For thousands of years there has been a blight on humanity. People have been discriminating against other people, whomever the “other people” might be, for centuries.
The looming question I find within my own heart is, “This problem is so big, and so deep, and it has been here so long, how can I, as one person, do anything to change it?”
Edmund Burke, a historical philosopher, was known to have said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”
As a Christian, the reality of racism is large. And the reach of racism is real. It is real and large, much larger than me. However, just because something is bigger than me doesn’t excuse that detach from it and give up. I can do something. And so can you.
Recently at ClearView Baptist Church in Franklin, Tennessee we actually did something. We hosted a panel discussion on how Christians can move towards racial harmony.
You can watch the segment here. There’s an audio glitch for the first few minutes but it gets corrected – so don’t tune out!
The question that I posed to Peter Yanes, and Coach Bernard Jones, was “What can we do as men, as fathers, as Christians to fight this battle?”
These steps may seem small, but if everyone took them, the walk forward with race would be monumental:
Look At Race From God’s Perspective.
Racism is sin, but God is sovereign.
God did not make a mistake by making people have color. Color may threaten some people, but it does not threaten God. He loves color, because He made all the nations and tribes.
Our three men in discussion believe that if every person would start by letting God’s view … become their view … racism can be healed.
If you struggle with race, realize that it is a learned behavior. You weren’t born that way. Society taught it to you and you took the bait.
It starts with recognizing that every person must look deep within to see if racial bias resides within; and, if it does, repent and ask the Lord to remove it.
Own Your Home.
When I spoke with both Peter Yanes and Coach Jones to invite them to this forum, we all began to somehow come back to the simple but profound truth that you are responsible for your own home. Racism may be taught by society, but guard your home as a refuge for truth.
When asked “What did you do as a dad?” Coach Jones stated when it came to raising his children, “We always taught them that it starts with you first. It’s how you treat people. We taught them that it wasn’t so much that it was a black and white or Asian society, it is a people society.”
Peter Yanes said, “We taught our children we are created in the image of God. At an early age we made it a big deal to pray with them and teach them.”
I can tell you personally that I know as a white man, growing up in the South, interracial marriage is not well-received.
In all honesty, I don’t care. I’m not being flippant or cavalier, just candid: I do not care.
Society doesn’t get the right to tell me what is right and what is wrong.
It doesn’t matter what I think … it matters what the Bible says.
And you won’t find any place in Scripture where God forbids interracial marriage.
I will not raise my two sons believing that they must put color restrictions on their wives. That is wrong, not by society’s standards, but by God’s standards.
The battles for racial truth must start in the home.
Action Is Far Better Than Reaction
Looking back on it, I believe this was a pivotal moment of truth for us in this live discussion.
It has long been my conviction that so many people react to abortion, but they don’t do anything. They react to human trafficking, but they don’t really do anything. They react to racism, but they don’t really do anything.
Awareness is crucial, but awareness alone will not cure the sin of racism.
We must take action.
Peter Yanes said,
“We’re seeing a lot of statements made on our behalf. We knew it as sin. We made a statement. But this moment is owned by the Church. Whatever you do, because it’s sin, and motivated by sin, it’s always a gospel issue. The only hope we have is in Jesus Christ … my fear is what’s going on right now will be just a hashtag, it is trending, but it will come and it will fade, then we will go back to what we’ve been in the past.”
In that light, we proposed a plan.
Educate. Own your home. Take ownership of your church and disciple people.
Celebrate. Make the power of tribes and nations a celebration as often as you can.
Partner. Bring people of color into your life. Have dinner. Go on mission trips. Find ways to cross the barriers.
I sincerely hope you take a few minutes and listen, really listen, to what these men said in this round-table discussion.
And do your part.
Racism is a nasty demon, but we have the power of Christ to overcome it. And to overcome, we must take up our weapons of warfare.
To win the physical, we must fight in the spiritual.
The Scriptures tell us:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.