A Statement from our Elders to the Church at Martinsburg and our Community
We likely have all heard the phrase "out of sight...out of mind." For many of us, our exposure to the news cycle provides us with information that takes place to other people, other communities, and deals with other concerns. If we're not careful we read, listen, and observe with a distant eye, out of touch, and this leads us to live with an "out of sight....out of mind" mentality.
That all came crashing down this weekend just 100 miles south of here. Let's not be mistaken. Friday night was not simply a peaceful protest, not simply an embodiment of the 2nd amendment. Friday night and the action that broke out Saturday was birthed out of racism. This isn't simply an "alt-right" conversation. This isn't about national heritage, the superiority of race, and ethnic pride. This is sin.
Let us, with galvanized Gospel backbone, denounce, racism in all its subtle, active, open, grotesque, and insidious forms.
Let us join with our family locally, nationally, and internationally and say with one voice that God has no parts in this. God is a lover of people, a gatherer of nations, and worshiped by tongues from all languages.
Let us not be silence and hope our thoughts speak. May we speak with confidence and boldness and proclaim the good news that God is for all people and in him we are one people. God will be praised by people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. From the Deep South to North Korea God will gather a bride for his son.
Let us not shrink back or remain silent from the hate filled speech fearing repercussions from right, left, conservative, or liberal.
Let us as a majority culture church say with clarity the white supremacy movement, in all its forms, is sinful, of Satan, and has no place in Jesus' church, will not be welcomed, and will be stood against with the vigilance of the Great Shepherd. There is no place for the subjugation of a people in this house or in God's Kingdom.
Let us with hearts of love and compassion ask the Lord for help to understand and sympathize with many in our community, nation, and world, both Christian and non-Christian who have, by virtue of their God given skin tone, been forced to stand up under oppression, discrimination, hate, violence, isolation, and rejection.
Let us, with soft hearts, wet eyes, worn hands, and steeled resolve work together to bring the reconciling message of Jesus to a world that's divided and to people who distort the message of the cross.
Let us, with confidence and one voice, call both the racist and his victim to the cross of Jesus, which is able to save both, heal hearts, and turn enemies to family.
Let us, with desperation, cling to Jesus and plead with him for his return.
Let us hold fast to the great truth of Scripture that God is making a people for himself and those, who are his, will sing a new song, with eyes no longer trained upon themselves, but fixed upon the one who's worthy of all worship, praise, and adoration.