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Where to Find Hope When America is On Fire

Today reminds me of 1968. America is on fire. Societal change is happening at warp speed. Covid19, George Floyd, what’s next, a national depression? Many of us have lost our jobs. Suicide rates are skyrocketing. Where to find hope? National level The vaccine is coming, but our societal fabric…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Today reminds me of 1968. America is on fire. Societal change is happening at warp speed. Covid19, George Floyd, what’s next, a national depression? Many of us have lost our jobs. Suicide rates are skyrocketing. Where to find hope?

National level

The vaccine is coming, but our societal fabric is coming apart at the seams. Will we ever achieve the racial reconciliation we need? 

Looking for leadership at a political level seems like a fool’s errand. The leaders we have either seem to have a tin ear or are too partisan to build bridges. Maybe there’s a Mandela out there, but I don’t see one.

A better place to look is from the Church. Martin Luther King and so many of his early followers were church people. MLK sought to emulate Jesus and even nonbelievers followed his lead.

I’m looking to a group called OneRace to lead us. Led by pastors who are both Black and White, OneRace looks to mobilize us to join together to seek change.

On June 19, they are organizing March on Atlanta. I intend to be there and I want to encourage you to join me.

We older people resist change because we have a lot invested in the status quo. But the status quo clearly isn’t working – we need to participate in the change. And young people too often think they have contributed to change because they posted something to social media. Both groups need to get out of their houses and begin marching.

Young people especially need to participate. I love young people – they are interested in change when older people want to protect the status quo. We need a mix of young and old. 

If it was 1968, I would want to be marching with King. But in many ways, it is 1968! It’s time to get out of our houses. It’s especially time for World Racers and their parents to help lead. Jesus taught us to be activists. Now is our time.

Personal Level

If you’re an American, you’ve heard the Gospel so many times it is trite. Jesus Christ has become a curse word for many. Our national religion has been materialism and we carry our media addiction around in our hand all day.

But as T.D. Jakes said in his last sermon, “How’s that working for you?” 

If it’s not, perhaps it’s time to declare personal bankruptcy. Your self-sufficiency is not enough. Take a look at what Jesus says about himself and give him a chance. 

Kanye West recently made that exchange and he is filled with hope. It’s not too late for you. Hope is on offer.

Comments (7)

  • Rosemarie Starook

    Well said Seth! Your post truly resonates with my heart. I don’t see a Mandela either–wish we did. Thank you for the direct link to OneRace. Appreciate the fact that is group states: “covenanted to stand against racism in every form, never again allowing it to gain a foothold within our spheres of influence.” I subscribed to receive their updates. Take care, Rose

  • A Mandela- out there-

    Clearly I hope and pray there is not another leader as Mandela on the horizon-
    As in history, time allows viewpoint to change as writers rewrite elements of truth about national leaders- Mandela is no different.

    Mandela was a very ruthless- violet- leader who oppressed and had part of the murder of thousands of South African people- he was a strong supporter of Arafat- Gaddafi- and Suharto- placing millions and millions into their organizations filled with murder and oppression-
    His authorization and support from his three wives in the mamming and disfiguring of those that opposed him and his supporters is undeniable cruel –
    So there in prison he became what people see and speak of him- Nobel Peace Prize winner ….. and that is highly controversial.

    So in truth- I hope there is no figure in the crowd to be as Mandela -; our Nation is suffering enough at many different levels –
    Individually to Nationally-

    Yet those that have the ability to help and support the goodness and toughness in support of many of our National Leaders seem only to ridicule – mock – find fault with every word – gesture – and action.
    Where is the element of support –
    We are of One Nation under God- and we need to turn toward the wisdom – spiritual guidance that is within the scriptures-blessed by the Holy Spirit.

  • So many people use MLK’s name and message, and like to believe they would have marched with him in 1968. Yet MLK was extremely divisive (even in the christian world).

    I think you nailed it, if you really think you would have stood up for the same things MLK stood up for – now is your time.

  • More than ever now the church needs to unify. Not unify with groups that do not stand on the word of God. Not unify with secular or worldly thinking. But unify in prayer. Unify in love. Unify in forgiveness. Unify in humility. Unify in caring for one another for the Word of God says they will know that you are my disciples by your love that you have for one another…John 13:35.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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