But, above all, as individual Christians and as a Church, we will vigorously pursue our main calling: We will proclaim Christ, “in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). Our gracious God wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2:4). We should want that, too.
Pastor Mark Aufdemberge