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We all need a little more grace
By Matthew Brewer – Guest Blogger
SOCIAL JUSTICE is a topic that God’s Church can not be silent about.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of sitting down with a local Lutheran Pastor and we spoke about the divisions in Memphis over race and the divisions in the church over various issues. After I left, I really began thinking about these topics. I was raised in a Conservative family, and I have conservative values. However, I was taught to LOVE and RESPECT all of God’s creation! I know there are many divisions within our country, our city, and our churches. So many of these divisions have not risen from salvation issues but personal opinions and convictions. I too have personal opinions and convictions, but I see that it is important to be in dialogue with people who I don’t agree with. This is how I have learned to work together with others to advance God’s Kingdom.
I have had the privilege of being in Memphis 15 years, and in that time I have made friends of all races, religions, and sexual preferences. As an adult in Memphis, I have been able to see from a distance the discriminatory practices of people – not just one race of people, but bigotry and discrimination among the races. I have also seen LOVE between the races. I have seen SACRIFICE between the races. I have seen at times a UNITED FRONT among the races.
The Church has a mission to reach the lost, but it also has a duty to serve the poor, the hurting, and the rejected. We must uphold the Word of God, and we must LOVE. Don’t try to tell someone you love them if you discriminate against them. Don’t tell someone you care about them if they are hungry for food, yet you don’t give them any. Don’t use the phrase “Hate the sin, but love the sinner”- it’s been over used. The ones we are called to reach out to need love and a place to belong. They need to hear about the forgiveness and unconditional love of our Savior. We are not the judge of others. We are all sinners in need of God’s mercy. Grace is a gift. God showed us grace when we were still in our sins. The Church, the people who call themselves Christians must offer this same grace to a hurting world. Let us truly become the hands and feet of Christ, holding true to our doctrine and our beliefs that are grounded in the Word of God, and let us see each other as a neighbor and a child of God! It is my prayer that we will see more and more Christians coming together and offering love and grace! It is my prayer that the spirit of multi-cultural worship will permeate and rain down in the churches in which we serve. It is my prayer that through our differences and differing opinions and beliefs, that we can find a place of grace for one another. Red, yellow, black, white, gay, straight, rich, poor, young, and old- WE ALL NEED A LITTLE MORE GRACE!
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