The following is a letter that I posted on Facebook this morning, and I believe it’s important enough to post here as well, for it is vital to the life of our church and nation:
Greetings to ALL My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
To each and every man, woman and child, who has surrendered themselves to God in Christ Jesus our Lord, out of a heart filled with love and gratitude to our Savior, who willingly paid the penalty of death for your sins and for mine, I greet you in the name of Jesus. I’m writing this letter to you because my heart is filled with love and grief for the church, and for this beautiful nation that God has blessed us with. I have always felt honored and blessed to live in this great nation, which was founded on the principles that…
… all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness… (Declaration of Independence)
I believe with all my heart that this is true, not because the Declaration of Independence says so, but because the bible tells me so…
26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. (Galatians 3:26-29 NLT)
Beloved readers, do you understand what this means? It means that once you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you become a child of God and a joint heir with Jesus, Himself! It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, a servant or a king, black or white or any other shade in between, you are a child of God, who loves each of His children equally. It doesn’t matter whether you are very intelligent, or whether you have a learning disability, your Daddy (Abba/Father) loves you just as much as He loves His other children. It doesn’t matter if your parents loved you more or less than your siblings, because God is your Father now, and He is just. He loves you just as much as He loves me. He loves you just as much as He loved King David, the Apostle Paul, Peter, James and John. Do you understand?
If you understand this, you need to understand something else. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and you become God’s child, you also gain some new siblings, who are also children of God. Do you know what this means? It means that you have brothers and sisters from every race and culture, and because they are your siblings, you have to love them, no matter what, because Daddy loves them, and if Daddy thinks they’re worthy of His love, don’t you think they’re worthy of yours too?
Now, I’ve told you that I’m writing this letter because my heart is filled with love and grief for the church, and for our wonderful nation, and I’ve established a very good case for why we should love ALL of our brothers and sisters in the Lord, so now, I’m going to take this love thing a step further, before I share my grief with you. Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord, not only are we supposed to love our brothers and sisters, but according to the bible, we’re supposed to love our enemies too…
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48 NLT)
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NLT)
After reading these words of Jesus, it is very clear that God expects us to love each other AND our enemies. There is no wiggle room, no way to escape this. And, beloved reader, please allow me to make this perfectly clear, for it is of the utmost importance that you understand. Jesus isn’t saying, “Try to love your enemies.” He isn’t saying, “Love good people.” Jesus is COMMANDING us to LOVE our enemies. Do you still need more evidence?
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me. Remain in My love. 10 When you obey My commandments, you remain in My love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is My commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:9-13 NLT)
14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15 NLT)
Do you want to be forgiven? Then forgive ALL who hurt you. Do you want to remain in God’s love? Then love ALL mankind.
This brings me to the reason for my grief. We are all aware of the deep rooted racial anger that exists in our country. It is like a dark plague that is killing the church and this once great nation. You may ask why I say it is killing the church, and I will tell you, but first, I will remind you of my love for each and every one of you, my beloved readers, friends and enemies. Some may read what I am saying and take offense, and I can live with that. However, one of the things that truly grieves me is that some of my brothers and sisters in the Lord may take offense, and it is this very thing that is killing the church.
Let’s talk about what is going on in our country, not as black or white people, but as Jesus’ people, okay? You see, when we became children of God, we took on HIS identity. I am no longer defined by my race or ethnicity, and neither are you, brothers and sisters. I am now called “Christian,” and when I interact with people of the world, I want them to see Christ in me, not the white in me. Also, when I look at my brothers and sisters of different races, I don’t see the color or lack of color in them, I look to see the same Jesus, who lives in me, in them too. When I see the Christ in you, my beloved brothers and sisters, how can I help but love you?
Not only that, but when I look at those who don’t know Christ, it isn’t their color that I care about, it’s their heart. My heart is filled with love for those who don’t know Christ, because I know the One who could set them free from their anger and bitterness against people of different races. I grew up in a racist household, and I know firsthand that racism breeds bitterness, and that terrible root of bitterness chokes the life out of every other relationship the bitter person has.
