I had an interesting text message several months ago, and then a phone call asking me the question ‘why is America’s Keswick not addressing the race issues from the pulpit?’
My response today is what it was several months ago when I responded to the brother who questioned me. It’s one thing to TALK about it; it’s another thing to LIVE it out.
20 years ago the Board of Trustees mapped out our Core Value, and Value #5 is that we will be a ministry that will be “cross-cultural and multi-generational” in our conferences and retreats.
Come on our campus on most weekends, and you will quickly discover that we are living out that value. On any given weekend you will see Black, Asian and Hispanic Christians utilizing our retreat facilities.
Each summer we have seen an increase in the ethnic diversity of at our conferences. In fact, this summer I shared with our guests that we are becoming a ministry of “color.” Our guests have embraced our diversity and differences, and we see brother and sisters fellowshipping, worshipping, praying, studying God’s Word, and playing together.
In our addiction recovery ministry, the Colony of Mercy, we have for years served every ethnic group. What I love about the residents who are in the program is that they can put their differences aside and live in unity because they are fighting from level ground at the foot of the cross.
We have had several Black speakers for our conferences, and now are working with a group of Asian pastors to provide an Asian pastor to our summer conferences.
I do get frustrated that the rhetoric fueled by recent events tends to build walls that have been in the process of being torn down. I know so many Christian leaders and ministries that have worked very hard at tearing down racial walls not to be politically correct, but because that is what God would want from us.
Social media posting fans the flame of sarcasm and cruel humor that unfortunately adds fuel to the fire. Yes, there is freedom of speech, but I am concerned that sometimes to be funny, we only make matters worse. I have to set tough parameters on myself not to enter the fray.
America is concerned about what happens in North Korean attacks our shores. I don’t think that is our greatest threat. If we continue to follow the current trajectory of hate speech and unrest, my concern is that we will destroy ourselves from within without having to worry about a nuclear warhead taking us out.
The Apostle Paul addresses this head-on in several passages:
For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body— whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13
There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 3:28
I want America’s Keswick to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. We want to tear down the walls that divide us, and yet at the same time, build walls that will help us protect and guard our unity.
I encourage believers everywhere to pray for our country. As my friend Pastor Manny Mill would say it, “We need radical praying for our country.”
May God help us.
Rejoice! Pray! Give Thanks!
President & CEO America’s Keswick
Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 11 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Think About This: “We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord, And we pray that all unity may one day be restored. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love! – Peter Scholets
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.” Revelation 11:17