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The Senseless Cycle …
White police officers shoot black men. A movement called Black Lives Matter forms. White police officers are shot in retaliation. The senseless cycle of retaliation escalates. The culture of death in America grows. How should all people – especially people of faith – respond to these tragedies?
Here are some
of my thoughts and perspectives –
from my heart to yours …
First, there should be no such nomenclature as racism
We are one human race. We are all created in the image of God. Yes, we have different ethnicities, skin hues, and cultural expressions. But we are all one human race. We all bleed red blood. Therefore, when we hate someone different than us, we am essentially hating ourselves.
Second, if we believe we are all one human race,
we believe all lives matter – no matter what differences we may have.
Therefore, when we value lives different than us, we are valuing ourselves.
Third, God commanded us never to murder.
It’s one of his Ten Commandments. It’s not optional. Therefore, whites should never murder blacks. Blacks should never murder whites. Nor should anyone of any color ever murder another human being created in God’s image. It’s not permissible. It exacerbates America’s culture of death.
Fourth, God designed the Church to be His place
where people of all different nationalities, colors, ethnicities, differences,
and needs come together as one.
In this new human family, brought together by the forgiving love of Jesus, all previous restraining walls are broken down – especially racism.
The primary emotion that drives this new community of Jesus followers should be love. “By this the world will know that you are mine, by the way that you love one another” (John 13:34-35). Jesus’ primary evangelism strategy was the way his followers would love one another.
The best biblical definition of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a:
“Love is patient and kind, loves does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable, or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
Is this the way you love people who are different than you? Loving your neighbor, as Jesus commanded, doesn’t have an asterik by it (* in case he/she is different than you are).
In fact, when asked, “Who is your neighbor?” Jesus responded by telling a parable that said: Everyone is. Period. No exceptions. And, in case you didn’t know, the hero of the parable was a Samaritan – those who were despised racially by the Jews.
Fifth, if love overcomes racism in God’s family,
Christians need to have personal, face-to-face life encounters
with people of different ethnicities and skin hues.
We learn from their life experiences. We empathize with the prejudices they have experienced. We stand with them in their pain of feeling marginalized. We want to be a voice for their feelings of powerlessness.
If you are a follower of Jesus:
- Express your faith by loving someone in our one human race who is different than you are. Make this a special priority within the church you’ve joined.
- Fearlessly fight against the pernicious evil of murder.
- Steadfastly stand up for the sacredness of all lives.
- Relentlessly eradicate hatred in your own heart.
- Regularly refuse to retaliate when hurt.
The evil one came to kill, steal, and destroy.
But Jesus came to give life and to give it to all people in abundance
– John 10:10 –
Choose life. Live in love.
It’s the only answer I see to stop the senseless cycle of death presently surrounding us.
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