A Congregational Holiness Church Response
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal." – 1 Corinthians 13:1
If we have not love, all of our acts of goodness, kindness, and helpfulness will be hypocritical at best and useless at worst. If we have not love, the great message of hope and peace that we champion will be shrouded in a veil of hopelessness. If we have not love, Christ has not truly transformed our hearts. For Christ is love. The actions of Christ emerge from an immense love for people. Christ's words are covered in love and delivered to those whom He loves the most. It is because of Christ's deep love for us that He gave His own life for the protection, welfare, and salvation of every human being. "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another" (1 Jn. 4:11).
The Congregational Holiness Church stands in solidarity with millions around the United States and condemns the acts of racism against all people. Any act of racism is sin, for racism is contrary to the example Christ lived and the commands that Christ gave. Furthermore, every follower of Christ must never tolerate the actions of racism that have occurred. While our great Nation's history bears the scars of racism, we cannot proceed as in times past. We must work collectively, with Christ as our helper, to carry each other's burdens and love each other eternally. We must see each other as the brothers and sisters, to which we have been created. "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another" (Rom. 12:10).
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate...Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
What is the answer? Where do we go from here? Hearts have to be altered; mindsets must be realigned; forgiveness must be our highest aim and most significant goal. Such a task is genuinely impossible within our strength, and it is unmanageable from our own abilities. It will not happen if we do not seek help. "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26). We must find answers from the One who has all answers. We must pursue forgiveness that begins with ourselves and ends with our whole Nation. We must pray before we can do anything. "You can do more than pray, after you have prayed. But you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed" (S.D. Gordon, Quiet Talks). Pray for healing. Pray for greater understanding and love. Pray that God will bring a swift end to the suffering taking place in our beloved country. Pray. Pray. Pray.
May we find the answers, love our neighbors, and see the Salvation of our Nation in this generation.
In Jesus Name - Amen.