A Pastor's Note Regarding Our Nation

Trinity Family, 

On May 25th, George Floyd, an African American, was tragically killed when Minnesota Police officer Derek Chauvin, a white man, pinned him down with his knee on his neck for almost nine minutes. This terrible event sparked racial outrage throughout the nation. commune that with the unsteadiness of the last three months of COVID-19 and it created and explosion of chaos. Protests turned into violent riots around the nation destroying and lotting businesses, defacing national monuments and dividing our nation even more.

My heart hurts over the pain and loss all this has caused. These are uncertain days and the question is how should the church respond to this? Or another question would be, how do we engage with our culture and still represent Christ? There is a temptation to quickly react to the chaos and draw assumptions that make you either for or against a particular side. We must resist that “knee jerk reaction” and instead go to our knees in prayer. What does God tell us about all of this in the bible?

I believe that terrorism, racism, and division are symptoms of a greater condition. The ugliness of racism has been around for thousands of years and is found in every race. This hatred comes from one source – sin. We have ignored God’s definition of the human race. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27). This means that every human was originally designed to reflect the image and glory and beauty of God. In Psalm 139 David writes, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.”

Different colored skin serves as the paint for an artist’s masterpiece.  If the world would recognize this, there would be no racism. However, we have scoffed at His ways and instead of reflecting God, man now reflects themself and their own glory. We must remember that sin has corrupted the heart of mankind. James 4:1 says “What causes conflicts and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from the passions at war within you? You crave what you do not have; you kill and covet, but are unable to obtain it. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask.”

The answer to racism, division, and riots and every other manifestation of sin is the one who has defeated sin! Jesus is the answer for the world today. There is real division in our culture today. There is real racism that needs to be dealt with. There is real terrorism and fear. And there is a real savior that has the power over sin and darkness.

Our response? I can think of two things. First, now more than ever, we need to share the good news of Jesus Christ! People will not be able to deal with the condition of sin on their own. No amount of rioting or protesting will ever satisfy the soul’s need for righteousness.  We must pray for those who hurt and come alongside them with the hope of salvation. Where sin and Satan divide, Jesus unifies.

The second response I can think of is just as critical. The Church (capital C) must exhibit God’s definition of unity. That’s God’s design for the church. We are strongest when we are together. Not even the gates of hell can prevail against the church. Be reminded that Romans 2:11 says, “There is no partiality (favoritism) with God.”  Now that we are baptized under the name of Jesus Galatians 3:28 tells us, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” When Jesus prayed for the church he said, “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one", John 17:11.

This does not mean that we're all the same and that the church must all look the same. Instead, like a beautiful choir with many voices singing one harmonious song, the church of all ethnic backgrounds must come together in “unified diversity”.  When we sing the Saviors song together, revival will come to land.

“Our battle is not with flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms", 
Ephesians 6:12.
- “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone”, 

Romans 12:17.
- “In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect", 

2 Peter 3:15.

May God’s people pray and be stirred to love a hurting world.
In Christ, 
Ryan Schmitz