Sunday, May 16, 2021

Sharing Our Stories: The Image of God

Created In His Image
A guest post by Kai A. Pineda

On June 4 of last year, I began to pen a post on my personal Facebook page after being sent multiple inboxes and text messages about a few conversations amongst mainstream African American pastors and Caucasian pastors/leaders.

Many were discussing race and the brutal murder of George Floyd on Memorial Day. Days before, I had penned another piece asking where all white leaders of faith had been in response to what the world witnessed. The dialogue seemed to be a beginning many in the church had been longing to see.

As I hit play on a video of a conversation between two male pastors (one Black and one White), I listened with an open heart and an open mind, only to feel a deep sadness. While many of the things they said were true, there was the elephant in the room no one wanted to touch. As the pastors spoke, they used words like diversity, inclusion, and multicultural. What was missing was that this prominent White pastor had an all-White leadership team running the ministry many minorities loved. And even since the conversation taped at his ministry went viral, the leadership has not changed at all.

Let me be clear when I tell you I am equally saddened when ministries led by any person of color also lack a diverse leadership. Why? Because our churches being divided is not the vision of God. We do not serve a segregated God, so why are we still a segregated Bride? We cannot continue to look like a dying world that Jesus Christ came back to save, and believe we will be effective in partnering with God in the building of His Kingdom. Our divides are keeping us from being effective in partnering with God in the building of His Kingdom.

I have this question: If the same God created us in His image, then why does the color of your skin make you superior to me based on the color of my skin? Why are we moved by gifts and talents more than the mere value of one another moves us as brothers and sisters in Christ? 

Genesis 1:27 (NIV) says the following, “God created all humanity in His image. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” If we were shaped and made into the likeness of God as a representation of God, shouldn’t we then welcome the complete expression of His Bride through our differences?

I am well aware that we have a long way to go before we can see lasting transformation in this world, and unfortunately, even in the church. We have said God’s Word is accurate, yet we don’t always live it as truth. God did not send His son to divide us, but to die for us that we may be one with Him and the Father. When will we push past the superficial that divides us and connect with the supernatural God who wants to unite us as the Body of Christ?

Let’s Pray: Father God, you created us in your image. You chose us to represent you and your likeness. Please help us see others as your children no matter what they look like or the color of their skin. Please help us lay down our biases and comforts, for you do not work in our comfort. Let your Word rule in our hearts and let it be demonstrated in our responses and actions. Let me lead my life as one who says no to division and yes to the reconciliation and unity of the Bride and Body of Christ. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

I am a fire-starter and a passionate student of the Bible who helps others discover their identity and the beauty within the Body of Christ by leading them into an encounter with the Word of God.

I am married to a man I am madly in like with and love more than I can explain. Together we plant home fellowships within the U.S. and abroad.

I am an author who released her first book, Dear Church: Vol 1: The Beauty of The Body, in 2019, with the second volume to be released in 2021. I have recorded two praise and worship albums and love to travel.

I am an introvert who loves her family, people, rainy days, a chai latte from Starbucks, and my Maltipoo McLovin.

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, nor challenging people to live lives based on a biblical standard and not personal preferences.

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