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First Person: What does it mean?

When we look at the headlines and listen to today’s news, we are left with this question: what does all this mean?

First Person: What does it mean? - Baptist Messenger of Oklahoma

Walter Wilson

There are some who say “why now?” Wasn’t this just another death, and the news is full of people dying every day? Why all the unrest, why all the protests, marching, and who are these people who are marching carrying banners and shouting “black lives matter”?

Some in the crowd are the wounded by the continued pressure of trying to make it in a world that seemingly has not made room for them. Then there is the forsaken, the put down and the unnoticed who are not sure why they are marching, but it is a great way to get noticed.

But I see another group—those who have been searching for a righteous cause to champion. Yes, black lives matter, but according to John 3:16, God’s love for His creation makes all lives matter.

His love transcends skin color, gender or congregational denomination. It surpasses race and offers all mankind His amazing grace. Since all mankind was created by God, in the image of God, why wouldn’t all of us matter to Him?

The Book of John says everything that was made, God made it. So how can one creature in His creation decide supremacy and validity over another creature in His creation? To make a difference in who we think matters to God, because of skin color, is the same as loving the Creator and hating His creation.

In order to find the meaning of today’s national and global unrest, the people of God must begin to look at things with the eyes of compassion of Jesus. Pastors are being forced to have conversations about issues that, in past years were locked in church basements in secret closets. I believe we need to open those secret closets and deal with the content inside.

Are we a nation with racism? The continuance of racial situations tells us racism is being kept alive hidden in those secret closets, being fed by a smoldering attitude that, not dealt, remains an attitude of hate. Racism cannot be seen, as black or white, brown or yellow or red because, it is a malfunction of a heart that was designed to exhibit the love of its Creator.

Even the Church, for all its virtues and no matter its congregational ethnicity, must admit it has not handled the inequality of racism very well. Maybe instead of enforcing church rules and bylaws we should enforce “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that ‘WHOSOEVER’ believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Perhaps if God’s people would champion the Agape love of Jesus Christ, instead of pulling down inanimate objects, people would up lift the Jesus we preach about. When young David showed up on the battlefield with food for Saul’s army he found God’s people cowardly hiding behind the rocks, scared because Goliath was calling them names.

If David were here today, I think he would be surprised to find the church still hiding, trying to ignore what the world is saying right outside its doors.

Church, there are no more rocks to hide behind. There is no place to hide. The “closet” has been unlocked, and you are being called out to stand on the love you sing and preach about.

The sadness, the disgust, the frustration and the confusion, coupled with the anger and the violence is what we see and feel, but the question is what is to be our response?

How can we answer what cannot be ignored?  I personally think the ultimate answer is not in new buildings or even new policies or procedures. I personally think it is not even in the act of removing the monuments that are actually reminders of how far we’ve come as a people and a nation. (I am reminded of a song that says my soul looks back and wonders how I got over.) Will this be outlawed as well?

Did we forget God required the children of Israel to leave monuments of stone as they traveled to the Promised Land? The monuments were to remind them and their children of how God had delivered them along the way. I believe we do need reminders of our past.

Above all, we need to be reminded Jesus shed his blood for all mankind. We need to be reminded Jesus said, they will know you are my disciples by your love for each other. We need to be reminded, that the love of God does not depend on the color of skin, but the condition and content of the heart.

No matter the size, skin color, ethnicity, gender, religious denomination one might have there is only one race, the human race. I want to remind us Jesus left a warning that says “the love of many shall wax cold.” He also said, “How can you say you love God whom you’ve never seen and not love your brother you see daily.”

In the end, it is all about love, sweet love. “That’s the only thing there’s just too little of!”

Walter Wilson

Author: Walter Wilson

Pastor, Lawton, Friendship

View more articles by Walter Wilson.

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