Racial reconciliation
    January 13 2015 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

    Each January, many citizens in our nation pause to remember and reflect on the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech remains one of the most famous speeches in American history. It is well worth listening to again.
     
    We are a generation removed from King’s life, but it is clear that we are still dealing with the pain and hurt of the tragic racial injustices from our nation’s past. I still have vivid memories of the sad and tragic day when this great minister of the gospel was struck down by an assassin’s bullet. Dr. King preached and lived a message of forgiveness. He was a strong and outspoken advocate for equality of all people, but he also proclaimed a message of peace and justice.
     
    Although our nation has made some progress since Dr. King delivered his speech more than 50 years ago from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., recent events in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City underscore the fact that there is still much work to be done in the area of racial reconciliation in our country. These tragic occurrences serve as poignant reminders that we live in a world that is fallen and broken and still contaminated with the lingering effects of sin.
     
    As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we must lead the way in praying for and seeking racial reconciliation. This issue is not just a cultural issue or a social issue. This is a gospel issue. In his letter to the Galatians, the apostle Paul reminds us that the gospel breaks down all racial, cultural or social barriers. Paul writes in Galatians 3:26-28, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
     
    In December, my friend Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, dedicated a chapel service for students, faculty, staff and community leaders to pray specifically for racial reconciliation, healing and understanding in response to the issues of our day.
     
    During the service, Dr. Akin said racial reconciliation will not happen in America until it happens in the church. I agree with his assessment and echo his plea to the church to “show the way forward through the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
     
    The gospel demands that all people, regardless of their color, gender, culture or socioeconomic status, be treated with dignity and respect because we are all created in the image of God.
     
    Only when we are rightly reconciled to God can we be rightly reconciled to one another.
     
    After these things, I looked, and behold a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” – Revelation 7:9

    1/13/2015 10:44:48 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Martin Luther King Jr., racial reconciliation, SEBTS




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