Events over the past several months have raised a painful awareness of the continuing existence of racial division and inequality across America. On October 19th Christian television leader Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) will air a special edition of its award-winning ministry and talk show Praise, centered on the critical role of the church in helping to facilitate racial reconciliation in America.
Hosted by the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the program was taped at The King Center in Atlanta and features two experts on this crucial issue: Dr. Mike Hayes, president of Churches in Covenant and founder of the Center for National Renewal in Washington, D.C.; and Dr. Bernice King, daughter of civil rights pioneer Dr. Martin Luther King and CEO of The King Center, started by her mother, Coretta Scott King, in 1968.
Pastor Rodriguez noted that nearly 50 years after the tragic death of Dr. Martin Luther King, racial inequality and division continue to be systemic across the nation. "Many people assume we fully addressed this issue in the past," he said. "What is happening? Where are we today? And where is the church?"
Pastor Hayes recalled that over 30 years ago, God gave him a vision for the church in America that would truly resemble the kingdom of God, composed of every ethnicity, race and people group. He said that the goal remains: "We can create an environment in our churches that will cause racial reconciliation and harmony to spread throughout the body of Christ."
Dr. King said that following the death of her father, America never really finished dealing with the issue of racism. "We kind of swept it under the rug," she said. In particular, she added, "the church has been silent on the issue of racism"— something that must begin to change, she charged.
"All that we have gone through and experienced in America—the trauma of institutionalized racism—has got to be healed," challenged Dr. King. "All of us are victims, because we were all born into the system. The church has to get this right because it begins in the house of the Lord."
Added Pastor Rodriguez: "I would argue that the church has the leading role in addressing the issue of systemic racism across America. We are anointed to bring good news. ... It's not about politics. It's about righteousness and justice in the name of Jesus."
Don't miss Praise Thursday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. Eastern / 7 p.m. Central, as TBN hosts a very special dialogue about the church's role in addressing racism in America. Find out where TBN is airing near you with our channel finder, or watch TBN on our livestream HERE.
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