By Rev. Dr. Reba Haley

Since the recent Supreme Court historic ruling on same-sex marriages and the racially motivated gun massacre that claimed the lives of nine individuals in South Carolina, it’s time for the church to heal.

II Chronicles 7:14 states, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’’ The church is to promote prayer, teach prayer and practice prayer. The church’s purpose is to teach biblical doctrine and provide a place for believers to fellowship and point people toward our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The great commission of the believers, according to Mark 16:15, is to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” The church is a lighthouse and Christ’s love is demonstrated in our words and deeds.

Mark 12:31 says, “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” This Scripture references our relationship with our fellow man. This relationship is inseparable from our relationship with God. Love of neighbor and love of self are of the same. Who is your neighbor? All mankind is considered a neighbor.

The church’s purpose is to create an environment that is welcoming to heterosexuals, homosexuals, interracial couples and same-sex couples. The church of Jesus Christ should have an open-door policy that welcomes all people.

Welcoming others does not mean the church relinquishes its religious freedoms. In John 13:5, Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Love is a strong emotion and is self-directed and directed toward others. I Corinthians 13:1 states, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” In addition, love is the only power that can heal a nation, marriage, family and church.