Your Kingdom Come (Part 2 of 3)
July 5, 2020
Below are notes from our conversation with the Lead Pastor, Mike Aitcheson, from Christ United Fellowship in Downtown, Orlando.
“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3
The Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40)
- “Loving God produces obedience to God” (John 14:15)
- First: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
- Second: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Who is my neighbor?: be kind to the immigrant, the stranger, the sojourner, etc
Justice in the Old Testament
- Tsedeq: retributive justice in which a person is punished for their wrongdoings
- Mishpat: rectifying justice in which people who are unrightfully hurt or wronged are restored and given back what was taken from them (more commonly used).
Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
Understanding Race & The Image of God
- Ontologically we are in Adam, or we are in Christ.
- Anthropologically we understand ethnic nuances, cultural nuances, nationalities, etc.
- “Race” has been understood differently throughout history – race was applied to different ethnicities to create superior and inferior classes.
The Church & Black Lives Matter
- We cannot speak to poor practice at the devaluing of real issues.
- There is a felt burden when Christians post “ad nauseam” about the unrest but have yet to say anything about the events the precipitated them.
- We reject and repudiate the destruction of people and property.
- There are outside organizations (antifa and white supremacists) who are seeking to hijack the purity of the movement.
- It is irresponsible and reckless to zero in on the margins to the neglect of the peaceful discourse and vice versa. It is irresponsible and reckless to only discuss the peaceful discourse without acknowledging the margins.
- The underlying premise of the sentiment of the statement “black lives matter” is that all lives matter while highlighting that some lives don’t seem to matter as much as others.
- CrossPointe does not align with the official black lives matter organization.
- CrossPointe strongly affirms that all people are created in the image of God and therefore have equal diginity and value. Therefore, we can affirm the sentiment ‘black lives matter’ without confusing it with the broader organization because when one part of the body hurts, we all hurt.
The Posture of the Church for Meaningful Conversation
- What shuts down coversations?
- Speaking statistics at someone’s pain who doesn’t feel heard is hurtful and irresponsible. This comes from a place of deflection, unwillingness to admit to complicity or a view that there isn’t really a problem.
- What cultivates conversation?
- Be aware that people are hurting
- Empathetic listening with those who are hurting without becoming defensive
- Leaders need to be seen in unity
How Do We Cultivate Biblical Empathy
- We have to be faithful to the Bible
- The white preacher has the opportunity to say ‘our consciences need to be awakened to the plight of our black and brown brothers and sisters. We need to be awakened to the stress of the vulnerable among us and not just going on living our lives ignorant to the realities around us.’
- When we begin to learn more, we need to take the time to weep with those who weep before we too quickly jump to possible solutions. Let our hearts break and weep with those who weep.
- We need to engage in more cross-cultural ministry. We need a sound theology and communities that are able to reach the changing demographic.
- Some people need to be called to repentance.