Christian Confusion: Racial Tension and the Church’s Responsibility

crosses-religionIssues of racial injustice are consistently in the national spotlight, and for this reason Barna Group and author Jack Alexander recently conducted a nationwide study that revealed there is confusion among Christians on the topic. When surveyed, 28% of Christians believe nothing needs to be done by the Church in response to current racial relations in the country. Another 26% are unsure if anything needs to be done, but 46% of Christians believe that some action needs to be taken regarding lamenting, repenting, repairing damage, or providing restitution.

“Christ came to bring healing, hope, and restoration to a broken world—the ultimate expression of mercy. There is nowhere more fitting for the church to be engaged than in bringing healing in the area of race,” says Alexander. “This is something I’m deeply passionate about. The data shows that nearly half of Christians believe we should be addressing and acting to bring about healing. These expressions of mercy can be a starting point for unity and healing.”

Released this week, Alexander’s book, The God Impulse: The Power of Mercy in an Unmerciful World reexamines scripture, discovering a pattern of God’s love towards us; one that offers mercy and healing at every turn. As pastor Tim Keller says in his endorsement, The God Impulse “reminds us that true healing, justice, and reconciliation begin with the impulse of mercy toward our neighbors and enemies.”

The full findings of the Barna-Alexander study on Mercy and Forgiveness will be released in March 2019 in a new book, providing a fuller picture of Christians’ and Protestant pastors’ perspectives and practices in these areas. Alexander’s book works to reconcile areas of brokenness in our world and relationships and shows us the power and rewards of mercy, so we can learn and practice God’s pattern of love – to “see, go, do and endure.”

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