We, as Christians, need to pray for both sides of recent local protests and love one another as Jesus calls us

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Tollie RogersCan you believe that we are already to the middle of the year? In many ways, this year has gone by so quickly that it is unbelievable. Yet in other ways, this has been a very long six months.

We have seen many changes with our country and with our world because of the coronavirus. People came together to help each other with needs during the stay at home orders. It was quite amazing to be a part of this community that worked together to help those that were in need. Then we turned the corner and now we are seeing protest after protest. People standing on both sides for what they believe in, whether it is civil rights or trying to protect their town. This six months have be quite a time in history.

Our country seems to be more divided than ever. I drive down the middle of town during the protests and I see people I know on both sides of the street — good Christian people that love God and serve him every day. So, what is going on? which side is right?

Well I can't tell you which side is right because I believe that there are good points on both sides. I can tell you that Jesus loves the people on both sides of the street and Jesus would be serving people on both sides of the street. So, the church should be the ones in the middle helping the conversation happen. The church should be the ones praying for a revival in our country, one that will bring unity back to our nation.

We can only do that if we bring God back into focus. We as Christians need to be praying for both sides of the street. We need to pray that God will soften hearts and open minds to listen to Him. Christians need to be reaching out to those across the street and having a conversation about the issues and let us find some common ground, so that we can build a relationship, so that things can change for the better. Build a relationship so that we can bring unity back to our country again.

We need to put God back into our focus. A couple of weeks ago, we started a new series at church about the 10 commandments. One of the points that was made is that these are not necessarily 10 legalistic commandments but really are how God created us to live. If people would look at them not as "thou shall" but as these are really good things to live by, our country might become united again. When we put God back in the place of authority, that is the only way that we can have revival in this country and that would take care of all of the rest of the issues that are going on.

God is for civil rights. God is for protecting our town. God is for loving one another. Remember what Jesus said about the greatest commandment under the law: Love God, the second greatest commandment, love people. I am not seeing a lot of either in our country right now.

I would like to call all believers, all Christians, to pray for those that are standing on either side of the street. Start showing the love of Jesus to both sides of the street. It is time that we as Christians take a stand and do what we do best, cry out to Jesus!

Tollie Rogers is the pastor at Ascent Christian Church. He can be reached at 541-362-1025.

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