T.D. Jakes tells politicians, ‘Don’t come to us anymore to get our support for your agenda. We will only talk to you when you are willing to support our agenda… We are not taking sides; we’re taking over.’
In a gathering both celebratory and sobering, pastors from across the nation concluded “The Reconciled Church: Healing the Racial Divide” forum with a public event at the Potter’s House in Dallas, TX. Bishop Harry Jackson, one of the nation’s most prominent African-American pastors who spearheaded the gathering, said he was inspired to call together over 75 pastors and Christian leaders while talking to a minister from Ferguson, MO, who lamented that the ‘church has the solution’ for America’s racial problems, yet no one is listening.
At the opening of the service, which took place after a day of closed-door, discussion, Jackson said, ‘The racial problem is too big for one church, one city… but nothing is too big for Jesus. God is able to heal America from her cancer of racism.’ He shared that the leaders had outlined “seven bridges” that would guide churches to reach out into their communities and work to overcome racial tensions, disenfranchisement, lack of opportunity, and lack of education. (Those seven bridges are outlined at www.TheReconciledChurch.org.)
Several of the pastors who attended the forum spoke at the evening service sharing their thoughts and a joint call to action with the audience as well as with those watching online and on television.
Dr. R.A. Vernon of The Word Church said, ‘It’s wrong to say things haven’t changed’ regarding race in America, but ‘it’s naive to say things are perfect.’ He articulated three problems racial division causes in the country and said, ‘Somebody’s going to miss Heaven because of our disunity.’
Rev. James Robison shared part of his family story — he was born to a mother who had been raped and contemplated abortion. He said, ‘There are no minorities in the Body of Christ; it’s time we show the world we’re family.’ Robison also challenged the wealthy to do their part in helping those who are less fortunate and who do not have the privileges or opportunities that they may have had.
Pastor Jim Garlow, of the Skyline Church in San Diego, said he spent his time at the forum in silence because the Holy Spirit told him to listen and learn from others. At the evening service, he shared four life experiences that he said prepared him for this day. He stated that, during the forum, T.D. Jakes shared that this was ‘the first time’ he had seen white pastors coming en masse to listen to, learn from, and offer to help black pastors work to resolve racial issues. In a moving act, Garlow apologized to Jakes from the pulpit for all white pastors like him who never came before now.
Speaking last, T.D. Jakes, said it was important for minority communities to see that the church could come together and talk about these issues. He challenged the pastors and attendees to answer the question, “Who is my neighbor?,” and to not just look at what is going on around them, but to do something about it.
Speaking to politicians, Jakes said, ‘Don’t come to us anymore to get our support for your agenda. We will only talk to you when you are willing to support our agenda… We are not taking sides; we’re taking over.’
The meeting concluded with a communion ceremony.
For more about “The Reconciled Church” and what your church can do, visit: www.TheReconciledChurch.org.