Charlottesville and the Freedom of Reconciliation in Jesus Christ

Last weekend’s hate-filled protests in Charlottesville have gotten our attention. Once again, some of the most egregious elements of our society have been exposed. We find these events disturbing because they violate the very way we were created—in God’s image, to love him and love others. To stand in arrogant prejudice against another image-bearer is to boldly contest God as Creator and His inherent right to determine what is good and just.

Racism isn’t anything new. As a nation, we aren’t as far along in healing the scars of our past as we might believe. Much progress has been made in racial reconciliation, but there is much more to do. We also must remember that our hope is not in our nation or its leaders. If anything, partisan leadership has contributed to our cultural inability to engage in constructive discourse. Lawmakers can’t transform hearts. Only God’s Son can restore God’s image and impart God’s Spirit to move us to love others as God loves.

The truth is, the Spirit-filled church is equipped to address injustices like this in a way that reflects God’s character. We are called to a ministry of reconciliation. Only the gospel can bring lasting healing, transformation of separatist ideologies, and hope for the future in Jesus Christ. And this message cannot be delivered impersonally. True healing comes when Christians of different skin colors, culture, and background personally engage and invite others to experience the power of forgiveness and the joy of reconciliation that all humans long for.

This is an exciting hope. And we don’t have to wait for eternity to experience it. Be in prayer for Trinity Fellowship Church as we seek to engage in racial reconciliation conversations in our church, in our homes, and in our workplaces. And be in prayer for healing in our nation, as we grieve the tragic injustice displayed in Charlottesville. May God be pleased to move among his people to courageously speak and live in light of the reconciliation found only in Christ.

Keith Hileman

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