Editor's Note: Christians from a wide variety of racial, cultural and denominational backgrounds will unite Saturday, Aug. 25 for OneRace Stone Mountain, an event of worship and prayer for racial reconciliation that will begin with a climb to the top of the mountain. Billy Humphrey, the co-director of the OneRace Movement and director of International House of Prayer Atlanta spoke with Charisma News recently about how this event really can transform the church for the better.
How can this event help bridge the divide in the church?
OneRace Stone Mountain is a solemn assembly, similar to TheCall, that will address the issues of historic racism and dead religion. Over 200 pastors from the Metro Atlanta are have signed up to gather together along with their congregations to repent over historic issues of racism and religious division, to cry out for massive revival, and to covenant to stand together in unity.
As we repent of the historic sins and covenant together to stand together against these sins, we believe God will shift the culture, release unity across the region and pour out His Spirit in an unprecedented way.
How would you respond to people who don't think racism is a problem in the church?
For those who don't believe racism is a problem in the church, we would simply invite them to have conversations with believers of other cultures and ask them the if they believe racism is a problem in the church. When the person of a different culture answers in the affirmative, listen instead of defending. Once you hear the differing perspective of others, as believers we are required to engage in understanding, empathy and mercy (Rom 12:15, Matt. 5:7).
What does freedom look like in the 21st century?
Freedom is ultimately and only found through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Every individual can find full freedom from sin through the power of the blood of Jesus. This is the critical freedom that every individual must find.
Why is faith mandatory for uniting the church?
Cultural unity is inherent to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2 makes it clear that the dividing walls that have separated cultures have been torn down through the cross of Jesus. We now have the power to overcome cultural divides through the gospel. Legislation may change laws, but only the power of the gospel can change a human heart. It takes faith in the power of the gospel to break down barriers and bring us together according to Jesus desire as expressed in John 17.
What has the Holy Spirit told you about this event?
We feel that we must take responsibility for the historic sin of racism that found its seat at Stone Mountain. In 1915, the Ku Klux Klan, led by a Methodist Episcopal pastor, burned a cross publicly for the first time on the top of Stone Mountain. For the next 45 years, the KKK had free access to Stone Mountain to burn crosses and hold their rituals. The lease changed hands in 1960 and they were disallowed from using Stone Mountain, but the wound of racism had been opened and this all under the authority of "pastors'.
We feel called by the Lord to step into this place of historic wounding and renounce this sin of our fathers and repent in order to see the wound of racism closed and the stronghold of racism come down.
What sort of visions have you had about this event/uniting the church?
You'll have to watch the video to see.
Why is there a fast leading up to the event?
We believe the Lord has spoken that the He is going to release an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as a result of the church coming together in fasting and prayer to see this historic stronghold broken.
How can fasting affect outcome?
As we humble ourselves in fasting and prayer we position ourselves in a Joel 2 posture, as the Lord has prescribed, that we might see the Lord release healing, forgiveness and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Why have a "Millennial Ascent"?
We feel the young adults are to carry a movement or reconciliation and revival. Several thousand Millennials will meet several hundred pastors at the top of Stone Mountain to repent of historic racism and dead religion and to take the commission to stand together against racism in every form.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.
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