Jun 4, 2020
A Few Truths We Can Affirm
as the Body of Christ
In these difficult days, we at
Lipscomb are praying for all our churches, that we might be those
Ezekiel spoke of who repair the breach and stand in the gap. We
realize it is difficult to know what to do, what to say, and how to
say it. This can often paralyze us into saying and doing nothing.
However, we need to know that saying nothing in a time like this
can appear to others as though our silence is a symptom of
unconcern. So with great humility and a belief that prayer and the
Spirit will give each congregation the right way to "speak the
truth in love" we offer these thoughts in the hope they can do some
- Think Christian-ly.
It is easy to see a crisis through the lens given you by the media
or some other outside organization. But we are to have "the mind of
Christ" (I Cor. 2: 16). This means we "take every thought captive
to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor. 10: 5) so that we "do not
conform to the pattern of this world, but are transformed" through
minds renewed by the Spirit (Rom. 12: 2). Resolve to think through
this situation as Jesus would if physically present.
- Affirm the Divine Image in
Every Person.The first chapter of Genesis affirms that
each of us is created in the very image of God. We are each divine
image-bearers. Jesus once told us, "Render unto Caesar the things
that are in Caesar's image" but we are to render unto God the
things made in God's image. Every person is a divine image of God
regardless of age, color, or capacity. We each belong to God.
- Affirm that Breath Comes from
God and Returns to God.Again it is God who “breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became
a living being" (Gen. 2: 7). The word "breath" and the word
"Spirit" come from the same word. Thus when Jesus cried out from
the cross, "Into your hands I commit my Spirit" (Luke 23: 46) he
was likewise returning his breath to the One from whom it came.
There is a sanctity to life that comes from God.
- We Should Treat People as We
Want to be Treated.The rule on the streets today might be
"Don't do to others what you don't want to be done to you." But
Jesus holds us to a higher standard: “So in everything, do to
others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up
the Law and the Prophets” (Matt 7: 12). We should always be
asking, "How would I feel if this happened to me?" Of all the
places on earth, the church should most strive to treat people
- Jesus is the Most Oppressed
Person from the Most Oppressed People Group of All
Time. I cannot possibly know what it is like to be
part of a cultural group with story after story after story of
abuse and oppression at the hands of a government system. But Jesus
can. The prophet Isaiah spoke of Jesus and said, “He was
oppressed and afflicted yet he did not open his mouth; he was
led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its
shearers is silent so he did not open his mouth. By
oppression and judgment he was taken away, yet who of his
generation protested?” (Isa. 53: 7-8). No one protested at the
oppression of Jesus, but he did it all for us. Jesus knows what
people are going through today, and he cares.
- Nothing Escapes God's
Notice.Every person will one day bow their knee and admit
that "Jesus is Lord" over all of creation. At that time we will be
called to give an account for the things we did and didn't do while
upon this earth. Jesus' own brother James reminds each of
"If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do
it, it is sin for them" (James 4: 17). God is watching and nothing
escapes his notice.
- One Day We WIll be Part of a
Multitude from Every Tribe and Tongue. John's
apocalypse shares this vision: "After this I looked, and
behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from
every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing
before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes,
with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud
voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to
the Lamb!'" (Rev. 7; 9-10). One day we will all gather united
around the throne, and the Lordship, of Jesus Christ. It is our
privilege to beginnowmaking this vision a
There are Things Each of Us
* Pray: That God
will raise up leaders who will build us up, and stand in the gap to
bring healing and reconciliation. Ask that you might be a part of
* Listen: I have
been amazed and overwhelmed by the accounts I am hearing from godly
friends who have experienced abuse and injustice at the hands of
our government systems. These stories are real and need to be heard
no matter how painful it is to discover our moral failures as a
society. Listen and reflect, and don't make excuses--just listen.
And then pray for us all.
* Encourage: One
of my best friends is a Dallas police officer. He is the worship
leader at the congregation where I served for fifteen years. There
is no finer man. Unfortunately, there is a danger today that we
will start profiling police officers, letting the bad apples spoil
our view of the ones sacrificing so much for us. Let someone know
you still believe in them.
* Address: Think
Christian-ly about your congregation and how this wake up call for
America might make your congregation a healthier place as well.
Then begin prayerfully to take steps to live into what Jesus is
This is a time for much grace and
peace my friends.