Updated: Apr 16
Racism in The Church
I never thought I would find racism within my inner church family. It’s interesting how many of us deny common knowledge when we’re confronted with situations. Notions like imperfect human beings fall short of living out God’s words every living second. We have to come to grips with the fact that the history of Christianity is stained with slavery. Although we believe Jesus’ blood make the believer’s life white as snow, it doesn’t replace the process of restoration. Part of the process is being real with the person in the mirror and having uncomfortable conversations about our prejudices and bias idiosyncrasies. For instance the subtle low expectation of blacks, the institutionalized stigma of filling leadership roles with a certain race, and interracial bigotries are among many unspoken elephants lurking in the church community. When people are afraid to have these uncomfortable conversations, one of two things happen: members get frustrated and leave the congregation, or they grow bitter roots to the point of abandoning the faith altogether. As we gear up to share the love of God to the world, testimonies will be more powerful than ever.
Racism planted America’s liberty tree. The land of the free has deep roots in slavery. It continues to bear strange fruits because the people who are most qualified to address and cut the bad weeds are silent: the church. As a matter of fact, there is more racism in some churches than the wicked society we live in. We’re living in a world that’s being divided by politics, devoured by capitalism, and demonized by racial tensions. Yet, we sit back in shallow bible studies and lackluster efforts to bridge the disparities. Pro-black and white supremacist religions are springing up every day sifting souls from the Christian faith because they’re addressing racial issues the biblical church should’ve dealt with centuries ago. Tolerant worship and fellowship don’t equate to authentic reconciliation. Believers call each other ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ in Christ, but when the black ‘siblings’ are being crucified, their Caucasian ‘family members’ are silently watching and supporting the bloody murders. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve come a long way from the Jim Crow days, but is that enough? If the blood of Jesus Christ can’t unite churches and denominations, we cannot expect transformation in individuals, families, communities, nations, and the world. The reality is racial dialogues will be difficult, toes will be stepped on, apologies will be needed, and forgiveness will be constant. After all, isn’t forgiveness the most powerful and practical evidence of being Christ-like? The gag order on biblical standards needs to be lifted because we’re living in a time where the world is screaming for godly solutions. Church, let’s address the racial elephants in our pews before they stampede our multi-ethnic nations and generations to come.