Today we grieve the tragic events that have recently occurred in the United States of America. As Southern Baptists, we love our nation and seek genuine reconciliation among all citizens. Thus, as we see our nation in turmoil, we readily obey our Lord’s command to love and pray for all people, especially those who have recently suffered immeasurable loss in the tragic deaths of their loved ones.
Southern Baptists believe that all people have intrinsic value because the Bible teaches that God loves everyone and that Jesus died for the sins of all people. Just as there is no one outside God’s love, there should be no one outside our love.
Scripture commands every Christian to love and honor all people, which means loving people of every race and ethnicity. Our ultimate hope for true reconciliation among people begins with being reconciled to God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
As the President of the Southern Baptist Convention, I call on all Southern Baptists, as well as on all people—Christians and non-Christians—to seek genuine peace in all of our relationships. I also call on all Christian pastors to mobilize their churches immediately in fervent prayer for President Obama, the other leaders of our nation, for those who have suffered the loss of loved ones in these horrific tragedies, and for every citizen of the United States of America.
May God pour out His mercy and grace on our nation as we bow our hearts humbly before Him. May He grant us understanding, love, and forgiveness. This is the true way of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and His followers. This is the way we will choose to live as Southern Baptists.
May God bless every citizen of the United States of America.
Pastor Steve Gaines, PhD
President of the Southern Baptist Convention