I’ll be honest, I want to look the other way. I want to hide under my pillow. I want to close my eyes because I do not have the answers to what is happening in our country. This isn’t something that you can slap an “this is the end times” band-aid on … that works for the political climate but not for the senseless brutality and violence we have seen in Baton Rouge, Minnesota and Dallas. Innocent lives are being lost on both sides and the fact that there are even sides to begin with is despicable.
Genesis 1:27 makes it pretty clear,
“So God created man in His own image;
He created him in the image of God;
He created them male and female.”
There is no delineation of “race” … no, the separation does not come until sin enters the picture and changes our view of everything. I am not going to preach about the sin issue in our country because as my pastor said this past Sunday, “Stop hoping unholy people will lead us to a holy place.” No, I am going to speak to the sin in our churches because that is where this issue of racism is continuing to fester.
This past Spring, I took a class on Multicultural Counseling and had to take a long hard look at myself. I discovered prejudices I didn’t even know I had towards almost everyone who is different from me – I’m talking every color, religion, sexual orientation … you name it. There was some level of “me vs. them” present in my heart. The majority of it was rooted in ignorance and fear of someone being different from me. I was heart broken and convicted over this. The Lord has been working this out of me as I have taken the time to learn about different cultures and He brought people from all walks of life into my life for me to get to know. And it has been eye opening for me.
Until, those in the pews of our churches take a long hard look at their souls and allow the Lord to sift out the deep seeded fears and ignorance that has taken up residence and truly repent then this problem will persist. Innocent African-Americans will continue to die and innocent police officers will die out of retaliation.
“Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.” Leviticus 19:18
I do not have children but I have children of all colors that I love who are very precious to me and we can do better for them. We must do better for them. It’s time for the Church to stop expecting the Government to take care of this problem and address it ourselves. Legislation can’t fix this but sanctification can.
“What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? 2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life. 5 For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death,we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in light of the fact that He lives, He lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. 14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.
15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! 16 Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?17 But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to, 18 and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.19 I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness. 21 So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification—and the end is eternal life! 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
First, we need to be called to true repentance by opening our eyes to the hate that we are allowing to fester in our country and our churches by acknowledging what’s in our hearts.
Second, we need to educate ourselves on each other’s culture, be present in each other’s lives and stop saying that we don’t see color because color is beautiful.
Third, we need to love like Jesus or stop claiming to be His followers because the country isn’t buying it.
Just because we may not live in Baton Rouge, Minnesota or Dallas does not mean it’s not our problem. It is. It’s our problem. And it’s time we, God’s people, do something about it.