As the news continued to unfold out of Charleston this morning, Glenn asked Bishop James Lowe to join the show and talk about the news through the lens of the larger movement of love they have championed together in recent weeks. Bishop Lowe described the shooting as not only an attack on the black community and the Christian community in Charleston, but on all houses of worship all over the world.
"We have to take it beyond black and white. We start to see this thing as human beings that God created," Bishop Lowe said.
Listen to the whole interview below:
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it may contain errors:
GLENN: So we should know more as the hours continue, and I'll be in South Carolina tomorrow. And I just feel like something good is going to happen there. Bishop Lowe, who is the bishop from the Guiding Light Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that so graciously invited us to be there on 8/28. And something really big is going to happen in Birmingham, Alabama. I'd invite you to join us. But if you're anywhere in the Charleston, South Carolina, region tomorrow, I hope my family is going to be joining me there. And we're going to do the show from there tomorrow. And then we'll get together and try to hold the arms up of the community and just have a prayer vigil. We'll give you details as we go along. But Bishop Lowe is with us now. Hello, bishop, how are you?
JIM: Hello, Glenn, how are you?
GLENN: Here is the oldest African-American church in America. Started in the 1760s. Martin Luther King preached there. And last night, this guy comes in and sits for an hour in Bible study and then shoots nine people. A 5-year-old escaped because she laid on the floor pretending she was dead.
How do you make sense of this, Bishop?
JIM: It's -- it's what's going on in the climate that we've created, that we've created around us. And we talk about what we're coming together about, all lives matter. It's so very important that we begin to proclaim that. We have to stop distinguishing between black lives, white lives, Christian lives, Muslims lives. We have to start recognizing that all lives matter, Glenn. We have to stop distinguishing between black lives, white lives, Christian lives, Muslims lives. We got to start recognizing that all lives matter.
And this was an attack -- what we need to look at, it's not just an attack on black people here. This was a house of worship. And being in a house of worship, this is an attack on all houses of worship. And if we sit silently by and we don't join together, then we create another climate that allows more of this. The greater thing that's before us is that this is an attack against worshiping people who believe in an Almighty God. That's what needs to be seen here. And if we don't -- if we don't start getting people to recognize we need to unify, then we're going down that way that I'm afraid it might be able to turn back.
GLENN: Yeah. I'm afraid that too many of us sit on the sidelines and we say, where are the good people? Well, the good people need to stand up. And really, quite honestly, I don't know if you remember this, bishop, but when the Amish had a guy come in and shoot the children -- Pat, stop. Thank you.
As people were shooting their children, the Amish children, this guy walked in, they had this beautiful moment of forgiving him and forgiving the family and standing together and teaching us what Christianity and what God's people really do and how they behave.
GLENN: And we have to learn that again. We have to teach that again. When this guy walks --
JIM: I'm sorry. We've had too many preachers that are encouraging these kinds of things. Encouraging the vision. Encouraging people to be mad with other folk. We going to get it right. We're going to take somebody down. We're going to do this. It's time for that rhetoric to stop. The words of Christ must be spoken more. That's what must be heard. What he said, love ye one another as I have loved you. And that's not being preached. That's not being said, and that's what has to be said for our nation and for our world.
GLENN: How do you -- how do you --
JIM: Sorry. I'm passionate about it.
GLENN: That's all right.
How do you speak up against people like Al Sharpton? Al Sharpton is already there. He's already holding a rally. How do you speak up about people like Al Sharpton, without speaking words of anger or divisiveness or hatred? How do you do that, Bishop?
JIM: I don't have anything to say about Al Sharpton. He can do whatever he thinks he wants to do. But I know one thing that must be done is that the people of God must speak up. The people who speak the love message that Christ said. That's what must be said. Love conquers. Love overcomes. No matter what others say. No matter how they are. I'm not concerned about their words. But what I'm talking about is what we must do. And if we preach the gospel, if we preach the Word of God, it will triumph all of the time. We don't have to worry about naysayers or people preaching politics. It's not about politics. This is about a warfare between light and darkness.
GLENN: When somebody goes into the church, like this guy did --
GLENN: And he sat there for an hour and he was listening to the words of God. We have a pretty good idea he was a radical racist. But for him to choose church and then be able to go in there and sit there for an hour and then turn around and get his guns and come back, doesn't that say something about evil really truly working in him? Because if you're listening to the words of God for an hour, it should do the opposite to you. But he -- he was wound up after an hour. I think he went in there wanting to kill people, but not -- not necessarily ready to kill people. But he sat there for an hour. How does that work, bishop, where a guy will sit there and listen -- how is evil working in him?
JIM: Well, this is the hardness of what his heart was. You see, he's had perhaps a lifetime of this type of words that have been spoken into him. He has heard that. And if there's not another word that's preached, and we don't say to people that are sitting out there that are incubating these type of activities -- we must speak more about unity. We must speak more about togetherness and oneness than we do about divisiveness. I spoke to my congregation last night. I said, you have to stop seeing yourself by the surface. You have to see what God sees. The more you're like God, the more you see a person for what's inside than what's on his outside. And that's a problem with us blacks, whites, and everybody. We have to become more like God told us to be, to imitate the image of Christ who didn't see on the outside.
That man saw on the outside, but not realizing he's part of a greater scheme that's out to destroy worshiping individuals, people of God. He doesn't recognize that. He sees it as black and white. And, Glenn, we have to take it beyond black and white. We start to see this thing as human beings that God created. Please understand what I'm trying to say.
GLENN: Bishop, I love you, and I admire your stance and your bravery. And I pray for your strength and your humility. Because I think you have a lot of work ahead of you.
JIM: Glenn, when we get ready for 8/28, people that may be listening, I'm trying to get the mayor right now to get me a stadium. I want people to call him to ask to talk in Birmingham. We need to join together. Invite them to come. 8/28 and 8/29. Let's bring an explosion of love out of Birmingham. Let's get an explosion of people joining together. All types of people. All ages. All backgrounds. And let's show from Birmingham, Alabama. Let's start showing people love. Not division. Not divisiveness. Not political parties. Let's show the kingdom of God.
GLENN: You got it, bishop. I love you, and I'll see you tomorrow in Charleston.
JIM: Well, you make it happen, Glenn. I'll be there.
GLENN: You got it. Thank you very much, Bishop.
I'm going to be in Charleston, South Carolina, tomorrow. I'll be broadcasting from WSC. We may be on location. I don't know. I don't have all the details. But I would like you to join me. If you can join me and you and your family can join me, get in the car and come to Charleston tomorrow. And we will -- at some time in the afternoon, I don't know when, but we will gather together and be who we're supposed to be. And the bishop will be there. I will be there. Rabbi Kula from New York, he just called and he said he wants to be there. So I invite you to join me tomorrow in South Carolina. Then like the good bishop said in -- in Birmingham, we're going to be there on 8/28. And as he said, I mean, he's trying to get the stadium there. And he's trying to get some streets cordoned off. And I think there's going to be an explosion of light and love there as well. And I would invite you and your family and your church. I want you to gather your church and get into a bus. And come to Birmingham, Alabama. And join us on August 28th. Because all lives matter. And now is the time that we're going to stand together.