STANDING UP — SPEAKING OUT!
History teaches us when law and justice are perverted, all hell breaks loose after a while. The cry for justice, whether social, criminal, or economic — must be heard and honored! May the God of justice help us even now in the midst of this dreadful Coronavirus pandemic and during this time of social unrest now swiftly sweeping across the land. This church is called upon never to forget the Scriptural injunction which remains an integral part of the missionary mandate of the church in any age – “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute (Proverbs 31:8). It further elaborates, “Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9).
If ever a time the church is called upon to speak out, is today. She must speak up for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the so many others whose lives were senselessly snuffled out by those who should have protected them. In the spirit of Jesus, the Church of God denounces racism, sexism, classism, injustice, oppression, institutional racism, systemic oppression and injustices. We come against and denounce evil in every form and manifestation. We solemnly take a stand to aggressively denounce racial hatred and to seriously act in favor of promoting the sanctity and dignity of every human life. That all men are created equal is a very fundamental, authoritative, biblical truth that must not be only preached but lived out in All our daily transactions as the created people of God everywhere.
Today as a church, as His church, we stand up and speak out. We seek to engage in any positive action that can help bring about change in the societies where we were divinely placed to shine as lights and to be agents of change to a lost and dying culture. We simply confess that we have been silent and disengaged for too long. Is it not time for this church to rise up with righteous indignation and help overturn some entrenched evil systems and practices like Jesus (Matthew 21:12). Were we not sent to challenge unrighteousness in every form and reestablish true righteousness and God’s order of justice in the church and in the land everywhere?
Therefore, as we claim to represent this Christ, let us not forget that He placed great emphasis on the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized, the outcasts, the downtrodden and the victimized. It cannot be effectively disputed that his ministry of evangelism involved not only meeting the spiritual needs of humanity, but it undeniably included the execution of social justice and the meeting of physical and social needs (Luke 4:18).
The good news of the kingdom that He so vigorously shared was certainly more than just the good news of personal forgiveness of sins. It encompassed the spiritual, social and the physical. It was not just about the saving of souls and giving them an eschatological future. It incorporated physical healing of the body and the meeting of their socio-economic needs (Matthew 25:31-40).
In the context of all that is transpiring today I believe Jesus would be in the streets marching and crusading peacefully for the spiritual, social and civil liberties of all who are oppressed and severely disenfranchised. This church, like Jesus, must rise up, speak out and be agents of change and deliverance, persistently advocating for social change and justice until the chains are broken everywhere and “justice rolls on like a river and righteousness like a never-failing stream” (Amos 5:24). Our black church and white church and our brown church — all the churches of God must cry out for justice, until there is a just and equal system for all! Too many of us are tired of living in fear, for ourselves and our children, at the hand of law enforcement and all those who should be protecting and serving us! We say enough is enough! Racism in all our institutions must not only be denounced but eradicated! There must be justice for all! As the redeemed people of God we stand up and speak out!
Leroy V. Greenaway
Presiding Bishop, Northeast Region
In collaboration with our District Overseers, the Church of God of Prophecy submits to the wisdom of continuing to ‘Shelter in Place’ for the safety and protection of the flock. This is to be observed until further notice and the present virus is better contained. Should the need arise to meet, we are advised to meet in groups of no more than 10, while we strictly observe the protocols of social distancing, wearing of masks and aggressive sanitizing of our hands and surfaces frequently touched.
Please let us patiently observe these practices to keep each other safe and alive. We are reminded that we are indeed our brother’s keeper. Stay home! Stay Healthy! Stay Hopeful! We shall soon get through this! Premature re-openings of our churches seem not to be the wisest way to go at this point. Let us continue to pray, caring for each other and staying connected.
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional, Presiding Bishop — Northeast Region