Keynote Speaker Trillia Newbell, The Gospel and Our Cities
This post was written by Stephen Nielsen.
Pastor Bryan Loritts preceded keynote speaker Trillia Newbell during the first for three keynote speechs at The Gospel and Our Cities conference today at Moody Church, Chicago. Pastor Loritts is the Lead Pastor of Abundant Life Church in Silicon Valley, CA. Trillia Newbell is the Director of Community Outreach, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Pastor Loritts began with an anecdote of a conversation he and his father had with his lawyer while creating his will. According to Georgia state law, all biological children could be disinherited from Bryan’s father’s will. However, his adopted child’s future was secure; they could not be removed from the will. In the same way, “those of us in Christ have been adopted into the Kingdom of God,” Pastor Loritts said. Being adopted was not “second-class citizenship, but it is first-class security. We are safe and secure in the hands of God.”
Christ’s death on the cross is what saves Christians. It is that Grace which “got us in, and it’s that’s grace that keeps us in!” Bryan exclaimed. The Gospel is social in its nature, calling Christians to love, pray, and more for one another. The American church was not like this before, Pastor Loritts explained. The American church had resurrected what Christ had already demolished: the dividing wall of separation. “If you had been the church,” he said, “there would be no Black Church.” The reason the Black Church started, was because people who were black couldn’t worship in white churches.
Jesus didn’t die for typical churches, or anything typical, but to “blow people’s minds!” Pastor Loritts charged the congregation with thy by saying that the way to do this was to show how we are a connected community. He likened Christ to mayonnaise… mayo is made up of two things that don’t go together; they are divided, disparate communities. But Jesus is the emulsifier which brings those wildly different communities and people’s together. This blows peoples’ minds.
Tirllia Newbell continued on Pastor Loritts’ commentary from Ephesians. Her keynote, titled “Love of Neighbor and the Race-Transcending Gospel” covered the problem of humans and Christians, “that we do not love.” Christians are called to show God’s radical love. It means not asking questions when others are mourning, but “we should just feel with them,” Trillia said.
The greatest commandment for a Christian is to love their neighbors. “We need to care and pay attention to our neighbors” Trillia commanded. Trillia went on to speak about how Chritsians are first reconciled to God, which is where most people stop. However, they need to go further and implement that in context with their neighbors.
Trillia finished with how she started her keynote, “If you want to care for your city… then you need to mourn with those who mourn and put on the skin of your neighbors.”
Vista Magazine is following the progression of The Gospel and Our Cities conference. We will follow up with Dr. Tim Keller’s keynote lectures over the weekend. Follow us on social media to stay updated on North Park students’ thoughts on the conference.