RACISM – #STOPDOINGWRONG  – “It’s A Sin Issue Not a Skin Issue”

“Stop Doing Wrong, Learn to do right, seek justice, defend the oppressed.”   – Isaiah 1:16, 17


“If we swim against the ‘current’ of racial privilege’, it’s often easier to recognize, while harder to recognize if we swim with it.” – Robin DiAngelo

Genesis 1:27 reflects the image and character of God.  He created human beings in His image and in His likeness, red and yellow, black and white, we are all precious in his sight.  The completeness of that image is found in our uniqueness and differences yet all made in His (One) image.   Male and female, black and white, this list could go on and on.  To be colorblind is to be willfully blind to the image of God.

What do you see?   When a person tells a person of another ethnic background, ‘I don’t see color’ they may as well be saying, “I don’t see you.”  I don’t see or want to see a part of you that is incredibly important to you, your culture, your history and your very identity.

Galatians 3 is clear that we are neither this or that, for we are all one in Christ.  As Christians we must embrace Ephesians 2.  Christ is our hope and peace and he has destroyed the barriers and dividing walls of hostility.  We are ONE BODY.   That is both unity and equality.

One day people from every tribe and nation will stand before the throne and the before the Lamb of God.  He is the savior of ‘all’ people.  For God so loves the whole world.

The Problem:

  • Christians are abhorred by but not interested in joining the fight against racism
  • Christians don’t think it’s their problem or issue
  • Christians don’t know how to talk about race and don’t want to risk sounding ignorant or racist

Internalized racism is based on prejudice and discrimination, whether intentional or not. Prejudice refers to the beliefs and assumptions held captive in our minds to a worldview that is innate and often based on limited knowledge. Discrimination is an action based on prejudice that includes things like poor quality or no service, suspicion, avoidance, surprise at competence and hate crimes.

Intellectual racism refers to the acceptance of the assumptions, biases, and stereotypes placed on racial groups, and how they are supposed to be—for example, believing that because of their race or ethnicity people of color are not as capable of succeeding or leading at a certain level and are therefore destined for a kind of leadership that require less rigorous education.

Institutionalized racism (found in Churches) embraces whether intentional or unintentional the unspoken societal norms that are accepted and practiced within an institution.  This includes ideologies and stereotypes that allow and breed further racism—for example, silence, ignorance, lack of modeling and speaking up for those that have no voice.

The Church has much to learn regarding the voice that God has given us.   We must:

  1. Engage in the war against equality
  2. Speak the truth in love
  3. Open ourselves up for discomfort and persecution by those who choose to hate
  4. Embrace another race and accept no potentially charged slur or prejudice

Churches must address the issue of Race.   They should put in writing and begin to communicate a message of love and compassion and equality.  What might that include?

  1. Provide a narrative that includes a racial context that is personal, local and immediate
  2. Provide a space for diversity
  3. Develop a strategy that understands race as something that is real and precious
  4. Establish a biblical definition of race and a framework for unity and love
  5. Examine the actual presence of ‘whiteness’ within our structures and its impact on the conversation. (If there are no black people speaking into the narrative, we will remain the same)

The time to break this cycle of hatred and racism is now.   We are the change that society needs.  The Church is the hope of the world, when it is working as God intends.

Wisdom from the early Church.   In Acts 6 we have a parallel that we can embrace concerning Racism.  There were two ‘groups,’ the Hellenistic Jews and the Hebraic Jews.  Both were giving and contributing and yet one group was benefiting more.   The apostles then asked the group who was not being treated fairly to appoint 7 Spirit filled men who were wise, to address and serve the issues at hand.   There were absolutely 7 wise Spirit filled men from the Hebraic Jews, but they gave voice and leadership to the ‘other’ group.  We can learn from this experience.

True love embraces our differences and celebrates our diversity as we unify under the umbrella of Grace and Truth.  We were created equal.