The Apostle Paul wrote, “What shall we say to these things?” Then, he answered his own question, “If God be for us who can be against us?” As I said at the close of my previous column, for those of us who exist under the shadow of the Cross, we know Jesus is the only answer.
Over the past several years, racism, bigotry and hatred have become front page items, but I think the question we should all ask ourselves is, “Why now?” Why every time you turn on the news or look at your newspaper there is some reminder of the ethnic differences in America?
Even when we as Southern Baptists gather together for a time of worship and fellowship, it seems worship and fellowship is halted as we are reminded of the past differences between the races. My racial color can never be the example of the content of my character. Some people were born white, and some people were born brown, and still some people were born yellow, but the color of a person’s skin is just a wrapper for the goodness God has placed inside.
We would do well to remember that little song our children sang that said “Red and yellow, black and white, we are all precious in His sight. Jesus loves the children of the world”. Because my skin is black does not mean I am, in some way, more or less important than any other color in God’s rainbow.
In looking at the question “Why now?” I believe the enemy is using an old military technique known as a “smoke screen.” He is using it to cause us to focus on racial tensions, so we will forget about kingdom business. The Bible makes mention of the effort of the enemy, to deceive the very elect of God, so I want to take this opportunity to call all of us to stay focused and keep our eyes on King Jesus.
There is no ethic group in America that has not undergone some type of persecution. History tells us this whole country was founded out of the need to escape some type of persecution. We have suffered through persecutions such as racial bias, hatred, bigotry, financial status, the level of our jobs, as well as our educational levels.
The persecution of segregation was present if you tried to live on the wrong side of the tracks or wanted to buy a house in the wrong part of town. But I am reminded whenever persecutions came and caused separation, somehow the one gathering force was always the Church and our trust in Jesus Christ. If we are going to finally commit this age old sin of racism to the burial it deserves, all of us must rise up and live out the important commandment Christ left us, “that you love ye one another as I have loved you.”
I want to spend a lot of time behind my pulpit, but Christ did not die so any one race could be superior over another. He died that all might be saved. The fact that the Word tells us that He hung around all races of people and that all men were created in His image should change the way we look at each other.
The resiliency of the black populous is born out of the desire to thrive and prosper as the Lord promised His children would. When I was growing up, I read within America’s founding documents that all men were created equal. But, it appears today that the only indication of a level of equality is seen in which group can gain media attention by causing the most violence.
Why would anyone, no matter their race, creed or color, wave a symbol in the face of another child of God that represents a time of oppression? God said He created all of us in His own image. The confederate flag for instance, not only represents a time of racial oppression for the black race but it also represented a time of national separation—a time when brother came out against brother.
As quiet as it has been kept all these years, the flag as well as most all of the other monuments erected in honor of that period also represented a time of national treason. Let me say at this juncture, flags are just pieces of cloth, and statues are inanimate objects of steel, but neither of them are able to bring a divided people together.
It saddens me when I see so much violence in our streets, but in the church, it’s business as usual. It’s time that we, the people of God, stand up and declare “We will be silent no more.” The question before us is: “Is there a godly answer for today’s racism?”
I’ve heard what our government officials have submitted as an answer to racial tensions. I’ve heard the back and forth jostling coming from the nation’s pulpits. I pause to remind us the Apostle Paul wrote “What shall we say to these things? If God be for us who can be against us?” In light of what Paul wrote, the most logical answer for the demise of racism, the banishment of bigotry and the destruction of hatred lies within the garment of Jesus Christ.
Brothers and sisters I believe this scripture holds the answer we are looking for 2 Chron. 7:14 “If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.”