Hello sweet friends!
It has been a few days, but I wanted to take some time away from writing to process, learn, and discuss more about what is going on in the United States right now. Waking up to an issue I should have woken up to long ago is not something to immediately post about all over the internet but something to grieve, begin reconciling, and educate myself on. White people have a lot of work to do and had better grow a spine really quick because white fragility has no place in the fight for Justice and Equality.
Racism is not going to solve itself, and the grasp it has on cultures all across the globe is sickening and sits well within the kingdom of Hell. When the Bible says “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” (Ephesians 6:12) it is not messing around.
Combating racism starts in the deepest parts of our hearts–in the places where we didn’t look for prejudices until it was too late, in the places where there has been reward reaped for ourselves from the sufferings of others, in the places where we didn’t take note of God’s Word. In those most hidden places, where our brothers and sisters have suffered for our silence and ignorance. In those most hidden places where there was no acknowledgement of our lack of understanding because the conversation always has to be about me. All across the world right now, different cultures, ethnicities, races, are screaming out that Black lives matter because they do! People matter, and no one’s value decreases with changes on the color gradient of skin tones.
Our country is strongly resembling the Civil Rights movement right now, and the response of each person to the events going on in this cultural moment will echo down through history for decades to come. This is where, specifically white, believers will ultimately have to make a lasting decision–whether or not they will believe, support, and stand for brothers and sisters of color or whether they will close their eyes and ears to both God and the rest of the Church, effectively pushing themselves away from the Body.
The overwhelming majority of the Church is not white–by refusing to stand up against racial injustice, one actively disassociates and distances themselves from the Body of Christ. Scripture says every tribe, every tongue, every nation, and if you are not behind that, you are not behind the Gospel. Diversity is critical to Jesus’s ministry, and without the expression of God through it, we would suffer great misunderstanding of God, of His Goodness, of His Craftsmanship, of His attention to detail, and of His distinctive design. The Church is not colorblind, we are not all the same–we are all fearfully and wonderfully made and equally valuable and critical to the work of God. Each part of the Body does not look like all the others but each plays a critical role in its function. To believe a fellow believer is less valuable to the work of the Kingdom because their skin color is different than yours is to devalue and often render ineffective your own ability to be an ambassador of Heaven.
The Church has been called to be the greatest example of racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity in the world–to be a Body that recognizes the persisting nature of oppression, both outside of and within itself (owns the sin that is rampant within our own hearts), recklessly pursues Reconciliation and Justice, and shows the world what real followers of Christ, real Justice, and real Reconciliation look like. Racism is not a political issue, it is a people issue–and the only One I’ve ever known to take the heart of man and transform it sits on the Eternal Throne and is Holy, Holy, Holy.
So, to my white brothers and sisters in the Church, will we be a part of that example of Justice and Reconciliation, of Jesus, to the world (this includes speaking up to family and friends who use racist language and say ignorant and oppressive things)? Will we seek Justice, love mercy, and walk humbly as we cry out to the Lord to forgive us, teach us, and mend the broken relationships between us that have been caused by our sinful nature and ignorance? Or will we choose to walk away from the Beautiful Body? Will we turn a blind eye and wait for everything to “calm down”? The second our fight for Justice has “calmed down” is the very same moment in which we have chosen to close our ears and eyes to Holy Spirit.
The Work of God takes work, and if dismantling centuries old systems of oppression to deliver Justice isn’t the Work of God, then I don’t know what is.
And the greatest moment of Good and Glory–the Cross and Resurrection–has the final word on it all. There will be a day, when my Black brothers and sisters won’t have to be afraid of being murdered in broad daylight. There will be a day, when my Black brothers and sisters will not have to fear for the lives of their fathers, husbands, and brothers just on a regular day. There will be a day, when we will not have to grieve the senseless destruction of families and lives at the hands of racism, police brutality, and ignorance. But until that day, we must fight ruthlessly against the powers set out to destroy, divide, and devalue. For to be on the ground floor of fighting for Justice is to be like Jesus. I will never understand what it is like to be treated so inhumanely for the color of my skin, but if I do not do everything I can to believe, support, and love my brothers and sisters who have, I am the greatest hypocrite and most audacious liar of them all.
For to claim Jesus is to pursue Justice.
To those wanting to pursue further educating themselves on racism, both that which is systemic and personal, the following resources and reads are a great place to start:
Be the Bridge (this is a good place to donate, especially if you are looking for somewhere biblically based!)
Woke Church by Eric Mason
White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
White Women’s Toxic Tears (FB Live 2-video Series with Jen Hatmaker and Lisa Sharon Harper)
Our Kids by Robert Putnam
Beyond Roots by Dr. William Dwight McKissic Sr.