By Lisa Sergent
How shall Christians respond to the events in Ferguson, Missouri? While protestors head to the streets, some clergy are joining them. Other Christians are shaking their heads, and others still are finding the grand jury’s decision and the resulting riots a cause for prayer. Missouri Baptist Convention Executive Director John Yeats is one of them.
Yeats recently wrote a blog post on the five responses we as Christians should have to what has transpired. Yeats calls on us to unite as brothers and sisters in “extraordinary prayer.”
“The pastors in Ferguson told us last week of extraordinary moments of prayer that have occurred in their city,” he wrote. “What if we joined them? What would happen if one million believers across our nation spent the next days in prayer and fasting on behalf of Ferguson and the needs of our nation?”
Yeats urges, “What if God in His sovereignty desired to use such a moment to bring us to our knees in repentance and prayer, for the ultimate purpose of bringing the blessing of revival and awakening to this city and our nation?”
This Thanksgiving we have been given the opportunity to unite in prayers of thanksgiving for what God is doing through these events, to ask for healing and understanding between all races, and for Him to be glorified through our words and actions.
Other notable Southern Baptist voices on Ferguson:
Ronnie Floyd, Southern Baptist Convention President, shared, “Only the Gospel of reconciliation through Jesus Christ can heal the broken in heart, bridge the racial divide that marks our society, and calm the passions that grip the human heart.”
Fred Luter, the SBC’s immediate past president, said, “The only way that the racial problem will be resolved in our country is to understand what really is the main problem. As my friend K. Marshall Williams, the current president of the National African American Fellowship, often says, ‘We do not have a SKIN problem in America, we have a SIN problem in America!’ And to that I say Amen!’”
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, noted, “The answer for the Body of Christ starts with a robust doctrine of the church lived out in local congregations under the lordship of Christ. The reason white and black Americans often view things so differently is because white and black Americans often live and move in different places, with different cultural lenses. In the church, however, we belong to one another. We are part of one Body.”
Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of LifeWay Research, said, “My hope is that as we move into the holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving later this week, we will take a moment with our friends and family to pray for the people of Ferguson, Missouri, and people everywhere in our country who feel oppressed and unjustly treated. Might we love them with the sacrificial, unconditional love of Jesus.”