By This All Will Know
The sin of racism is both a global and historic evil. Whether we look to the days of Moses in North Africa or twentieth century Europe, this blight is a product of the fall. The flesh, devil, and ungodly world system will perpetuate such hatred until the kingdoms of this world are no more.
Until that Day, the Church is to live out the Kingdom ethic in all places among all peoples. We are to say to the world, “If you are wondering what the future looks like when it comes to justice and love for one another, then look to us!” As a foretaste of the Kingdom come, the Church is to foreshadow that beautiful racial, ethic, and national harmony displayed in Revelation 7:9.
Hours of commentary and a multitude of words have been written over the past week addressing the present state of the United States. I am troubled at the manifestation of this evil in society. I am troubled at the manifestation of sinful responses to this sin in society, as if evil can be overcome by evil. However, I am not surprised. This is the way of a grasping world whose morality is constantly rebuilt upon the shifting sands of a socially constructed ethic du jour.
I am troubled at the pain I have seen in my African-American brothers and sisters. The white demographic of the Church in the US has not created a welcoming place for them to share and help lead in partnership to overcome such evil. The conservative, highly educated, evangelical brothers and sisters I have encountered this week have shared deep, deep, hurt through tears and cracked voices. I have heard histories and present realities of how they have greatly struggled, and continue to struggle, against the flesh, devil, and the ungodly world system.
To my white readers: Take the initiative to talk with our black brothers and sisters (and other minority groups too) about racism. Be a learner. Create a warm and welcoming environment (individually and corporately) to address this issue. We must co-labor together against this struggle, both within the Church and in society. There is one Lord over us all (Eph 4:4). We all have the same amount of the same Holy Spirit (Eph 4:4). The Church, especially in the States, is suffering. When one part suffers, we all suffer (1 Cor 12:26).
The world is going to provide solutions to the problem. Kingdom citizens will be able to agree with some of them but not with others. Regardless, the Church, in her diversity, is called to be proactive and set the pace for matters of race. We do not wait for the world to move and then join in. The Church should be the vanguard. It is sad to say, for the most part, we have been reactive until now–simply because our context has recently forced the matter. The steps forward will not be easy or quick; we did not arrive at this point overnight.
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Regardless of melanin and culture, in Christ, we are one (Gal 3:28). What does the world “see” when she considers the Church and racial matters?
The five billion remain. . . . and the overwhelming majority of them are not white.
This post written by J.D. Payne and originally posted at https://www.jdpayne.org/2020/06/by-this-all-will-know/ and used by permission of J.D. Payne. Photo by Pixabay Timisu.