In light of last week’s events, the President of Every Nation North America, Pastor Brett Fuller, has responded to the tragedies and encourages the local church that there is no greater time than now to represent unity and love. We welcome all to join us at Renew Church LA as we love the community and seek justice for all.
The violent events of the last few days have shaken the core of our identity as a nation. Today, “E Pluribus Unum” (“out of many one”- a Latin statement written on “The Great Seal Of The United States”, and upon much of our currency) feels more like the pollyann-ish dreams of a burgeoning eighteenth century nation, than a present day descriptive slogan. Worse yet, from the Black man’s perspective, the term “pluribus” (many) was never intended to include him. Slavery, Jim Crow laws, decades of institutionalized prejudice (racism), and tendencies for the dominant population to maintain the cultural norm,” only served to reinforce the idea that he would never be truly welcome in mainstream America. Thus, African Americans were resigned to believe that when the United States’ founding fathers said “E Pluribus Unum”, they meant “E Pluribus Duo” (out of many, two).
I open with this painful reality because there is no way to understand the psyche of the Black man without understanding his improbable birth through extraordinarily narrow sociological canals. Being sociologically marginalized and Constitutionally disrespected for centuries has an effect on a people. Most African Americans have learned to bear their pain well, and some have even been healed; but none have developed amnesia. It only takes one discriminatory incident (real or perceived), to unearth the pain of many generations upon one. Thus, here we are…
In Minneapolis, an officer, after stopping a car for a taillight violation, feels threatened when the driver reaches into his pocket to retrieve his registration. The officer’s response: shoot the driver multiple times. The victim is Black.
In Baton Rouge, LA, two officers attempt to physically subdue a man. Though the perpetrator never displayed a weapon, the officers decide the best way to neutralize the threat is to shoot him (gun pressed to chest) at least the three times. The victim is Black.
The national outrage more than palpable, but the rage in the Black community was unlike any I have experienced since the 60’s. It is so deep that it seemed have to morphed into a bitter hopelessness; the kind from which blood feuds are born. This depravity can breed demonically motivated men who hunt men; the murderous targeting of responsible Dallas police officers being the saddest case in point. Words do not carry sufficient weight when attempting to denounce this heinous act. This dark pit into which many go, has no exit save the hand-up offered through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May God help the city of Dallas, and the families who lost loved ones.
Enter the Church, stage “right.”
At the core of any misuse of authority is the heart of a person who is making a decision. The influence of the Gospel upon the heart can make a man buck a racist policy in favor of treating his fellow man well. The power of the Gospel can make a man less fearful of the unknown, allowing him to be a better decision maker in crisis. The heart changing Good News can even stop a man from retaliating against his enemy, while aiding him to make a friend out of a foe.
The Gospel will help legislators craft better laws, help business people create companies with inclusive environments, and help the offended forgive. The Good News of Jesus Christ makes people the best version of themselves they could ever be.
Dear Christian, if there is a more pointed time to do what we are crafted and called by God to do, I know it not? America desperately needs the Message Jesus died to deliver. If our nation can be healed, the prescription God is writing is the Gospel.
There will be many marches, protests and speeches in the coming days. Most of which will be constructive; well intended men doing all they can to in their generation to address over twenty generations of pain. There will be a reemphasis on sensitivity training and cross-cultural immersion exercises. Every school, local government, company, little league and police department will be evaluated, while they self evaluate. All will make a valiant effort to eradicate any vestige of racism from their culture, and our country will be better for it. Still, will we be any closer to “E Pluribus Unum”?
While social activism is important, its most hopeful result is reformation. The Church is earth’s only institution that possesses the message of personal transformation; the kind of heart change that inspires unparalleled reconciliation relationally, cross-culturally and cross-ethnically.
We will come closer to seeing “E Pluribus Unum” become reality if the church will “kerusso euaggelion pas ktisis” (Greek for: preach the gospel to all creation).
God help us, help America!
Pastor Brett Fuller
Senior Pastor, Grace Covenant Church
President, Every Nation North America