Senseless tragedy. Hate crimes. School shootings. Racial divides. Horrific bullying. Teen Suicide. And more…
No, my friends, our children are NOT safe.
Not in a church, not in a school, not at the playground, not in the pool. Not in their homes, not at the store, not at the beach, nowhere anymore.
And although we live in an age where we’re instantly informed, and awareness spreads like wildfire making our hearts jump and squeeze and fear and break, the truth is that our children, our families, have never been safe…especially in a church.
“But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me” John 15:21.
American Christians have lived in relative ease for the last season of our history, but I sense God telling us those days are past. Now is the time to decide where our loyalties lie. But know this, friends, being a living, breathing, Jesus-loving Christian is dangerous in these times.
The work of the Gospel is more important now than ever. People are dying for their faith—abroad, in our own backyards, in places of refuge that were once thought safe—and I don’t believe it has anything to do with race. It has to do with evil. It has to do with an enemy who will use race to kill, steal, and destroy—the only thing he’s good at.
Yes, we will be persecuted because we are Christians. Humanity, Christian or not, will be persecuted because we are beloved to God. Any other reason isn’t the root, it’s the circumstance the evil one uses to destroy.
So we must do at least four things:
1.We must look at our brothers and sisters in Christ and see Christ, not color.
Sharing the Good News of Jesus and making disciples is too important. We MUST unite. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
2. We must quit arguing over silly things that don’t determine whether someone goes to hell or not, and “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28).
If we spend more time “going” and less time arguing, more people will be saved.
3. We must humble ourselves and stop demanding our rights, no matter our color.
Jesus gave up ALL of his rights so that we could be saved. Why should we expect to be treated with dignity when he was mocked, beaten, abused, spit on. We’ve all fought for peace, but I’m afraid in winning it we’ve won complacency and the expectation that peace comes from without. It doesn’t. Peace comes from within as we know the Son of God and are known by him. HE is our peace, and we must be willing to give up our rights, our comforts, to follow him.
4. We must teach our sons (and daughters) to stand and boldly proclaim the name of Jesus.
But they won’t be safe. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). If our children are living in these days, and we want them to follow Jesus, we must pray for God to help them stand in the face of evil, not run from it.
They will not be safe, but they will move the Gospel of Jesus forward, so that others, like the gunman in Charleston, ISIS, the gunman at Virginia Tech, Columbine, and countless others, will know the truth, and be set free. That’s the only way we can make a change.
Don’t sit and watch. Go ye therefore and make disciples.
Brooke McGlothlin is co-founder and President of Raising Boys Ministries. She’s a mother of two boys who believes God has chosen her to fight for the hearts of her sons. She can be found most often on her knees in prayer, not because she’s so holy, but because God is. Not because she knows how to raise godly men, but because she believes so much in the God who loves them more than she does. To stay connected with Brooke, sign up for her free 5-day prayer challenge for mothers of boys!
Note: This post is supposed to be more about the urgency of making disciples, and less about race, but I don’t want to make it seem like I don’t care about the sin of racism or that I believe there isn’t still room (lots of it) for healing. As a white woman, it’s impossible for me to fully understand this issue the same way my black sister does. I haven’t lived it the same way. But I can care. I can hear her heart. I can love her for who she is. And I can work to love her better. We DO need to make decisions that promote healing, and we have a long way to go. But I believe knowing that the enemy of our souls is trying to use racism to destroy us should motivate us to band together and get the job done. Let’s join together to fight against the true enemy, not each other.