I know you join me in being shocked by the heartbreaking events that took place in Charlottesville, VA, over the weekend.  The troubling problem of racism continues to raise its ugly head in our nation, and it feels like in some ways the social fabric of our country is coming apart at the seams.

As Christians how should we respond in these desperate times?  I think our first response should be grief and repentance.  We should mourn the sin of our nation, and we should also ask the Lord, “How am I contributing to the problems, and how do You want me to be a part of the solution?”

Second, we should respond with prayer. These problems are bigger than any of us, and we need God’s help to overcome the racial hatred that exists in our nation.

Third, I believe we need to respond with courage.  We should denounce the sin of racism and what Tim Keller calls “the idolatry of blood and country,” and we should actively work against injustice and seek to break down the walls that separate us.  The Bible is clear.  There is no place in the Christian faith to think one race is superior to another.  Everyone is made in the image of God, and every human life has infinite and equal value.

And finally, we should respond with hope.  No matter how awful things may appear right now, evil and hatred never have the last word.  God is still at work, and each of us in invited to join Him on His mission of love to a lost and broken world.

Here is a link to a very helpful piece Tim Keller has written about the tragic events in Charlottesville.  I commend it to you.  https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/race-the-gospel-and-the-moment

Please join me as we wrestle with these thorny issues, and talk about these problems with your friends and family.  And ask the Lord what He wants you to do in the wake of these events.  As Tim says in his article, it is absolutely crucial that we speak up about the teaching of Scripture on racism, not just now but routinely.  And we need to actively engage in seeking God’s face in order to do His will in combating the evil in our own hearts and in the world.

Dr. Peter Barnes
Senior Pastor
First Presbyterian Church
Winston-Salem, NC