The death of George Floyd in the summer of 2020 brought to the surface racial tensions that have been pushed down or ignored by many, including the Church. These sins have been put off to the side because we don’t think it affects us. But as Michigan District, LCMS President Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier reminds us, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Maier says, “The church is God’s instrument to make a difference in the world. We can’t legislate, we can’t delegate. God has called us to permeate. We’re to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and we’re to take this on as a sin that has crept into the Church as well. Our complicity is there by not dealing with this, by not acknowledging the sin that can exist in our life as well … God has called us to be salt, to touch sin, to recognize that, in Jesus Christ, the Church has been established as a witness in this world that not only points out our sin, not only forgives us of our sin, but gives us strength to live different lives; to be salt, to be light and permeate darkness, and to make a difference under the cross of Christ.”
The Heart Issues are Hard Issues Bible Study on Racial Healing in the Church and for the Community, created by the Michigan District, LCMS and written by Rev. Dr. Bradley Yops, is now available to download for free. The Bible study sessions with video presentations are based on the Heart Issues are Hard Issues conference that took place in October of 2020, featuring speakers Rev. Christopher Bodley, Rev. Dr. Victor Belton, Rev. Keith Haney, and Dr. Ed Stetzer.
This Bible Study challenges one to struggle with maladies (bias and prejudices) that you may or may not harbor. Hopefully and prayerfully, you and your study group will arrive at the biblical answer to what it means to the church today and how we, as the church, will proceed into the future in proclaiming God’s love through His Son and practicing this love to all mankind—“We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
This Bible Study can be used by individuals, congregations, small groups, etc. To receive the study and video playlist, simply complete the form found here.