Hope in the Midst of Racial Chaos

hope

The alt-right movement represents the worse in the heart of sinful mankind.  They spew hatred and spawn violence, many under the guise of what they call christian.

I’ve been a Christian since I was 8 years old.  I have studied the Bible for years and think I have a grasp of what Jesus expects from His followers.  None of His expectations include hate, disdain, division, violence, or racism.

As an anglo-American Christian, I have a responsibility to speak out against those who may look like me but represent something else entirely.  My African-American brothers and sisters need to know where I stand.  I will not risk misunderstanding by remaining silent.

I do not stand with those hate groups who hold to white-supremacy.  Count me with my brothers and sisters who name the name of Christ regardless of their color, economics, politics, or language. The Bible recognizes only TWO RACES – the race of the first Adam and the race of the second Adam, Christ. Sin, not skin is the determining factor.

Our country’s problems are not racial, economic, political, or educational. The primary problem is a SIN problem, and we have the answer – the Gospel of Jesus Christ! 

Four Vital Truths that Give Us Hope

I want to share four universal truths to which you and I need to awaken so that God can use us to bring healing to this land.   Each of these truths comes with accompanying Scripture for you read and consider.   I ask you to affirm these 4 truths with me.

1.  God created ALL of us in His image.  Genesis 1:27; Genesis 3:20; Acts 17:26

While we may differ in skin color, economics, cultural practice, and/or backgrounds, we all trace our ancestry back to Adam and Eve.  All people deserve respect given to one bearing the image of God.

2.  Sin is a UNIVERSAL problem.  Romans 3:23

“They” are not more sinful that “we” are – which ever group you consider yourself part.  ALL have sinned.  ALL come short of God’s standard.  We do not deserve better than others because we are better than they, we ALL deserve nothing good.  I have no place to consider anyone else inferior to me; I am the chief of sinners.

3.  The ONLY remedy for our sin is the Cross of Jesus.  Romans 6:23; John 14:6

We try every solution but the right one.  We throw more money at the problem, we work harder at educating people, we choose different politicians, yet the problems continue, worsen even.  The only way to deal with a sin problem is to call it sin and apply the remedy – the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We will never change minds and attitudes until first we change hearts.  Jesus is our one and only hope.

4.  WE have the responsibility of reconciliation.  2 Corinthians 5:18-21

We will never find reconciliation with each other until each of us experiences reconciliation to Christ, and WE are the ones who have the mandate to share the message of reconciliation.  The government won’t do it.  The schools can’t do it.  Wall street is clueless to do it.  It’s on me and you to tell people Jesus saves and they can have a greater life than they imagine when they give it to Him.  We MUST make this our top priority going forward.

What Can I Do to Spread Hope?

I follow-up the four truths with four action steps you can take today to begin to make a positive difference.

1.  Recognize that racism still exists in our country.

Racism works both ways; blacks mistrust and hate whites while whites distrust and suspect the worse from blacks before they even get to know them.  A black man has to overcome more obstacles to make something of his life than the average white man does. All of us can show fairness in our dealings with everyone.

2.  Recognize our own prejudices and intentionally choose not to act upon them.

We all have prejudices, most of the time we deny, ignore, or rationalize them away.  We need to own up to our prejudice so that we can bind it and act in a more loving way toward others. Ask God to show you places in your heart where you harbor prejudice and ask Him to help you overcome that prejudice.

3.  Treat ALL others with respect and dignity.

Since we all bear the image of God, all deserve respectful and dignified treatment.  In James 3, James chides those who with the same mouth utter blessings to God and direct cursings and negative words to those whom Christ loves.  

4. Choose to speak words of healing and not add to the rhetoric.

Instead of lending your voice to the debate over who is right and who is wrong, choose instead to speak words that foster peace, understanding, and hope.  Jesus said,

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” (Matthew 5:8) 

Instead of expressing our opinions and choosing our sides, let’s choose instead to bring sides together; to focus on our agreements, and to speak the good news of Jesus.

We can’t change the world, but we can positively influence the world around us.  Who will join me in being the voice of change, understanding, and patience?  Consider these words from 19th century author and minister, Edward Everett Hale:

I am only one, but I am one. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.

Let me challenge you to read Romans 12:9-21 at least once every day this week, and ask God to make those words a reality in your life.  I guarantee that if all of us lived those verses, our world would be a better place.

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