Editor’s Note: Jacob Moorman is 22 years old and hails from Mt. Airy, MD. Jacob is finishing a business management degree and plans to attend seminary. He is a member of the NALC’s River’s Edge Ministries pastored by K. Craig Moorman. We are delighted that one of our future seminarians is thinking and writing so passionately. We are honored to publish his reflections, and look forward to his faithful leadership in the Church for many years to come.
Just after the protesting and rioting began after the death of George Floyd, my father asked me, “Jacob, if you were to preach tomorrow, what would you say?” This is how I answered:
I would preach the Gospel. I would preach that we, apart from Christ, are indeed dead in sin. I would say Christ’s scandalous, unfathomable, incredible love is most evident when shown in situations like this. With death, riots, looting, violence, anger, and vehement hate; the only response we should have is that which Christ had. For Christ says ‘… love thine enemies. Pray for them.’ On the cross, His love was magnified as He said, ‘Forgive them for they know not what they do.’ He died for us while we were yet sinners. He died for us while we were His enemies. There’s talk of race war. There’s talk of division. It is a lie, or it ought to be [revealed as such] in the Church. It is a demonic onslaught meant to divide and divert from the true Gospel. We, as the Church, are bound up in Christ. We are One in and by His Spirit. We should pray for our enemies. We should love our enemies. But, above all else, we should preach the Good News unashamedly, boldly, unwaveringly, and continuously. The only division from God is the division of Good and evil, Light and dark. His word pierces as a sword through sinew. It cuts deeply and definitively. It separates. For God alone brings division – the division is a choice to die with Him or to die apart from Him. The difference between the two is the one who dies apart dies for good. The one who dies with Him rises with him. Seek first the KingdomJacob Moorman
More recently I felt prompted to challenge the church in its response to this crisis, especially the leaders in the church:
Our nation is in deep trouble. I fear we are ready to abandon Christ. We are a tattered flag only threads away from being loosed from our foundation, Jesus, the Living God.
“Unity!” shout church leaders. “Stand together for the greater good.” What good is it to stand apart from Christ? We cannot shout for justice without holding the Word of God in its rightful place—Above all things.
We are living in the most dangerous time this country has ever seen, and potentially the world. The Lord is, and always will be, our only hope. Unity without Christ is folly. Justice without The Righteous Judge is futile. Peace without The Prince of Peace is chaos. Life without Christ is death.
There is a ripe harvest. People are hurting. There is never a wrong time to preach the Gospel, and there is never a better time to preach the Gospel than now. (Matt. 9:35-38)
But I’ve seen more church leaders take a political stand than one that stands on the Word and proclaims the Gospel. A Gospel that calls out sin. One that calls for repentance. One that glorifies God.
We must not do what men desire us to do. (Gal. 1:10) Our reason, our motive matters. If we are seeking to be honored and applauded by men and women, we ought to fear the Living God and seek repentance. If we are seeking to honor our Heavenly Father, we have no need to fear. (1 Thess. 2:4) (Col. 3:23, 24)
No doubt racism is wicked. No doubt needless death is horrendous. At the same time, the burning of buildings is terrible. And killing more people is wrong. We cannot justify or condone or stand with these heinous acts. Evil cannot be answered by evil. (Romans 12:17) For that we cannot stand silent. We must address the sin behind these matters—any other response will be fruitless!
We are all sinners in desperate need of a Savior. Again, we cannot come together in unity without Jesus Christ at the center.
There is great evil shouting from the rooftops. Anger. Fear. Racism. Hate. Murder. Riots. Looting. There is a greater mind (Satan) behind this pandemic, this murder, this so-called race war, and the many responses thereafter. We must expose the darkness. Bring it to the Light … for everything brought to the Light is no longer darkness but light. (Eph. 5:11-14)
This push for “unity” is indeed demonic. It is one that pushes peace yet incites violence. One that says speak-up yet silences any alternative view. It is a move to push for unity without Christ. A destructive and dangerous plan by the enemy that I fear a lot of church leaders are falling in line with. They are deceived by the call for this false unity and fail to see or expose the evil behind it.
We must call out evil when we see it. We must count the cost of what it means to be a follower of Christ. We must be willing to take up our cross. We must be willing to die for Christ. We must be willing to speak the Gospel even if opposed and unpopular. We must give up all things to receive the one thing that matters … Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Jesus came so that we may have life. (John 10:10) We can be set free from sin! Lust, hate, sexual immorality, violence, anger, bitterness, licentiousness, debauchery, drunkenness—none of these have a place in the Kingdom. (Gal. 5:21) They were nailed to the cross and are dead in the grave for those alive in Christ. (Gal. 5:24)
When we die with Christ, we are dead to sin, wholly. No one who practices such as these will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Praise God He made a way. He is merciful and He is gracious. He is a loving Father. He died my death to give me life. He did the same for you.
Time is growing short. Judgment will come when the Ancient of Days calls for the trumpets to sound. We will all answer to the one true Judge on that great and terrible and holy and marvelous day. But there is still time to proclaim the Gospel and heed the Good Shepherd’s call. The one who is marked by the blood of the Lamb will stand before him, guiltless. But the one who is marked by any other name, but that of Christ, will be cast out from His presence.
Yet, He is still loving. He is still gracious. He is mighty to save. He is the soon-coming King who is already on the throne. There is still time to proclaim the Gospel and heed the Good Shepherd’s call. God, the Holy One of Israel, came in the flesh and died so that we may walk in purity; that we may walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control … that we may walk by the Spirit. (Gal. 5:16, 25)
Now I must ask, if we as His people walk in such things, how can we stand in unity with sin and movements that condone and encourage sin? The only true unity that can come is that of and in the body of Christ. We cannot walk in unity with Christ and sin. We, the Church, cannot walk in unity with the world. We are in the world but not of it. Unity is only found in Christ Jesus our Lord. We should not be hoping for tomorrow on earth, we should be hoping for eternity in heaven. Our hope is in Jesus’ death, resurrection, and His coming again. Praise be to the One. Praise be the great I Am. All honor and glory belong to God the Father, Maker of heaven and earth. He will ever be glorified. May His peace be upon you.
One in Christ
“But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:25-28)
Join the discussion 5 Comments
That this would be preached in every pulpit this Sunday. My sincere thanks.
I wish to add a red service book (SBH) Three Fold Amen to this message and Richard Johnson’s desire that every pulpit would be open to share this true source of unity!
Pastor Jack Richards
NW Mission District/The North American Lutheran Church
Very good writing, Jacob! Thank you!
Thank you, Jacob, for your much needed reminder that Christ should be our center and Savior always.
Thank you for your comments which are very timely and needed by all of us.