On Aug. 25, 2018, over 20,000 people came to Stone Mountain, the largest Confederate monument in the country, as part of the OneRace movement for racial healing and unity.
Author Jack Alexander spoke to the crowd and cited two previous instances in the Scripture, the Israelites leaving Egypt and the 400 silent years at the end of the Old Testament, when "400 years of suffering and silence was enough" and then God did something new.
Aug. 25, 2019 is the 400th year anniversary of when the first slaves reached Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. Alexander and the OneRace movement are planning a Day of Lament on that day next year to recognize the injustices and oppression that have plagued North America for so long.
Alexander said, "Congress has passed, and the President has signed, HR Bill 1242 to recognize and celebrate the contributions African-Americans have made to this country. While this civic recognition is important, we want to recognize the spiritual responsibility that the church has to lament, repent and pursue healing, unity and justice. Ezekiel 9 says to lament and grieve over injustices and abominations, and what has happened in the last 400 years has certainly met that threshold."
"Today, the church has an amazing opportunity to lead in racial healing and unity," Alexander continued. "According to Barna Group research, 50 percent of Christians in America do not know what to do, while 25 percent want to pursue a combination of lamenting, repenting and seeking restitution for the sins of the past. This area has been so politicized—we need to understand the past and lament it while moving forward against systemic injustices that still exist."
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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