And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.
Earlier this week I met with our General Superintendent, Doug Clay, and the Executive Presbytery to pray and discuss in detail the serious and sober state of affairs of our country. These are not times for us to step away but to step up and call for repentance, reconciliation and righteous response to the injustice and hatred that has captured our society.
The following is the official statement of the Executive Presbytery of the General Council of the Assemblies of God:
“Today, America is in crisis. The death of George Floyd has once again brought us face to face with the sins of racism and injustice that Christians must respond to in word and deed.
In August 1989, The General Council of the Assemblies of God adopted its “Resolution on Racism.” We, the Executive Presbytery of the Assemblies of God, redouble not only our commitment but our Fellowship’s commitment to the course of action laid out by that historic resolution.
- We oppose the sin of racism in any form.
- We call any and all to repentance who have participated in the sin of racism through personal thought or action, or through church and social structures, or through inactivity in addressing racism as individuals or as a church.
- We pray to God to give us the courage to confront the sin of racism where it may be found in our own lives, in our churches, in our social structures, and in our world.
- We resolve to participate with the Holy Spirit in actively working against racism at home and abroad, and we seek the reconciliation of people to God and to one another.
George Floyd’s death cannot be just another name added to a list of senseless killings. He was created in the image of God, and his life mattered. As ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we continue to stand with our African American brothers and sisters, committing to use our voices and actions to be agents of reconciliation.”
Let us therefore “mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15), let us follow the Messiah who “seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness” (Isaiah 16:5), and let us proclaim Him who “is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14).”
I encourage you to read this Official Statement to your church family in your weekend gatherings and to take time to pray for the healing of our nation. Here are four responses I urge you to consider, love, listen, lament and lead. Please join me in continuing to build bridges of reconciliation and hope in our communities.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.