I think many of us are finally sorting through our thoughts after the events that unfolded in Charlottesville this weekend.
I know that my emotions have been all over the place. I’ve been disgusted. I’ve been afraid. I’ve felt angry. I’ve felt helpless. I have felt as if more should be done and wondered how I can be part of a solution.
And in the very same breath, I have bought the lies of fear and have felt as if perhaps this problem is too big to solve. I have felt the great divide ripping through our nation. And I have felt sorrow that we still battle the same demons today that we have fought for centuries to overcome.
But in all of these feelings, I worked to digest the facts as well.
You likely know the facts by now. You have read them. You have heard them reported.
You have heard about the group of men who assembled in protest, carrying torches and spewing hate. You have heard about those who gathered in counter-protest. You have heard about the brawling, and the state of emergency, and the terror of a car crashed into a crowd of people. You have heard about the injuries and you have heard about the lives lost.
We know about the evil that took place in Charlottesville this weekend. It has demanded our attention.
But as the country continues to respond, as our outcry against racism and as our collective rebuke and denouncement has been loud, there is an important truth we cannot afford to miss in all of this.
Evil goes by many names, but there is only one Enemy, and we already know exactly how to defeat him.
How do we end racism? How do we eradicate hate? How do we heal a divided nation?
There will be many suggestions in the coming weeks about what should be done. There will be much discussion about how to prevent weekends like this one from reoccurring in the future. There will be disagreements and legislation and calls for more action.
But the answer to this evil and every other evil has been and always will be the same.
Our answer is found in our Savior, Jesus, – the only One worthy of our Hope.
As those who know the Truth, we understand that a Godless man is not easily convinced in his mind to change his beliefs or his behavior when his beliefs and behavior are rooted in evil. If we want to end racism, if we want to eradicate hate, if we want to unify our nation, it will only happen under the banner of the blood of Jesus Christ.
We change our nation by bringing the hearts of Godless men and women into the presence of the Holy Spirit who will convict and transform in a way that legislation cannot.
Friends, why are we still surprised that hate like this can exist when we know for certain that the Word of God promises that evil will continue until the return of our Savior?
We can’t afford to be surprised by presence of evil anymore. We cannot fear it. We must be those who stalk the darkness. We must be those who drive out evil by shining Light.
Our call to action is simply this: We decide that taking the Truth of Jesus Christ into our broken world must be more than a side job, and then we do it. We take the commission of Jesus seriously.
We remember that He was talking to us when He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Our Answer won’t make sense in the hearts of those who do not know Him. As a matter of fact, our Answer will be laughed away as foolishness. We will be told that believing in God to save us is the same thing as doing nothing, the same as standing by and allowing evil to continue.
Yet, we remember that 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
We cannot change the minds of those who do not understand any more than we can change the minds of those who are bound by hate.
However, we carry the key to their understanding.
It is the Spirit of Truth that convicts the hearts of man, and it is our job to carry the Spirit of God into our broken world.
This is our strategy. This is our mandate.
This is not a meme or a Facebook post or one Sunday morning service or one good deed a week. This is our very purpose for existence – to bring Glory to God in all that we do as we extend the invitation of freedom for those who are still bound.
Evil isn’t hiding under cloaks anymore. Evil has come out of the darkness. Evil wants our attention.
But I refuse to look on evil and cower in fear, because I carry the Truth within me. And so do you. We don’t need to look for an answer. We need to be the answer.
Evil has many names, but they all bow to the name of Jesus. Let’s lift His Name high together.
In the Spirit, we bring before you those who are hurting, those who are still bound, those who do not know Your Truth. We ask that You would move in their hearts. We recognize the spirit of antichrist that is loose in our nation – the same spirit that opposes the works of Jesus – the one that says not all men are created in the image of God. Lord, even this spirit must bow to You. Embolden us today to share Your love and Truth in our conversations and our communities. Impress on our hearts the urgency for the right kind of action. As we humble ourselves and pray, we repent and call on Your Name. Lord, hear us from Heaven and heal our land. In the name of Jesus we ask these things. Amen.