Church, the reason I’m grieving is because WE are supposed to be different from the world. WE are the ones who are supposed to be setting the examples for the world, and yet, how many of us have found ourselves caught up in the anger that is all around us? How many of us are part of the problem, instead of trying to be part of the solution? What if God’s people united as ONE, just as Jesus prayed we would be, and what if we humbled ourselves and prayed, and turned from our wicked ways? And what if we joined together, seeking God’s face, and asking Him to bring unity and love to our land? I believe God would hear our cry and He would heal our land. Do you know why? Because the bible says so.
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)
But sadly, something is preventing us from uniting and praying together, and do you know what that something is? This may be offensive to you, but the words I write are written in love. My heart’s desire is for God to heal our land, and in order for this to happen, we must humble ourselves, but PRIDE is preventing this from happening. You see, there are some among us, who are proud of our race.
Now, I have to be honest with you, and if it offends you, I encourage you to study God’s word, and pray about it. You see, there are some white people who are proud of their lack of pigment. There are also some black people who are very proud of their dark pigment. Now, here’s where I stand on the matter. I’m white, but I’m neither proud nor ashamed of it. I didn’t choose to be white. In fact, I had nothing to do with it, because long before He laid the foundations of the earth, God had determined that I would be a white woman. He’s the One who carefully formed me, and knitted me together in my mother’s womb, and for reasons that only He knows, He didn’t bless me with as much melanin as some of my darker brothers and sisters. That’s okay. I don’t feel slighted. In fact, in the whole scheme of eternity, my lack of melanin, and someone else’s abundance of melanin is really unimportant. After all, the current tent that I dwell in is only temporary, and at nearly fifty-four years old, it’s starting to break down. In fact, one day in the not so distant future, it will finally wear out, and my spirit will leave this body. At some point in time that only God knows, I will eventually receive an eternal body (my forever body), which will never wear out and die, so why should I care about the color of my current flesh?
Indeed, people of God, why should any of us care about our skin tone? You don’t have to tell me the answer to my next question, but it is something you need to pray and talk to our Father about it. Do you have white pride? Do you have black pride? Are you prideful of your race? If so, you need to lay that pride aside and humble yourself and pray for forgiveness. You do know that Lucifer was cast down out of heaven, because he was proud of the body God had given him, right? Do you think that God likes racial pride? Think again. If you want something to boast about, children of God, boast about this:
30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31 NLT)
14 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. 15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. 16 May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God. (Galatians 6:14-16 NLT)
Beloved children of God, it’s time for us to stop allowing our flesh to control our thoughts and our attitudes. It’s time for us to stop taking sides in the current trouble our nation faces. The fact is that there are good white cops, and there are bad white cops. There are good black cops, and there are bad black cops. There are good black men, who have been the innocent victims of bad white cops, and vice versa. However, there are also dangerous and criminal black men, who have attacked good white cops, and been shot in self-defense, and vice versa. So, what can we, as children of the Most High God, do to bring peace and righteousness to our land???
We can start by repenting of any pride that we may be clinging to. We can unite as One church in this battle for peace in our land – no more “white” churches or “black” churches. Let us come together as One people, not to preach or shout or argue about why “I” am right and “You” are wrong. Instead, let us come together as the sons and daughters of God, and let us humble ourselves, as Jesus did…
1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from His love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, 8 He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:1-11 NLT)
My beloved brothers and sisters, do you want to heal our land and bring about a true and lasting peace? Or, do you want to hold on to your bitterness and anger? Do you want to prove that you are right, holding fast to your pride? Or do you want to surrender it to Christ and join together with ALL of your brothers and sisters, humbling ourselves and praying? Do you want people to see the black or white in you? Or do you want them to see the Christ in you? Are you willing to risk offending friends and family for the sake of the cross? Or are you ashamed of this gospel of peace?
Shall we teach our children to respect law enforcement officers and pray God removes the bad ones? Or should we teach them to rebel against the law? Shall we love our friends and hate our enemies? Or shall we love our enemies, with no regard to race, and bless them, as Jesus commanded? The choice is yours. Shall we choose a time to unite and come together to humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face? Or will we hold on to our bitterness and malice towards another race, refusing to forgive? The choice is yours. If you want to meet and join together, please leave a comment, and we can figure out where and when to join together and cry out to Jesus for our children, our law enforcement officers and our land.
In closing, I’d like to share the priestly blessing with each one of you. For not only are we children of God, but we are also a royal priesthood…
24 “The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
In the blessed name of Jesus, I remain,
Your Sister Cheryl
Cheryl A. Showers