The murder of George Floyd has left many Christians feeling disheartened, divided, and unsure where to go next in fulfilling their Biblical mandate to heal racial and ethnic divisions. In response, unCUFFED Executive Director John Rusnak facilitated a conversation between three Baltimore City pastors—George Lawson, Antoine Payne, and George Hopkins—to discuss how Christians can build relationships across disparate communities, speak bold truth while practicing empathetic listening, and stand united without uniformity. Listen below to hear their various experiences and thoughts, and learn what Scripture calls us to do in the face of racial division.
At the heart of the Christian’s life is love for each other. When we lose sight of our common identities as God’s children, we lose out on the riches of others and the joy a relationship with them could bring. As you begin reflecting on your own relationships, ask yourself: “Do you greet everyone who comes into church equally, or just those who look like you?” Commit to pursuing relationships with all of your brothers and sisters in Christ.
“We have an eternal responsibility to stand for truth, even if it is viewed as rebellious,” but love must be the foundation of all truth-telling. When ministering and speaking truth, it must be done “in such a way to honor the dignity of our brother or sister.” When speaking truth to someone, ask yourself: are my words coming out of my love for God and for the other person?
The God we worship is, always has been, and always will be perfect, but Christians and the church have often fallen short of God’s vision for justice and unity. Though the church has played a significant role in the racial injustices of our country, through God’s grace its role as healer can be restored. Take some time today to learn more about the church’s history, repent, and ask God to extend His grace.