We live in tumultuous times; that is certain. Truly, this is the end of days. I have watched with increasing alarm as our society has fallen further and further away from the truths of scripture. For too long, I have remained silent, quietly praying that God would turn the hearts of the children back to their fathers, but alas: I cannot remain silent anymore. Unless we take swift and serious action against the moral decay in our society, God’s ultimate judgment will fall upon America.
There is one issue in particular that I believe is contributing to the division and downfall of our society, and it’s time Christians drew a line in the sand and said, “No more!” We must gather our resolve and oppose this depravity that stands in direct opposition to God’s Word. We must speak the truth in love to those who engage in this sin and to those who tolerate it.
This sin now surrounds us daily. It has crept into our media, our homes, our schools and—yes—even our churches. This abomination that was once despised and practiced in secret is, once again, flaunted in the open. I’m talking, of course, about..
Yes, that vile act of judging someone’s worthiness by their skin color. Racism is a sin, and God hates it! And it’s time Christians stopped pussy-footing around and said so. Loudly.
The Bible is very clear on the issue of racism. It says that all humans were made in the image of God. It also commands us to love our neighbors. It even says that those who do not love do not know God (1 John 4:8), and that God doesn’t know them, either.
You can say, “Lord, Lord” all you want. But if you have racism in your heart, God doesn’t even know who you are! That’s serious!
Aside from the fact that racism separates a soul from God, it also brings God’s judgment in this life. God cursed Miriam with leprosy because she and Aaron criticized Moses’ marriage to a woman of color (Numbers 12). How much more will He judge a racist nation??
Some might shrug and say, “It’s not that big of a deal. I know a guy who is kind of racist, but he still treats people nice. He’s not hurting anyone.”
Wrong! Don’t you know? A little leaven works its way through the whole batch of dough (Galatians 5:9). This guy may think he’s not hurting anyone, but he is! He’s disobeying the written Word of God, endangering his own soul, and contributing to the deep divisions in our society. Not to mention, he harms those he sins against.
The racist agenda is more subtle than you think. It creeps in in all sorts of ways. Your conservative uncle muttering about “welfare queens” at Thanksgiving. Your friend dressing up in blackface for Halloween. Films that show people of color in subservient roles, while white characters are portrayed as better, wiser “saviors.” A sermon on the “children of Ham.” This stuff is everywhere! Once you open your eyes, you can’t unsee it.
Someone said to me the other day, “I know a racist Christian.” Impossible! There is no such thing! We must unequivocally declare that there is no such thing as a racist Christian. It’s an oxymoron. You can be racist, or you can be Christian. Not both.
This just goes to show you how far we’ve fallen from the truth of scripture.
I, for one, will no longer stand silently by and watch our nation be destroyed by the sin of racism, and I ask you to join me in speaking out. We are at war with a culture that refuses to honor the image of God in its fellow human beings. If we fail to push back against this evil tide, we will surely answer to the Lord on Judgment Day.
Yes, it will be uncomfortable to confront racists in your social circle. Friends and family members may become angry and refuse to speak to you. Certain groups will call you nasty names like “race traitor,” “liberal” and “social justice warrior.” But don’t lose heart! You are on the winning side! It is the greatest act of love to warn souls away from the destruction that awaits them if they do not repent.
We also need to take back our culture from those who tacitly support racism. When you see a politician running for office, investigate his or her views on race. It’s not enough that they refrain from using racial slurs. If they have campaigned for other racists, or voted to restrict voting rights or equal opportunity employment, they don’t share our Christian values and don’t deserve to hold office.
If there are people in your church who are openly racist, don’t allow them to partake of The Lord’s Supper until they repent. It may seem harsh, but it is an act of protection. People who take communion in an unworthy manner heap God’s judgment upon themselves.
Next month, I have a book coming out called God and the Sin of Racism. In it, I enumerate the ways that racism infiltrates our lives. Make no mistake, racists are actively attempting to indoctrinate our children. They use films, comics, afterschool clubs, and online discussion boards like Reddit and 4Chan to recruit kids into their groups. They even have a mascot! My book offers ways to monitor your children’s curriculum and Internet activities to ensure they aren’t being corrupted by racist ideology. It includes a glossary of lesser-known racist terms and symbols so you can be fully prepared to root out any racism that tries to creep into your home.
