"I never thought I would find racism within my inner church family," uttered a heartbroken black church member. Although we believe Jesus’ blood make the believer’s life white as snow, it doesn’t replace the process of restoration. We have to come to grips with the fact that the history of western Christianity is still stained with the torturous blood of American slavery. Racism is deeply rooted in America’s "liberty" tree. It continues to bear strange fruits because the people who are most qualified to address and uproot the bad seeds are silent- that happens to be the church. When people are afraid to have uncomfortable conversations about race, 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.
Growing up in the inner city, it was common for me to hear that Christianity is the white man's religion. After personal reading and research, I've come to learn that the notion is faulty. The inception of Christianity connects blacks to the faith dating back to the fact that the Garden of Eden was on the African continent. However, white America's misuse of the religion and intentional mission to disconnect blacks from any and every heritage known to mankind is the culprit for these half truths. quick example is how Paul Revere is celebrated in history for the "The Midnight Ride" in the fight for the American revolution. Nothing is ever said about Wentworth Cheswell, a black man, who rode north while Revere rode west. He was the first black judge elected in 1768, a devoted husband, church member, and serve the nation in public office for forty nine years. The combination of Cheswell and Revere's efforts resulted in victory over the British. Truth should remain truth instead of elevating one group of people over others for personal gain.
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 taking the initiative to address racial issues the biblical church should’ve dealt with centuries ago. Tolerant worship/fellowship, tax write-off donations, urban ministries, yearly mission trips 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 idly supporting the bloody murders. Don’t get me wrong, there has been valiant efforts made by the Quakers, the abolitionists, and the white freedom marchers-but is that enough? It's a resounding no because the infrastructure they and genuine believers need to implement sustainable change has not been built. I believe it's in the process if the current global momentum to eradicate racism remains intact.
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. 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. We have to be able to see ourselves in each other regardless of color. We have to intentionally execute and live out God's mandate of unity, the unadulterated biblical truth. Church, let’s address the racial elephants in our pews before they stampede our nations and generations to come.