I used to be afraid to talk about racism. I found myself believing that talking about this apparent problem was going against my faith; that somehow I couldn’t be a Christian and talk about this issue because it would mean that I would be on the side of causing division rather than unity.
Then I came to realize how foolish that was. So foolish that it sounded like I was saying that I was afraid to talk about sin because somehow talking about sin meant that I wasn’t talking about the loving God who offered forgiveness and grace.
Here is why I have been freed to talk about this issue: Because the root of racism isn’t institutional. The act of institutionalization of racism is the action of sinful hearts.
And here is what I have always known: We have a Savior who helps us confront our sin while offering us amazing, radical grace.
Racism didn’t appear out of thin air. And the U.S isn’t the only place that it takes place. Since the fall of man, disunity has been the pattern created. The construct of disunity based on one’s physical feature has continued to inform how one is treated. It’s real. And God isn’t caught off guard by it. He’s been dealing with it way before the U.S came into the picture. He’s simply sickened by it.
One because it’s sin. And two because it seeks to negate the work He has done for “everyone.” Not just fair skinned. Not dark skinned. Not wide nosed. Not thin nosed.
As believers, ones who have been renewed in our minds on how we view God and one another, we have been called to a ministry of reconciliation.
“One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in His death so that everyone could also be included in His life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people every lived on their own.
Because of this decision, we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong as you know. We certainly don’t look at Him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is create new….We’re Christ representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. (2 Corinthians 5: 14-20 MSG)
Powerful passage that reminds us that we have been called to act, speak, think and live in such a way that brings the distance between a person and God closer while at the same time God drawing the distance between one another closer. It reminds us that the construct of race as a dividing factor can longer be upheld as believers. It reminds us that race can’t be our idol.
There are many conversations that have erupted because of racism. And the enemy is so cunning with where he wants this conversation to lead humanity. However, we can’t be led to where he wants us to go—which is a constant state of division.
So that’s why we as believers have to talk about racism…
Let’s talk about it because we as believers will be confronted by it in our lives and we have to know how to respond.
Let’s talk about it not for the sake of stirring up hate and division but as believers, if we don’t, it will stir hate and division.
Let’s talk about it because its ugly head has made its way into the body of Christ and if we as His body can’t even take on the ministry of reconciliation we are called to take on, then who will?
Let’s talk about it because we have seen the power of the Gospel change our hearts and minds towards one another and we have seen Love overcome and now this message burns in our hearts for the world.
Let’s talk about it because God calls us to be the voice of those who are still victims of this sin.
Let’s talk about it because it’s darkness and our actions bring light. Why are we hiding our light under a bushel?
Let’s talk about it because we believe God can use us to deconstruct individual minds that can eventually change institutions.
Let’s talk about it because we believe that His Gospel doesn’t stop at just preaching Jesus, it’s living Jesus. And I don’t know if you’ve read the book of the gospels because you would know that Christ talked about what others tried to hide from: SIN.
We don’t have to be afraid. God isn’t intimated by this conversation. He actually would love to give us the wisdom and the grace to bring light to this so that His work can be seen in greater measures through us. He wants to make sure our conversations and actions are motivated by His love because our responsibility is to make sure that our righteous indignation doesn’t morph into self-righteousness which eventually turns into hateful actions.
These are serious times. While the enemy wreaks havoc in this world, we as believers can’t sit back and be OK with it. If there was ever a time that we need God’s presence in our individual lives AND our churches, it’s now. We have to increase our capacity to receive God’s love so that we don’t grow cold and bitter. We have to increase our sensitivity to the Spirit of God so that can fight this battle that isn’t against flesh and blood but against principalities and dark forces. He’s given us the weapons. We just have to know how to use them.
The world is dying to see what true reconciliation looks like and we as ambassadors of reconciliation have the power to show it to them through the way we come together in unity. There is so much work to be done but we have to privilege of moving the needle forward.
There is so much more I desire to say and desire to write but I will wait for another post so that I can leave you with the WORDS that truly matter: God’s Word. Here is what Jesus prays in John 17:
“I’m praying not only for them [disciples]
But also for those who will believe in me
Because of them and their witness about me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind-
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they will be as unified and together as we are-
I in them and you in me.
Then they’ll be mature in this oneness.
And give the godless world evidence.
That you’ve sent me and loved them.
In the same you’ve loved me.”