For teens who have already succumbed to racist indoctrination, I list several “recovery camps” that have a proven track record of helping kids get free of this hideous sin.
(But if they still refuse to repent, know that you may have to make tough choices regarding their salvation. We cannot call out sin in the marketplace and then enable it under our own roofs.)
In addition, all of my conferences for the next year will include a discussion panel on Speaking the Truth in Love to Racists. Attendees will hear from several former racists on how Christians can best speak to the racists in their lives in a manner that will convince them to lay aside their hate and return to Christ.
I hope that you will join with me in fighting the wave of evil that is sweeping our country—before it is too late.
I think there can be such a thing as a racist Christian, as long as they are actively repenting of their racism and asking God to help them not be such. That is, all of us start from somewhere and as we follow Christ, Jesus helps us step out of the muck.
What I am tired of is professing Christians defining these issues as political instead of seeing that for the Christian, all this is spiritual.
I was a white child of the 1950s and 1960s in Middle Tennessee. Most of the local people of my parents’ generation were what I would call “cultural racists.” They did not seethe with hatred for African-American people. They did deal in the inherited southern language and custom of racism that had polluted the American South since the early 1600s. This included using the n-word quite a bit, even in talking directly to African Americans, A white guy would raise his hand with a big smile on his face and yell across the street, “Hi n-word Bill!!! How are you doing today?” Bill would wave back and say, “Great!!! How are you doing!!!!” A very interesting thing happened in about 1967 or 1968. Our local public schools were integrated—and that entire old, time-honored, southern racist culture seemed to die on the vine—rather abruptly. We never had any overt expressions of racism in our schools at the time of integration, and it all went very smoothly. The white kids and African-American kids got to know each other—and we made an amazing discovery—we were all kids and had much in common with each other.
I had hoped that racism in this country was no longer much of a problem and that it would disappear a little more each year until it hit zero. I contributed to the Obama campaign and campaigned for him in 2008. Wake up call!!! Racism had not died out. It had simply gone underground to hibernate for a long season. Suddenly, racism against African Americans was oozing out of our cultural woodwork nearly everywhere I looked. Best I could tell, vast hordes had been content to lie low and avoid looking racist to hold on to their jobs, have peace at group lunch, etc. Apparently, putting an African-American man in the White House was the alarm clock going off before the hibernating American racist (Bigotus hibernum). All the hibernating racists had to ooze forth to make their racist positions known (under political rhetoric cover)—and save Americuh!!!
Nowadays, here is my biggest fear about the United States and racism. If you process and ferment grapes, you get wine. If you later ferment and process wine under enough temperature and pressure, you are going to get a high-ethyl beverage like brandy. This is my suspicion. The Civil Rights Era did a lot of good in dispelling racism among American whites, especially among us Baby Boomers. We were the wine. The people who hung on tightly to their racism, nurtured it, and fermented it for a long time underground (for decades) turned into brandy. In my mind, this means that most of the racism and racists we see today are the finely distilled and barrel aged “worst of the worst.” These were the people who came after President Obama with a vengeance—and it was vengeance—vengeance for how God had created the man—as if it were any of their business in the first place. If Obama was the target. then Trump became the magnet. I know God tells us to “fear not.” However, that is hard for me to do right now—very hard. With every new day that ticks away toward January 20, 2017, my soul is surrounded by a dark cloud of fear and loathing that this highly concentrated and virulent racism is on the cusp of becoming institutionalized racism against not just African Americans—but other racial and ethnic groups—and other kinds of groups. As a member of The United Methodist Church (UMC), I am no doubt on the new list of hated people because of my religious beliefs and because I believe in all that silly Biblical stuff about loving your neighbor. Just call me UMCigger.
