A New Church Era in a Barack Obama Presidency


This is a post I wrote on Tuesday, but didn’t post. I wanted to wait a day or three to reflect. Here’s the post. I will be posting soon on what core values churches should have in our new era.

Today, we celebrate the great achievement of the inauguration of President Barack Obama. We now have our first African-American President. I plan to pray for him often. It seems fitting his inauguration would come a day after celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The new era in our country will play out in many ways politically and morally, nationally and globally. We come again with challenges and expectations. Some challenges will be met. Others will not be met. Some things we can control. Most things we cannot control. There is one thing that must be accomplished now that we have broken the curse, the scourge of slavery, civil rights, and racial division. We must now stop talking about the dream and live in the reality of racial unity. Specifically though, the church of Jesus Christ needs to get radical in addressing issues of race and must model racial unity.

I suggest the church do the following things in the next 4 years.

1. Pastors should preach a series of messages yearly on the sin of racism. Pastors can use a Q and A forum to do it. Younger people in church are ready for the dialogue. It may be a way to have them take the mantle of the church. It doesn’t matter what color a person’s skin is. Racism is wrong period. Racism should be condemned in the church. This will mean some will have to admit and repent of racial bias and apathy. Others will have to admit and repent of unforgiveness and unwillingness to move forward. Pastors should give people an opportunity to leave racial issues at the altar. Cleansing and empowerment from the Holy Spirit is what will be required for this task. For far too long churches have divided racially. It is now time to put that division behind us.

2. Pastors should lead their churches to start multicultural churches with other churches of other ethnicities and cultures. I’m not saying we send an eager Pastor out on his own. I mean churches need to give 25-50 people each and start the church as a win. Churches need to come together and fund staff for a year. Church people need to have a part in the launching through prayer, giving, options to go to the new churches, etc. Pastors should make this a major emphasis by preaching on it, vision casting it, and making the opportunity as missions opportunity, not a competition thing. This should be done to fulfill Jesus’ prayer for a unity witness in John 17. community

3. Pastors should use social media to communicate the the need for racial unity within the church. Pastors should use Facebook, Twitter, and personal blogging to educate and encourage people in the area of race.

4. Pastors should anchor the issue of race in scripture, not politics. When a pastor uses political language, regardless of the political persuasion, he puts his people in an uncomfortable, no-win context. Politics has not brought about racial unity in the church. Politics did it in the political world which means our culture. Yet political means do not bring life change and transformation of peoples’ lives. Politics only divides people. If politics is involved, people will remain separate instead of uniting. Separation and division are rarely good things in the Bible. I know this is a downer, but isn’t it true? I personally plan to not talk about politics with my Christian friends because it will put a wedge in between us.

Are my ideas dreams? Yes. Do I think pastors will even think about doing this? No, not really. It may be possible someone might take my ideas and actually run with them. What else can the church do? Maybe we can sit back and watch as the culture continues to move forward in race relations. The Church can continue to silo itself. We can remain on our sides of town singing the songs, hearing the word of God, yet not willing to do what God’s word demands. What else can the church do? Well, we can do what is right. The time is ripe for racial unity. There’s no excuse to not pursue it.

What are we willing to do to please God and witness for Jesus Christ?

Congratulations President Obama. I hope the church in America wises up and catches the wave of racial unity.

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