After hatred and violence shook Charlottesville, Virginia, the news media has certainly capitalized on highlighting a tragic problem that continues to plague our nation. Nothing really new. It's the same old strife Lucifer fostered since the fall of man. He is the wicked one who has sown seeds of a false sense of superiority in a truth that should be self evident in the words of our own United States Declaration of Independence, that "All men (human beings) are created equal." Simple little word with a big and bold statement: "ALL!"
What should our response as Seventh-day Adventist followers of Jesus be to bigotry and bias; to racism and radicalism; to indignation and irritation; to hatred and hostility?
As your servant leader for the Lord serving the 154 churches and companies of the Carolinas, I call on each of us -- yes, all 23,000+ members of God's remnant church in this beautiful southern part of God's vineyard -- to have the courage and fortitude to denounce any hate groups such as the white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-nazis, KKK members, and every hate-filled domestic terrorist group that foams at the mouth with anger, bitterness, and rage against any life that is a precious treasure of the Creator Himself. The elements of hatred fostered by an air of superiority of one person over another is truly a satanic characteristic of the arch enemy of both Christ and man. Let us as Adventist Christians be very clear on our position against such wicked philosophies espoused by such groups that have absolutely no place in mankind whatsoever.
At the same time let's not ever play God as judge and jury. What do I mean? There should be no confusion on this matter. Jesus died for every sinner on earth and longs to redeem every lost lamb -- even those who have drunk from the cup of the iniquity of hatred and bigotry we have witnessed. No one is beyond the redemptive amazing grace of the God we worship. Romans 8:38 underscores this truth with these words of assurance: "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow -- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love" (NLT). He saved a wretch like an atrocious, morally bankrupt, murderous King Manasseh in the Old Testament and a blood-thirsty, hate-filled and formidable Saul in the New Testament.
What can heal America? "Nothing but the blood of Jesus." What is the only thing that can wash away the sin, pain, and heartbreaking tragedy of Charlottesville? "Nothing but the blood of Jesus." Yes -- it was that blood-thirsty, vengeful and formidable Saul who finally drank from the fount of Christ's immeasurable love. Christ's love alone washed away his sins, and gave him a new identity as the great apostle Paul. May his words of I Corinthians 13 be the guiding principle of our heart's. longing and ardent prayers for the healing of our nation. Those closing words of that chapter say it most reflectively and deliberately -- "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."