Definitely applaud this message, Racism has no place within the believers heart, mind or worship but frankly (and I ask this rhetorically, because God has all the answers, and like you said their are documented scripture verses that touch upon the topic, to some degree) what leg do we have to stand on when the world observes the self segregation within the majority of, not all, Sunday morning services.The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that 11 a.m. on a Sunday morning is “the most segregated hour in this nation, and very little has changed. I always wondered why that was, and still do to this day. Glad to see you letting your light shine. We are called to be the salt of earth, I pray we lose not our flavor. Amen. God Bless
Gary. Maybe that is the most segregated hour in the United States because African Americans and white people are so far apart subculturally and otherwise on so many things the other 167 hours of the week. I could tell a specific story about this where a a local white church and a local black church in my town tried to come together—and never did. However, it would be impossible to tell that story here because April will not allow me to use the bad language that is central to the heart of the story. Suffice it to say that the old men and ladies at the white church were horrified at the “wild indian” behavior of the African-American children who were invited to the Wednesday night dinner at the church. These children were between 3 years old and 6 years old, and yes, they were accompanied by African-American adults from the black church. Every fifth word out of the mouths of the black children was a four letter word. I was there and personally observed the whole thing. In particular, I recall the five-year-old boy that said to his little friend: “Willie. Gimme that mother_ _ _ _ _ _ basketball, or I’ll bash your face in.”
I am a professional anthropologist who knew this “getting together” would not go strangely. So, rather than become personally embroiled in it, I just decided to kick back, relax, and do a little calm and observant ethnography. Best I can recall, many of the white adult church members and their children had already obtained their food from the huge buffet and had quietly sat down at their many tables in the church gym when the black children first arrived. There were about 30 of the black children, and they hit the gymnasium door screaming at the tops of their lungs and just went absolutely haywire behaviorlly all over the gym. They were running all over the place (screaming incessantly), including up and down the aisles between the dinner tables, and grabbing everything in sight that was not nailed down—apparently thinking everything was a toy. When it came time for the white pastor to bless the meal in prayer, the white and black adults quietly and solemnly bowed their heads, but the black children continued running wildly, screaming at the tops of their lungs, and yelling obscenities throughout the prayer and long into the munching that came afterwords. Clearly, with the exception of me, all of the white church members in the room were absolutely horrified at what was taking place—but nice United Methodists that they were—they simply bit their tongues hard, said nothing, and made no meaningful attempts to impose any discipline on the rioting black children.
Kicked back and relaxed, I asked the cold anthropological question: “What is going on here socially and culturally?” This was not a matter of race. I could tell that much. Completely apart from skin color, it was the clash of two American subcultures that had vastly different approaches to child rearing and control of child behavior. It was like two tribes from opposite sides of the world that had come together for their first joint dinner in a small Tennessee town. The two sides were so unknowingly “far apart” from each other subculturally that the only possible result was utter surprise and frustration—certainly not what the white people expected. I also noticed that the black parents were all cool, calm, and detached throughout this ma-lay like everything happening in the room was perfectly normal, happy, commonplace, and acceptable. Two subcultures that spend 167 hours of time and energy trying to stay separate from each every week had clashed culturally in a thoroughly unexpected way in church.
I never heard anymore feed back about this African-American church and white church trying to come together after that night. Apparently, the whole thing fell through that night and no further engagement was attempted. My point here is simply this. The differences that divide African Americans and white Americans are not just racial. They are also cultural and social—different lifeways—different customs—different ways of doing the same thing. Because we do not know each other well culturally and socially, we are going to end up being surprised, horrified, and frustrated—completely apart from the faulty notion called “race.” Instead of spending 167 hours each weak maintaining the walls that divide us, we need to spend a lot more time getting to know each other and our subcultures. Cultures and subcultures are the human systems created to adapt to out particular natural and social environments. Put another way, there is more than one culturally way to safely and effectively complete a specific survival task. Just because one group’s adaptive system is different from that of another cultural group does not necessarily make it wrong or ineffective—it is just different—and each group ultimately arrives at the survival target.
Is this satire? Not that I disagree with it, but the idea of kicking your teens out of your home because they’re racist seems to refer to kicking kids out because they’re gay. I think parents should confront their kids’ sin while still loving them unconditionally.
Yes, there is a satirical aspect here. The post was inspired by a series of tweets I wrote exploring what it would look like if evangelicals treated racism like homosexuality.
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