Monday, September 11, 2017

A Rural White Guy Dares to Address Racism in America

I may be the least qualified of anybody to speak frankly about racial unity in this country.  I am a white male, almost 50, living in rural Minnesota.  I have one good friend and only a handful of "official friends" on Facebook who are African American.  Oh yea, and I wasn't even born in this country, though I've lived here over 90% of my life.

Why, then even dare to speak about it?  Two reasons: There is an answer to the tension that needs to be spoken of often, lived out courageously, and applied to people on both (or all) sides of the issue.  Also, I figure I cannot do anything about the color of my skin or the history of my country, but I do have a choice as to how I treat people of all skin colors and I may even have a say in the future of how my people in my country treat each other.

As a pastor and a student of The Bible, I must start every single conversation about every single conflict with our one basic problem - sin.  As has been said numerous times over the years "racism is not a skin issue, it is a sin issue."  My love for every single human being is not rooted in the fact that I'm Christian, or have a great family, or just have that personality type.  Rather it is rooted in the love that has been shown me by others, especially by Jesus Christ, God Himself, when He died on the cross in my place.  He did this NOT because I was so worth it, but because He loves me, period.  I love, period, because He first loved me.

Oh, and, by the way, I need someone to die for my sins just as much as you and anybody else needs it.   I don't care how many bad things you've done (though I know you've done bad things), I don't care what kind of bad things you've done (though I know that you deserve hell, just like I do), I don't care the color of your skin (though I know that African-Americans in our country have been dealt an awful hand).  I care that each person, where they're at, can overcome and deal with racism through Jesus Christ.

Bold prediction:  racism will get worse before it gets better in this country.  I know this because we are allowing seeds of selfishness, materialism, self-sufficiency, and sexual haphazardness find fertile ground in our culture of "no judgment, relativistic, inclusivism."  The only way to deal with racism is through the study of and submission to Jesus Christ himself, the most TRULY loving and inclusive person to ever walk the face of this earth.  Let's learn how He has compassion for the hurting and how the hurting must-need submit to Him.

Until we love the way Jesus loves and accept the love with which He loves us, we cannot truly love and accept people while calling them and ourselves to lives of purity and selflessness.