When the 13 colonies joined together, we became known as the United States of America. A new nation was born.
Victory over the British occurred because these 13 colonies did not fight as many, but as one.
The United States Capitol is a phenomenal structure and one of my favorite buildings on this earth. The Rotunda is in the middle of the Capitol. In the dome of the Rotunda is the inscription, “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” a Latin phrase that means, “from the many, one,” or “out of many, one” or “one from many.” It was this inscription that was also placed on the original Great Seal of the United States.
The horrendous actions upon our great Republic conducted inside and outside the Capitol building earlier this month are beyond anything any of us would have ever imagined. The tragic loss of life is beyond understanding, and to each family who has lost loved ones, we are praying for you.
The further we get from Jan. 6, the more we learn about it. What we are learning is not good and it grieves our hearts deeply for our nation. Whatever charges are extended to those who acted unlawfully, they deserve to be prosecuted. Each one needs to be held accountable for his or her unlawful actions.
The heart of those who founded this nation and led us to our independence as the United States of America believed with great conviction, “out of many, one.” They knew their strength was working together and acting as one people.
We have forgotten “out of many, one” in America and how this relates to our republic. As a democratic republic, we do not operate away from each other or against one another. We are to depend on one another, involving each other in the process, learning from each other along the way, and always working together for the long-term good of the nation.
As followers of Jesus Christ, the Bible teaches us that the moment Christ transforms our lives, we become part of God’s family, the Church. We are reminded that even though we are uniquely created in God’s image, we do not function as individuals, but we function as one. First Corinthians 12:27 states, “Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it.” The Church is the body of Christ.
Each of us has unique spiritual gifts and serves the Lord not independently from one another, but depending on each other. First Corinthians 12:26 reminds us, “So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”
When we believe God and His Word, we live this way. However, when we choose our independence and autonomy away from our identity in Christ, we strut in pride, which always leads to destruction. This is when division and dishonoring one another happens even among the people of God.
I appeal to all of us who are followers of Jesus Christ: A divided Church cannot call a divided nation to unity.
Let’s determine to come together as one, cease the rhetoric, stop the finger-pointing, refuse the grandstanding and come together in Christian unity. In brokenness over our nation, the Church needs to lead the way repenting and returning to God.
Most especially, I want to speak to my dear Southern Baptist family: In Jesus’ name, we need to come together now. The churches across America need to see a Southern Baptist Convention that is cooperating and unifying together for the cause of taking the gospel to every person in the world. This is America’s hope and the hope for the world.
While politicians work through the enormous challenges our country faces, we must understand our role and do our part to be ever diligent to provide spiritual leadership that:
- Prays for our nation and our leaders.
- Loves one another.
- Honors one another.
- Walks in peace with one another.
- Comes together in unity.
Pastors, we are praying for you to have God’s wisdom as you lead with humility before God, grace with all people, the courage to preach the Word of God, and the conviction to call your people to pray for America more than ever before.
Only in Jesus Christ and Him alone can we do these things as the Spirit ignites us.
Holy God, fill each of us with Your Holy Spirit.
Now is the time to lead.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Ronnie Floyd is president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee.)