Once in a while Christians get it very very right. The AME church in Charleston gave an excellent example this week of how to be a Christian and influence the nation.
As we all know, the mother AME church suffered a terrible tragedy at the hands of a killer. There are many ways in which they could have reacted. But they reacted in a fully Biblical way, in a way that I do not know that many churches would have easily imitated. They went to the initial hearing for the murderer, and told him that they forgave him and would be praying for him. Then the other churches in Charleston stepped in, and a strong witness became a united witness.
Today the bells rang in South Carolina. Today at 10:00 EST the bells rang, but not in defeat. Today the bells rang in the declaration of all who call on the name of Christ. Today the bells rang, “Jesus is Lord.” Many churches across the country rang their bells in union with South Carolina. But, in South Carolina today the declaration was made:
But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
May the Lord bless those who proclaim the Gospel of Peace.
How beautiful upon the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who proclaims peace,
Who brings glad tidings of good things,
Who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”