The Bridge Church June 10, 2020

FAQ: Racial Reconciliation & the Gospel

Bridge Family,

Recent days have been filled with pain, confusion, and an outpouring of gospel-fueled response. After Sunday, we’ve had many meaningful and Kingdom advancing conversations regarding race, oppression, and the gospel. As we continue to lock arms as a movement to help people know God, find freedom, discover calling, and make a difference, we thought it edifying to our church body to answer a few questions that you may be asking. So here goes:

1. ARE WE GETTING INVOLVED IN A POLITICAL AGENDA?

We have been and will continue to be about a Kingdom agenda, not a political agenda. The Kingdom agenda is God’s blueprint for how His people should live and engage with the world. God created every person in His Image. When the Image of God is threatened in someone, God’s people are called to respond (Proverbs 31:8-9). To compassionately and courageously love our neighbor is not a political platform but is the practical outworking of God’s greatest commandment (Matthew 22:39). Can legislation make a difference? Yes. However, deep and lasting change will never occur without a changed heart. 

2. DO WE SUPPORT THE BLACK LIVES MATTER ORGANIZATION? 

We realize the phrase “Black Lives Matter” can have different connotations and speaks with many voices. We are not aligning with the political organization, but rather expressing our support for the intrinsic dignity and immeasurable and irreducible value of our black brothers and sisters because of the Imago Dei. As followers of Jesus, we are to advocate for those whose voice has been muted or diminished through violence or injustice. Our impetus to advocate is a direct implication from the cross of Christ who substituted Himself for sinners who actually deserved the justified punishment of God. Put simply, justified people will promote justice wherever it needs to be found.

3. BUT DON’T ALL LIVES MATTER?

Absolutely! No one is saying all lives do not matter. Our friend, Pastor Eric Geiger of Mariners Church in Irvine California says it this way. “Imagine my daughters are playing with a group of friends in the street. And one of my daughters is bullied and hurt badly by someone else. When I rush outside to care for her, do I yell out that I love both Eden and Evie equally? As I am picking her up from the ground to carry her inside, do I tell her that her sister is just as important to me? Do I tell all the watching friends that I want them to be sure they understand that both my daughters are equally important? Of course not. By picking up my daughter who is hurting I am not saying to my other daughter that I don’t love her or that she is worth less. I am running to the one who is hurting.”

4. I DON’T SEE COLOR. ISN’T GOD COLORBLIND?

Actually, God created and sees color. Revelation 7:9-10 paints a beautiful picture of every tribe, tongue, nation, and color worshipping the King together. To say, “I don’t see color” denies the creative excellence of our God and devalues the beauty of men and women of all colors created in His image. We should celebrate our diversity. God does.

5. HOW SHOULD I APPROACH THIS?

  • With prayer and humility. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
  • With self examination. Whoever says he is light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 1 John 2:9.
  • With truthful words. Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9
  • With the proper focus. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:11
  • With relational intentionality. …You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39

 

6. WHAT IF I’M STRUGGLING WITH THIS?

  • Begin with the Gospel. The social strife between Jew and Gentile was a significant issue within the epistles of the New Testament. Time and time again, Paul would begin with the Gospel and then move into the social implications of the Gospel. We may not always be on the same page in regards to gospel implications but we must be on the same page in regards to gospel content
  • Fight for unity. The Bridge Church is a family. Families fight against demonizing each other, even if we disagree. Remember Jesus’ words in John 13, “Your love for each other will prove to the world that you’re my disciples.” One of the biggest threats to our church’s effectiveness in the days ahead is disunity. We must all take part in fighting for unity.
  • Enter the fray. One of our biggest fears is that the uncomfortableness of this conversation will cause us to recoil. However, the greatest sanctification comes in moments of discomfort. So don’t run away. Enter the fray.
  • Reach out to our elders. Your elders are men who love you and pour their lives out to shepherd our church well. If you are struggling in any way right now, do not hesitate to reach out by emailing [email protected]

 

7. WHAT CAN I DO?

  • Read a book
  • Have a conversation
  • Dive into American history
  • Diversify your friend group
  • Call out sin and injustice in a winsome loving way
  • Pray
  • Vote

 

 

8. I WANT TO LEARN MORE? WHAT RESOURCES ARE HELPFUL?

The following resources are recommended by our pastors and elders as helpful and edifying. That does not mean, however, that we agree with every sentiment stated by the authors. We encourage you to “eat the meat and spit the bones.”

Articles


Books

  • Be The Bridge – Latasha Morrison
  • Oneness Embraced – Tony Evans
  • Woke Church  – Eric Mason

 

Moments like this remind us why Jesus wept. This brokenness and pain in our world is not the way things were created to be. So we, as a church family look forward to the day when the sin of racism is vanquished. Until that day, we say, “Come, Lord Jesus, come.”

– Elders and Leadership Team