By Shawn Allred
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Kenton
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful” (Matthew 14:27). These words spoken by The Prince of Peace over 2,000 years ago still ring true for us today.
These words are words that impact me significantly when I read them. They speak to my heart, and my heart, in turn, is inclined to believe them. These words of Christ are bound to me by the Holy Spirit, who guides me in truth, and I do believe that Christ is the champion of peace.
No other peace can ever be as impactful as the peace that Christ gives, and for this, I rejoice. However, my heart is troubled as I seek to listen to both sides of the racial debate. I have yet to see the peace that promises to surpass all human understanding and to guide our hearts and minds (see Philippians 4:7) championed as the solution to the problems that are seemingly destroying our nation and, most importantly, our witness for Christ.
I am seeking a solution to the problem of racism and all the other ills that are rampant in our society and world. Yet, I see many proudly heralding the problem, but few offering solutions and many not seeking solutions at all but rather an open-ended airing of grievances that seeks to tear apart rather than to bind together. But surely there is redemption, surely there is healing, surely there is a binding together, and surely there is peace.
My reaction to much that I have seen, read, and heard regarding all the racial tensions has undoubtedly had me reeling on my heels. I have felt the pain of vilification and a longing in my soul for reconciliation that only Christ can bring.
Can Christ redeem sinful man? Yes, He can, and He promises He will. This redemption includes redeeming man from the sin of racism. I am forgiven and redeemed. The color of my skin does not define me, but rather the constitution of my heart.
Christ has replaced my heart of stone. A stony heart inclined toward the hatred of God, and others, and to selfish ambition with a heart of flesh. This heart of flesh is a heart that now longs for loving Christ and loving what He loves, the world (Ezekiel 36:26).
Christ is the champion! Christ came to redeem sinful man (Titus 2:14), and there is redemption. Christ came to heal the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18), and there is healing. Christ came to bind together (Colossians 2:2-3), and there is unity. Christ came to bring peace (Ephesians 2:13-14), and there is peace. Let all believers champion Christ! He is the answer to all our problems, and He alone is the Way to God. B&R