RESPONSE TO RACIAL INJUSTICE

I have grieved over the murder of George Floyd and grieved for his family as he was laid to rest this past week. Outrage over the incident has spread across the country. People are angry, disturbed, heartbroken. That includes us as leaders of CBAmerica. We are frustrated that these incidences continue to happen with no change in sight. We lament and recognize they are part of American history where thousands upon thousands of names could be added.

I believe that we cannot shy away from these issues. CBA believes that God has created every person in His own image, with inherent value that cannot be taken away. We recognize and repent, that we have not been more proactive as followers of Jesus Christ, that we have allowed indifference, politics and our agendas to divide us. Satan would love nothing more than to see us divide over these issues rather than applying the gospel to them.

When we say that the gospel changes everything, we need to be willing to examine ourselves to see where we need heart change. We recognize that we have not been listening well to the brokenness of all those in minority communities. We have not taken the time to learn about the injustices that they have experienced and endured. We confess that needs to change. Isaiah says, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (53:4)”. We want the heart of our Savior, to bear griefs and sorrows, to heal the brokenhearted, provide liberty, righteousness and justice. We ask for forgiveness of any way we have not walked in step with the gospel concerning these issues.

“…the gospel changes everything, we need to be willing to examine ourselves to see where we need heart change.”

We grieve with our brothers and sisters in the African American community, along with all minorities who have similar experiences in life. We can’t possibly understand how this makes them feel, but we do choose to listen to them when they talk about their anger, fears and frustrations.

“We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ tears down barriers, and that the Church is to provide hope that through Jesus …”

We oppose any kind of injustice. We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ tears down barriers, and that the Church is to provide hope that through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, the hostility and division that exist between peoples are reconciled. “For he himself is our peace, who…destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…to create in himself one new humanity…thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility (Ephesians 2:14–16). We believe we should use our resources and the influence that we have to bring true peace.

We also oppose lawlessness as a means of addressing these issues. We believe all authorities, (including police and civil authorities) are ministers of God (Romans 13:1-7). We also believe that all authority and their policies should be under accountability and that there are legal means by which grievances can and should be dealt with.

We are committed to listening, learning and leveraging our network to listen to the voices that need to be heard. We will take action to be a part of the solution, asking the question of Micah 6:8…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

God calls us to the ministry of reconciliation through the gospel. He gives us the responsibility to call people in broken and estranged relationships to be reconciled to God and to one another through the work of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-21) …to bring peace.

God calls us to the ministry of reconciliation through the gospel.

CBAmerica will deeply examine where we have missed God’s calling. It is our prayer that we will join with our Lord, who enjoys the diversity of human creation, which He created for His glory and good pleasure. Regardless of our racial and cultural differences, we will hold the clear and uncompromising teachings of Scripture as our final authority in all matters.

It is our prayer, that our Lord’s Kingdom will come, that His will is done, on earth as it is in heaven. That we will celebrate now, what all followers of Jesus will one day experience:
And they sang a new song, saying: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).

Thank you all for coming alongside us as we develop a better CBAmerica as we venture together, advancing gospel-centered transformational churches in every community we touch!

Sincerely,

Dr David Whitaker
President, CBAmerica
on behalf of the Regional Executive Directors

COVID19 Ministry: Reaching Airmen through Innovative Means

Chaplain Torrey Garrison, USAFR, Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS

Chaplain Torrey Garrison is a United States Air Force Reserve Chaplain Major assigned to RAF Mildenhall north of London.  He is married to Carrie and has three children and two grandchildren. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic the military grounded all reserve members from traveling overseas.  He fell back to Keesler Air Force Base to tele-work.  During this time, he was assigned to provide a series of sermon videos to be used for their members on Sunday morning.  This is his sermon from Memorial Day Sunday, “Five Qualities of a Good Soldier.”

Also, you can keep up with Chaplain Garrison a little at www.torreygarrison.com

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Join us in thanking God for inspiring creative response to COVID19 restrictions through modern means.  Despite, limitations due to social distancing, Chaplain Garrison, along with other CBAmerica chaplain colleagues, have taken a lemon and made lemonade.  Pray for their resilience and sustainment through these difficult days.

For more stories by and about CBAmerica chaplains, visit http://cbamerica.org/category/chaplaincy/.

To discuss endorsement for a wide variety of chaplain subspecialties, email Randy Brandy, director of chaplaincy, at chapbrandt@cbamerica.org.