In response to the recent racial tensions, the Youth Department held “Civil Conversations on Race, Biblically Generated Dialogue on Race, Culture, and Our Call to be a Peculiar People,” October 24, 2020, online and with a limited in-person attendance.
“We need to have difficult, honest conversations if we are going to make progress,” said Jonathan Montes, youth ministries director. “We should be a light on a hill in all that we do, including how we treat our fellow brother and sister. We need to stop feeling so comfortable being separate, and start being united in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Held at the Georgia-Cumberland Academy Church in Calhoun, Ga., about 50 to 60 high school students and teachers attended. The guest speaker was Roger
Williams, pastor for the Eureka and Orleans churches in California. There was also a panel discussion in the afternoon.
Williams shared information providing ways for people to interact, respond, and love during racially tense conversations. He said, “First, Paul’s analysis of the sin is noteworthy. He does not simply say racism is a sin, although it is indeed a failure to love one’s neighbor as one’s self. Rather, Paul is laying bare the spiritual roots of racism — a rejection of the Gospel of salvation and a return to justification by our moral efforts or pedigree.”
Matthew Dormus, a junior at GCA, thinks education is the best way to move forward as a Church. “The Bible educates us, but then it transforms us. So, when we come to events like this, we are being educated,” said Dormus. “When we seek God to work in our hearts, we are transformed to take up the challenge and do what God is wanting us to do.”
Anna Lewis, a junior at Collegedale Academy, says she attended to “make sure that I was getting my foundation and my knowledge based on God’s word instead of trying to formulate my own opinions.”
Kate Ermer, a junior at Collegedale Academy, said she attended to understand racism and to know how to respond if asked.
Williams ended his message with the love of Jesus, saying, “when Paul said, ‘Your racism is a violation of the grace and mercy of God to you,’ he was also advising Peter’s fear. He appealed, ‘You’ve forgotten Christ’s love for you, Peter.’”
Georgia-Cumberland | January 2021